How to Make Raised Bed Gardens
Gardening raised bed frames can be made from landscape timbers, railroad
ties, two by tens, concrete blocks, or just about any other durable and strong
material that holds soil. Even an old tractor trailer tire can be used. Years
ago, this was in common. Make sure the frame is sturdy enough to hold soil.
Anchor the sides from collapsing outward, if needed. The bottom should be
open. If you are using a box or container of any kind, remove the bottom
to provide good drainage. The only time a raised bed should have a bottom
or plastic-lined bottom, is if it is used on a patio or deck.
Tip: Make sure the width of the bed frame is no more than two arms
lengths deep, about four feet. This allows you to reach any part of the garden,
without stretching or climbing across the frame and plants.
Garden bed soil -
While you can use regular garden soil, it is best to make a soil mixture
that is ideal for the plants you are planning to grow. If the bed is really
high, use soil from the surrounding area at the bottom.
Drip hose- A drip hose makes the bed more maintenance free and efficient.
Add it at, or just below, the soil level . Make sure to work it in a pattern
that evenly covers the entire area inside the raised bed.
Mulch- Make your raised bed almost maintenance free. Use plastic mulch
to keep weeds out. For appearance, top the plastic with organic mulch.
Tip: Be creative. Make a series of smaller beds. Landscape around
the beds with stone, mulch. Add paving blocks or stepping stones.
Raised Bed Boards
Raised beds are made of almost any material. Perhaps you've seen an old car
or truck tire, filled with soil and flowers. This is indeed a raised bed
Most raised bed frames are constructed of either wood or plastic. Both can
be attractive and effective. Wood is less expensive, but does not last long.
They rot and lose their clean and neat appearance. Applying paints, stains
or pressure treated wood, can extend the life of the wood boards. But, they
can leach chemicals into the soil.
Plastic boards last a long, long time. While they cost more, they are cheaper
A word about- - Orca boards. (People have asked.) These are plastic
boards. We believe the Orca Board is a brand name, and the manufacturer went
out of business during the recession.