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Gardening is a rewarding activity that has many health benefits. You burn calories, get exposure to vitamin D, strengthen your bones and get a little cardio in. If you’d like your plants to be as healthy and thriving as you are, consider planting a raised bed garden.
Some believe the idea of a raised garden bed originated in medieval times. Others claim it has been around for over 2,000 years. The important takeaway is this method works. It has distinct advantages, and once you try it, you’ll never go back to in-ground gardening. But you have to know what you’re doing to have success. This article will outline what you need to know to have the perfect raised garden.
A raised bed garden sits on top of your existing soil. It can be just a mound or it can have sides that make it look like a box. Some raised bed gardens are just a few inches high, while others are several feet high. The bed should be small enough so you can reach every plant without stepping foot in the garden.
Raised garden beds aren’t popular because they look nicer — even though they do — they are desirable because they benefit your plants and help ensure a bountiful growing season.
A raised garden bed must be placed in a strategic location. You can’t just put it wherever you have room. The space must get a minimum of 6-8 hours of sunlight throughout the day. The garden should not be in a low-lying area that collects water. If possible, plant your garden so the rows run north and south as this provides better sunlight coverage.
If your raised garden bed has sidewalls, which are recommended but not always necessary, use water-resistant, rot-resistant materials that won’t leach chemicals into your beds. Cedar and redwood are the best options, but you can also use materials such as landscaping blocks or retaining wall blocks.
You need to be able to reach every plant without stepping in the garden and without straining your back. For most people, that means not going over 4 feet wide — if you have access to it from both sides. You can, however, make your garden as long as you’d like, though most keep it manageable at 4, 6 or 8 feet long.
If you will be growing plants with deeper root systems, such as tomatoes or asparagus, make sure your bed is raised enough to accommodate those systems. In some instances, you may need to dig into the ground beneath your raised bed to add a little depth. For most plants, however, 12 inches is sufficient.
The point of using a raised garden bed is to have optimum conditions. This typically means the native soil won’t work. The best soil is sandy loam, which is loose and rich in organic matter. It is best to fill your bed with soil that is specifically designed for raised garden beds. Alternatively, you can experiment with combinations of potting soil and garden soil, but you might not find the ideal combination for several seasons.
If this is your first garden, start easy. Herbs are more tolerant of neglect and poor growing conditions, so your chances of success are greater. Once you get a feel for gardening, then you can try more challenging vegetables such as potatoes, carrots, cucumbers and head lettuce.
Plants drink through their root system, not their leaves. When you water your raised garden bed, it is best to use a drip irrigation system or a soaker hose that is placed at the base of the plants. In short, the wetter your plant leaves are, the more prone they are to disease.
These untreated, chemical-free North American cedar boards are safe for fruit and vegetable gardens. The tool-free assembly means anyone can successfully complete this project with minimal effort.
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This soil is specially formulated for raised garden beds and requires no mixing. It is filled with organic matter, nutrients and has exceptional moisture-holding power to give your plants everything they need to thrive.
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This mix of calcium and vital micronutrients is sufficient to nourish your raised garden plants for up to three months. The formula is suitable for fruits, vegetables, herbs and flowers.
Mulch is the secret ingredient in gardening. Earthgro’s mulch moderates soil temperature, prevents weed growth and helps conserve soil moisture.
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The key to having a thriving garden is getting water to the roots of all the plants. This comprehensive irrigation kit lets you custom design a watering system that drips water precisely where you need it in your raised garden.
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