Raised bed gardening is a great way to grow vegetables, especially if the native soil in your yard has been trampled, lacks nutrients, or has poor drainage. The raised garden bed has long been popular amongst gardening professionals, helping them generate a plentiful yield in half the space. Lately, casual gardeners have also discovered the advantages this practical mini farm or balcony garden brings to their yards. As there is no bending over required to pull weeds or harvest vegetables, it provides a back-friendly working position as well as the best possible growth and harvesting situations. If you are in pursuit of a successful raised garden bed, then we recommend these professional tips to ensure a flourishing garden.
1. Choose the Right Location:When choosing a right location for your raised bed, it is important to consider several factors, including sunlight, a water source, and aesthetic harmony. Make sure to choose a spot that receives at least six hours of sunlight and is close to a water source. You may also want to situate your raised bed in a place that blends in with the rest of the garden, or in places that are considered unattractive and need brightening up. Make sure your plants are protected from extreme wind and heat. It is important to keep in mind that some plants like cucumbers and zucchini need a somewhat wind-protected place in the garden while plants like tomatoes and peppers are not as sensitive. Leafy vegetables such as lettuce and spinach can also tolerate shade, so you can plant them in areas with low sunlight.
2. Understand the Needs of your Plants:Beginners are often advised to start with herbs, as they are hardy and easy to grow. Other plants, such as tomatoes, may be more challenging to plant, requiring additional monitoring and maintenance. Once you are ready to proceed to more challenging plants, make sure to properly research their needs, keeping in mind factors like the amount of sunlight and the addition of necessary soil amendments. Transplanting is the process of removing plants and relocating them to another place. Most warm season plants, such as tomatoes, should be transplanted, while most cold season plants should be seeded.
3. Plant Earlier:When plants are cultivated under foil or glass, they are able to be planted earlier because the heated, damp air enclosed in the walls encourages faster and earlier growth. This is not only essential in the spring, but also necessary for continuous planting throughout the rest of the year. You can combine a cold frame with your raised garden bed to ensure a plentiful harvest. Many plants grow better in raised garden beds, generating higher yields that are ready to be harvested earlier than those growing in the ground. Make sure to refrain from planting too early, which will stunt plant growth. When the nighttime temperatures are in the mid to high 40s, you can start planting your crops.
4. Fill with Correct Soil:To ensure a higher yield, it is important to fill your raised garden bed with high quality soil. You should refrain from using the native soil from your yard, as it can be contaminated or be of poor composition. The ideal soil type is sandy loam, which is essentially soil that is loose, well-draining, and rich in organic matter. You can purchase a specialty bag of raised garden bed soil designed specifically for raised garden beds, or you can experiment on your own using a mix of potting soil and garden soil.
If you want to save money, we suggest you try the Hugelkultur method, which is a process of creating mounds out of rotting wood and organic material in order to replicate an ideal natural environment for your crops. You can repurpose existing logs and branches lying around your property for this method. Avoid fertilizers that are not specifically labelled for fruits and vegetables, as they can contain the wrong nutrients and shrink the size of your harvest.
5. Add Compost:A vital ingredient in any garden, compost routinely enriches soil with pivotal nutrients. To maintain a healthy soil, add a thick layer of compost that is at least 1 – 2 inches thick. This is an important step if you want to plan ahead for next year’s crops. Adding compost to your garden bed after the plants have stopped producing, along with a layer of organic mulch, will ensure that organic nutrients are added to the soil for spring planting. You can also supplement the soil with compost in circumstances where severe storms have eroded the soil, when trees and vegetables are flowering, and when you notice the soil is dense, sandy, or full of clay. Add in the layer of compost after you have already filled your garden bed with a layer of garden soil. It is vital that you fill the raised bed below the edge so that it doesn’t overflow, and gently pat down the layer to eliminate gaps.
Be wary of adding too much commercial compost, as the high salinity can cause plants to wither. Homemade compost, which is nutrient rich, is suggested as an alternative. Keep in mind that when it comes to correctly filling the raised garden bed, only suggestions can be made since it ultimately comes down to your budget and the materials at your disposal.
6. Choose the Correct Material:It is important to choose the correct materials for your garden beds, especially if you’re seeking a long-lasting option. Wooden beds break down faster than metal beds, and are less durable and resistant against the elements. Choosing metal raised garden beds with modular components will dramatically reduce the tedium of setup and maintenance involved in constructing a garden bed on your own. In addition, they will last longer and will not carry the risk of chemical leaching that treated wood can.
Vego Garden's metal raised garden beds are all designed to be modular, giving you the ability to customize the shape and size to fit any space. Check out our collections at: https://vegogarden.com/collections/all.
7. Wrap Bubble Foil Around the Bed:In the spring or autumn, some people decide to wrap bubble foil around their raised beds. This helps retain heat in the beds and promotes decomposition, consequently helping warm the soil and allowing you to propagate plants earlier, or harvest for a longer duration.
8. Add a Layer of Mulch:Add a layer of mulch at the end of the growing season to protect the soil from the cold winter weather. You should also add mulch during the season once the plants are established to conserve soil moisture and prevent the proliferation of weeds. Keeping your soil cool throughout the winter will help maintain healthy soil for spring. For optimal results, spread an even 2-inch layer and press down gently.
9. Water Plants at the Roots:
You should water your plants at their base, instead of using a sprinkler or sprayer, which tends to spray the leaves. This can increase the probability of fungal diseases or cause oversaturation. Consider using a soaker hose or install a drip irrigation system, which delivers water at the ground level.
All of our raised garden beds are modular, and can be as small as 2’ x 3.5’ or as large as 8’ x 4’ or larger, allowing plenty of space for plants to flourish and establish deep root systems. Our beds are large enough to accommodate plants in at least two rows across. If you want to have a beautiful and productive garden, you should definitely give our raised beds a try.