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Thursday, May 3, 2012

Benefits of Raised Vegetable Garden Beds

Well Folks, it's that time of year again when all good Hippies get dirt dirt under their nails.  I love this cider-brick raised be idea only I would want mine 2-deep.  Maybe next year.  This year due to health issues I am going with the Pot Garden.  It's all 'groovy' :)  Garden on.....

Original Article Here: http://www.botanical-journeys-plant-guides.com/raised-bed-vegetable-garden.html

Cinder block raised bed vegetable garden.

**Early planting. The soil in a raised garden bed warms up more quickly in the spring. This allows you to get your veges into the ground sooner and to harvest them weeks earlier. This becomes more meaningful the shorter your growing season.

**Less digging. The soil in raised vegetable garden beds does not have to be double dug every year. This is because you never step into the beds. The soil stays loose and friable. You can dig in some compost each season if you really feel a need to dig. Otherwise, just spread it on top of the soil and rake it in.

**Drainage. Because the soil is never compacted by your feet, it maintains perfect drainage.

**Productivity. Gardening in raised beds produces more food per square foot than raising vegetables in rows or in containers.

Especially if you build a raised bed garden that is 12 inches deep.

The soil is richer and plant roots can move freely through it. Your veges will not be constantly stubbing their toes on rocks and what not like they would be if planted into the native soil.

Vegetable Garden
Raised Bed Soil Management

In order to support the kind of intensive gardening you will surely want to do, the soil needs to be very fertile. Don't skimp on additives. Dig in copious amounts of composted manure when preparing the beds for their first planting season.

Thereafter, spread a generous layer of compost or composted manure atop the beds each spring before you replant them.

This is a good time to add some slow-release, organic fertilizer as well.

If your raised bed vegetable garden is in a lawn, it might be a good idea to line it with several layers of damp newspaper before adding the soil.

The newsprint will suppress weeds and grass. This is especially important in a shallow (6 inch) bed.
After the vegetables are planted, you will want to mulch the beds to regulate the soil temperature, hold in moisture and discourage any weed seeds that happen to wander in.

How Deep to Build a Raised Bed Garden

The standard depths of raised bed garden kits are 6 and 12 inches but there are deeper raised garden bed kits available. How deep your raised bed vegetable garden needs to be depends on what you intend to grow.

If you are not sure what you will be raising from year-to-year, install a 12 inch deep bed. The deeper bed will give you more leeway where plants are concerned.

6 Inch Vegetable Garden Bed Plants

  • Lettuce
  • Nasturtiums
  • Kale and most other greens
  • Most annual herbs
  • Parsley
  • Small chili pepper plants, the kinds that could grow in a 6 or 8 inch pot.

  • 12 Inch Raised Bed Garden Vegetables

    The deeper bed will allow you to grow all of the above plus:

  • Determinate tomatoes*
  • Eggplant
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Beans
  • Squash
  • Melons
  • Sweet peppers
  • Cayenne Peppers or any other large chili
  • Carrots

  • *Indeterminate tomatoes really need a deeper bed to grow and produce well.

    Where to Put a Raised Vegetable Garden Bed

    The elevated raised bed in the photo above can be placed on a wooden deck or concrete patio. This is also an excellent raised bed design for someone with back or mobility problems.

    The other raised bed vegetable gardens depicted on this page would not be suitable for use on a deck as the moisture and weight might damage the structure.

    This will not be a problem on a concrete or slate surface.

    If you are building a raised bed vegetable garden on a patio, be sure to place it a few inches from your home's wall so that air can circulate. If you wish to butt the raised bed up against the wall, waterproof the wall first.

    When placing vegetable garden raised beds on a lawn, try to situate them on level ground. This is easier said than done as most lawns are not as flat as they appear to be.

    Use soil, rocks or wood scraps to make the bed level before filling it with soil. Otherwise any water applied will run to 1 side and it will be difficult to maintain even moisture around the roots of your plants.

    1 comment:

    Rina ... also Chester or Daisysmum. said...

    Hi Patty,
    lots of good advice there. Having a gentle sloping piece of land I have opted to build veggie boxes out of sleepers along a fence, so they really define the outline of the garden. Filling up with spent hay, old sawdust from the meat chook barn and mushroom compost which gets mixed with recycled soil made from green garden waste we bring in by the truckload. Great stuff. The earth worms love it!. These boxes vary from 18 inches where we started to a average height of 30 inches on the otherside of the box. Great idea for a post thank you.

    Now to carry on reading ... have a lovely day Rina