How and Why to Build Raised Beds for Your Garden
Gardening is, hands down, one of the best skills that you really should start building now. Not
only will gardening provide nutrients to you and your loved ones, it will alleviate daily stress,
provide low impact exercise, it’s inexpensive, and it’s a fun hobby! Whether you live on a farm,
in the suburbs, or the city, gardening is possible. You just have to think outside the box… or
rather inside of one. Raised garden beds can be made cheaply, inside or outside and with just a few tools. And, it is a great way to start gardening, on a smaller scale.
If you are new to gardening, or haven’t done it in a while, building and growing in raised beds is
a great jumping off point. You can build to whatever size will accommodate your wants and
needs. You can build a small herb garden, strawberry patch, or even a small peanut garden! Growing a honey bee or butterfly garden can support pollination in your garden, and the environment in general. With an open mind, you can garden to your heart’s content, and raised garden beds can help you get there.
Choosing the Right Location
To build a raised garden bed, you first need to find a perfect place for it to go. When trying to
decide on where to put your raised garden bed, there are a few things to keep in mind. All plants need sunlight to grow. Some plants need more or less light than others. So do a little bit of research on the plants you plan on growing. And choose a location according to each plant’s needs.
Your raised bed should be near a water source. If you’re planting inside, a watering can may be all you need. However, when planting outside, you will either want to plant close to an outside faucet, or buy a hose that will make up the length. These two factors are a must when finding the perfect place for your raised garden bed.
Building the Raised Beds
After deciding where your raised bed will go, now it’s time to build. There are many styles and
sizes of raised gardens. Here’s where you can get creative and decide on which style will fit your needs most efficiently. Measure your space! Once you have your spot measured, you can then determine what and how much material you need. You can purchase raised bed kits online if you would like. These kits will cost more, but you will get a strong, sturdy, clean looking bed.
Raised Beds Should Not Break the Bank
If you don’t want to spend a lot of money on a raised bed or if you’re on a budget, don’t worry. There are tons of inexpensive, often free, materials all around. Dumpster Diving! That’s right, everyday people throw out all kinds of items that can be repurposed into raised gardens; shelving, furniture, and more. Dumpster diving will also keep these items out of our garbage dumps. Ask stores if they are willing to give away their extra wood pallets. You’d be surprised at what you can get when you ask. Look online for freebies or cheap material on sites like Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace. People are constantly giving away perfectly good items that they no longer need and you can reuse.
Time to Build!
Let’s build it! You have the perfect spot, your have your materials, what does it take to build a
garden bed? With just a hammer and nails or a drill and screws, you are ready. Raised garden
beds just need four corners and four walls. Start by measuring and marking your four corners.
Cut your material to size so that you have the length, width, and height that you need. Attach
your corners together with hardware. Make sure you secure the corners enough, so that it will hold the soil you put in it. If you are building beds for inside growing or on a smaller scale, all you really need is something that has four sides, the ability for water to drain, and a tray to catch water that drains from the bed.
Soil, Compost and Maintenance
Congratulations, you’re almost ready to grow! Now that you are set up with your personal,
unique garden bed, let’s fill it up. Start your raised bed by placing cardboard all along the bottom of the bed. This will create a weed barrier so weeds won’t grow into your garden. The cardboard will also hold moisture and will allow your plant’s roots to reach deep, so it’s good practice even for growing inside.
Research which soil nutrients your plants will grow best, then buy your soil accordingly. You may use a combination of soil and compost if you want a cheaper option for soil. This is a great opportunity to start your own compost to use in your new garden. Soak your soil before you plant your seeds or transplant your seedlings. With little maintenance, you’ll be watching your garden grow everyday.
It’s so exciting to see the work put into growing something tangible. Everything taste better when grown in your garden. Everything looks great when love is used. Gardening is the most relaxing, rewarding skill. And it take little more than the sun, soil, and water. Building a raised garden bed is a great way to start gardening on a smaller scale.