Creating Raised Beds

Raised BedsRaised beds are one of the greatest “weapons” in a gardener’s arsenal.

Planting your garden in a series of raised beds has many benefits. The soil in raised beds is often warmer than those directly in the ground which allows for faster plant growth. Raised beds help with water on both ends of the spectrum. They prevent your plants from drowning during heavy downpours, and during dry spells, raised beds actually hold the water better than flat ground beds.

There are different ways to make your raised beds. The important thing to remember with any raised bed set up is that you need to be able to reach the entire bed area without stepping on it. If you step on it, you’ll compact your growing area making it difficult for the roots of your plants to spread out properly.

Many people like to do raised beds with wooden sides, filling the interior with dirt until it’s around a foot above the ground. If you go with that method, be sure the wood you used isn’t treated or the poisonous chemicals will seep into your gardening area.

At my house we prefer to make our raised bed with mulch. We don’t use wooden sides, we just pile up the mulch until the bed is higher than the soil around it. The mulch keeps the plants nice and moist while the higher elevation prevents them from drowning. Sometimes we use wood mulch, other times we use grass clippings on a slightly elevated stretch of dirt.

Once you have your raised bed created, you end up with an automatic walkway between them. And for those with bad backs, if you make them high enough, raised beds come with the additional of benefit of not have to bend over as much when you’re weeding them!

Copyright © Amber Reifsteck ~ The Woodland Elf

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