Raised garden beds are a great way to grow vegetables. They provide flexibility, can hold a ton of plants, and can actually yield more vegetables than ground level gardens. They can also look fantastic. Raised garden beds are perfect for experienced and new gardeners alike.
Benefits To Growing Vegetables in Raised Garden Beds
Reduce Bending Over
Since a raised garden bed is elevated, it can be tended to without bending all the way over or even kneeling on the ground. This means less chance of a strained back or pulled muscle. All of this makes gardening even more enjoyable.
Because you control the soil that goes into the raised garden beds, it is an outstanding opportunity to make sure the soil mix is excellent for growing vegetable. This is not the area to scrimp on spending. Soil is the key to any successful garden and raised garden beds are no different. Good, clean soil mix is vital.
There is just no getting away from weeds in gardening. However, because of the high quality soil mix and the ease of working in the raised garden bed, removing the weeds is easier than from a ground level bed.
Raised garden beds tend to produce more vegetables than ground level garden beds. The quality soil mix allows for fantastic root growth, holds moisture longer and is packed full of nutrients, plants just grow and develop better.
Size Of Raised Garden Beds
There is no standard size for a raised garden bed. From a pragmatic viewpoint, eight feet long makes for less cutting as a standard size for lumber is eight feet (assuming you are using wood to build your raised bed). Also being pragmatic, the width should no be more than four feet so the center of the raised bed can be easy to reach from either side of it. This is, of course, assuming that the raised garden bed is going to be rectangular. There is no reason why a raised garden bed can’t be square, circular or any other shape, depending upon material selected for construction. Height-wise there is also no standard although most raised beds tend to be twelve inches high. This is deep enough for root vegetable to grow. The higher the raised bed, the more soil mix must be purchased to fill it with.
Materials For Raised Beds
Just about any material can be used to build a raised bed. Wood, cinder block, bricks and metal all make for solid raised beds. A few things to consider: Whatever material you choose, make sure if will be solid for the height of your raised beds. It would be a shame to need to spend time repairing your raised beds rather than gardening. If using wood, do not use pressure treated lumber. The chemicals used to create pressure treated lumber is not healthy for human consumption. Cedar is generally best as it is naturally slow to deteriorate.
More Information: How To Build A Simple Raised Garden Bed
Soil Mixes For Raised Garden Beds
The best soil mix for raised beds is generally comprised of 50% screened topsoil and 50% clean compost. The clean compost will help retain moisture and help feed the plants for a fairly long time, this reducing the need for fertilizing.
How Much Soil Mix Is Needed For Raised Garden Beds
To calculate how much soil mix is needed, simply take the length of the raised bed (in feet) and multiply it by the width and height (also in feet). Divide this total by 27 to get the cubic yards of soil mix needed; half of which will be the screened topsoil and half will be the compost. We recommend getting 15% more than the final calculation as the soil mix will settled as air pockets work their way out.
Best Vegetables To Grow In Raised Beds
Although all vegetables can thrive in raised garden beds, there are some limitations. If a plant is a climber, such as cucumber, peas and some squashes, a trellis structure of some sort will need to be provided. This is not necessarily a negative, as a well–designed trellis can also provide some architectural design interest to a garden. If space is tight, plats that need to remain in the ground for a long period of time may be better in the actual ground in order to save space. These include onions, asparagus and garlic. Plants that require an enormous amount of space, such as some of the blue squashes, watermelon ad pumpkin, may not be the best choices for raised garden beds as well. Other than those considerations, all of your other favorite and yummy vegetable will do great in your raised garden beds.
Growing Better Gardeners is not just our tagline, it is our mission.
RightPlantz is the leading digital marketplace connecting homeowners and garden enthusiasts with local green industry professionals. RightPlantz is where gardening starts. Millions of homeowners around the country search for landscape, lawn care, arborists, irrigation installation and garden centers companies every year. RightPlantz is where green industry businesses grow.