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Slide 16

Raised beds offer a practical and productive way to garden by regulating the growing environment for the better. The best part is, no matter how bad the ground you’re starting with, ideal planting conditions can be created for soil and drainage in a raised bed.

Why are raised beds an ideal option for any gardener?
For starters, they can be built to whatever size you need them to be. Furthermore, you can place them absolutely anywhere, provided that space gets six to eight hours of sunlight a day. (Of course, if your raised bed is destined for a shady area, you’ll want to choose your plants accordingly). Raised Beds range from large stones, cement blocks or bricks to custom-built beds with metal sides and everything in between. The key is to find what works best for you, your budget and the look you are going for. While raised beds don’t have to be permanent, when built right, they can remain in place for years to come. Some of the most popular options include: Pressure treated pine Rot-resistant hardwood Composite material consisting of plastic or wood fibers. We also sell kits!

Beds that meet the needs of you and your plants. When building beds or mounding up soil, it needs to be wide enough for roots to spread out and plants to grow, but not too wide that you can’t reach in to the center of the bed from one side. The rule of thumb is never make it so wide that you need to step into the bed and on the soil to reach any part of the plant. Usually the raised bed is not wider than 4 feet. (approx) As for length that really depends on the amount of space you have. It’s a combination of personal preference, space limitations and budget. Depth however does matter. Shoot for a minimum of 6-inches deep. Anything deeper is a plus.( 18 inches is ideal in our estimation) Give the plants the room they need for root expansion. The deeper the roots, the taller the shoots.

Design the soil for structure and drainage. When considering what soil to put into your raised beds, whether you’re starting from scratch or amending an existing bed, it’s best to incorporate plenty of organic material such as well-aged manure and compost or even a store bought soil amendment. The key to great soil, especially in raised beds is to add lots of organic matter to improve drainage, moisture retention, and soil structure. We recommend our very own Bumper Crop, it has everything you will need for a raised bed!

How do you pick the perfect spot?

When preparing a raised bed garden, location is everything, but it doesn’t have to be your backyard. Your raised bed could go in a sunny side yard, your front yard, your driveway, deck or patio. We keep a raised flower box bed that we plant herbs in right next to our BBQ! Nothing like fresh herbs to go with all the fresh veggies from your raised veggie beds!

Do you want to install irrigation?

If you want to set up a whole irrigation system with a line running from your tap you might want to do this before your raised bed areas are finished and filled. This way you can run hoses under the soil or mulch, and adapt the bed around where the hose attaches to the system. The edges of the bed will dry out a little faster than the middle, so pay special attention to the location of your plants. There is also the old faithful sprinkler or hand watering as well!

Benefits of raised bed gardens:

Manageability: Raised beds offer a manageable way to garden in smaller limited spaces.
Prevention of soil compaction and plant damage: One of the greatest advantages of raised beds comes from the protection the structure provides from foot traffic,Since people work on the paths and don't walk in well-designed raised beds, the soil does not get compacted and plants are less likely to be damaged.
Longer growing season: Raised beds warm up more quickly in the spring and drain better (assuming the soil is properly prepared), allowing for a longer growing season and better growing conditions. Rotating Crops!
Fresh Food grown in your own garden is simply the best. Grow what you like to eat and what you know you and your family will enjoy. Once established a raised bed can be cost saving on organic groceries.
Less weeding and maintenance: Once the soil in a raised bed has stabilized, compaction is almost non-existent so the need for seasonal tilling is minimal. Weed populations decrease over time in a raised bed that is well cared for.

Better drainage: A well-prepared raised bed usually allows the soil to drain better than in an in-ground garden. In some areas the soil drainage is so poor that raised beds enable gardening of crops that would not otherwise grow.

Keeps the spreading more invasive plants such as mint in check.

A raised bed can enable crop growth in an area that otherwise would not support gardening. On steep slopes, raised beds can act as a form of terracing. Raised beds can be built anywhere from parking lots and other compacted, difficult-to-garden areas.(urban gardening) They also allow you to have a garden in limited spaces.
Material conservation: Because the gardening space is concentrated, the management of water, fertilizer, mulch and soil amendments can be carefully controlled, leading to less waste.

Access for gardeners with disabilities: Raised beds, at the proper height, can improve access for wheelchairs, or for gardeners with physical limitations.

Great for Beginner Gardeners!



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