Tips on Building a Raised Bed Garden

Raised bed gardens can be really useful for growing plants, in particular fruits and vegetables. Plants are better protected from pests and animals if raised and the soil drainage in these raised beds is much better. They are also a good way of getting round the problem of having poor soil and are helpful for those who have mobility problems because less bending is required for maintaining- watering and harvesting- them.

Check your Measurements

It’s vital that you make the raised bed and suitable size for your garden space. You should consider how much space you’ll need around it for access to the rest of your garden when working out the measurements. Plants in these raised beds will grow much better if they’re aren’t trodden or walked on, so keep the width under 1.5m to allow for movement around it. It’s probably best to avoid having very long runs of raised beds too; if they’re too long people may be tempted to cut across them rather than walking around them.
Top tip: If your raised bed will be situated over an area of hard ground you should make it between 45 and 60cm deep in order that the plants can root deeply and strongly; this will reduce their watering needs.

Choose the Materials Wisely

Timber might be your automatic go-to choice for raised bed garden container because of its low cost and availability. However, you should consider other options. Timber may be low in cost, but is not good in terms of durability, even when treated. Sleepers are long-lasting but can be very costly , and they can be difficult to cut to shape and size. The most permanent of materials is masonry, but is incredibly costly. Plastic ‘timber’ lookalike materials would be perfect in the way that they are hard wearing and can be found bought at reasonable prices. Top tip: Shop around for these materials before you buy; be sure to check out junk yards and ask for discounts for off-cuts at larger retailers.

Consider the Soil you will Require

Before filling your raised garden bed with the first soil you find, consider the types of plants you wish to grow in these areas. Research the type of soil most suited for them and purchase accordingly; remember, the whole point of a raised bed is to better the growing conditions for the plants. You should put as much homemade compost and organic matter on the soil to give it even more nutrients and further benefit the plants.
Top tip: Place any turf and grass that you dug up to make space for the bed in the soil. As it breaks down it will feed nutrients back into the soil.

Do you have any tips on how to build a raised garden bed? Perhaps you know the perfect place to finding the right material to build it. Let us know your thoughts and opinions in the comments section!

[Photo Credit: FarmCity Food Gardens]