Gardening 101: How to prepare a raised bed for your vegetable garden

Raised Bed Growing

August 14, 2020

Kesha

During the continuing pandemic, gardening has become a trending topic, leading many newcomers to try growing their own produce.

While many gardeners work directly with the ground, some can’t for various reasons; perhaps due to irregular soil. In my case, my backyard is so big; it’s a little intimidating to a novice gardener like myself. So I decided to start small with a raised garden bed on my front porch. It’s perfect too because my porch gets a good mix of sunlight and shade.

A raised bed consists of sides or a box made of wood, which is then filled with soil and compost to a level that makes it attractive to plants, which can have a hard time establishing healthy roots in poor soil. We’re currently growing cilantro, parsley, thyme, mint, peppers, sage, and other herbs in our window beds. As well as lettuce, broccoli green peppers and zucchini in our corner bed.

Here are 4 steps to starting a raised bed garden:

1. Determine where to place your bed. Raised beds are a good option when trying to locate the optimal spot for your beds; often, the sunniest spot in your yard might be the middle of a lawn, or even on the driveway. Using a raised bed allows you to position your garden where it will get the most sun.

2. Buy a kit. I suggest you buy a kit that includes everything you’re going to need. My neighbor is pretty skilled with wood and was nice enough to build one for me. You can find them on Amazon for less than $100. This one is

  • SPACIOUS GARDENING BED: Designed with a nearly 4-foot-long bed deep enough to ensure your plants and vegetables can breathe and grow healthy
  • DRAINAGE HOLES: Allows excess water to drain out, keeping soil fresh and preventing plants from overwatering
  • ERGONOMIC STRUCTURE: Stands 30 inches tall, making it perfect for those who struggle to bend down or lean over while gardening
  • VERSATILE DESIGN: Adds a new hint of beauty to any part of your home; perfect for placement on the patio, porch, deck, balcony, or in the garden
  • RAISED GARDEN BED LINER: Separates wood from the soil, keeping the wooden garden planter in excellent condition and preventing weeds and pests from interfering with plant growth

3. Prepare the ground or box: An 8-inch raised bed is good for vegetables like peppers, tomatoes and other plants that grow above the ground. For root vegetables, like potatoes and carrots, gardeners need about 16 inches. 

4. Begin planting. Always make sure you use compost when working with vegetables and make sure one of the plants you plant is a pollinator like marigold or borage to help attract things like bees and butterflies, things that will be going flower to flower.

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