How To Build A Raised Garden Bed With Concrete Blocks Uk

How To Build A Raised Garden Bed With Concrete Blocks Uk

Are you dreaming of homegrown veggies, herbs, and flowers – but the only space you have for a garden bed is on concrete, a patio, or other hard surface?Or perhaps you’re like us and have a good-sized yard, but want to maximize growing space by adding raised garden beds on your hardscape areas as well.Read along to learn tips and best practices for building a raised garden bed on concrete or other hard impervious surfaces.In this example, I’ll show you how we prepped a new wood raised garden bed to go on top of our asphalt driveway.Finally, we’ll also cover alternate options for putting planter boxes on hard surfaces – such as self-contained pots and beds.Keep in mind that installing a raised garden bed on top of a deck may cause staining or water damage, unless drainage is controlled.Instead, we create a wire and fabric “basket” or bottom on our raised bed to both contain the soil but also promote drainage.If our example doesn’t suit your situation, read the “alternative options” for more ideas to add growing space to your patio, deck, or other hardscape area!Homestead and Chill gains a small commission from purchases made through those links, at no additional cost to you.Here is one alternate design that we’ll talk about near the end of the article: an elevated and mobile raised planting box.Even more, building a raised garden bed on top of concrete or other hard impervious surfaces brings about a whole new set of considerations.Instead, you’d likely want to protect your deck by using an elevated raised bed kit, or one that has a solid bottom and contained drainage system.On the other hand, the steps we used to modify our newest driveway garden bed will work well on top of concrete, asphalt, pavers, or similar surfaces.There is a common misconception that putting a raised garden bed on concrete or other hard surfaces will prevent it from draining well.A well-built raised garden bed on concrete will actually drain faster than one sitting snugly down within the soil of your yard.Well, excess runoff from your raised bed will run to wherever rain water usually collects on your hard surface.), quality soil (one with both adequate drainage but also good moisture retention), and the right bed height (taller is better!Most common vegetable plants need a minimum of 12 inches of soil to grow big and healthy.In fact, many plants prefer 18 to 24 inches or deeper, including tomatoes, carrots, peppers, eggplant, and even kale.With a traditional in-ground garden or raised beds open to the soil below, roots can grow deep and uninhibited.In contrast, putting a raised garden bed on concrete is essentially like creating a large pot or container.All that said, I suggest a minimum depth of 12 inches (preferably 18”) for any raised bed that will be put on a hard surface.Stacking four 2×6” boards to make a 22 to 24-inch deep bed is also great, but will take a lot more soil to fill.When it comes to filling a garden bed on concrete, invest in high-quality soil and compost to help compensate for the shallower root space.I suggest using a combination of some potting soil, some general planting or raised bed mix, and plenty of compost.Mulching the soil surface also increases moisture retention and reduces your need to water as frequently.It isn’t the best idea to add soil straight into a garden bed directly on top of concrete.I have heard it may slightly increase the pH of your soil over time when in direct contact with concrete.If you need any pointers here, please check out our detailed “How to Design & Build a Raised Garden Bed” tutorial.Next, we are going to line the inside bottom of the raised bed frame with hardware cloth wire fencing material.The hardware cloth serves as a sturdy and durable bottom for the bed, which landscape fabric will lay on top of next.It would also be easy to accidentally tear the fabric open on rough ground, such as when you’re setting the bed in place or if you ever move it.I’ve also found it helpful to stand inside the bed and step on the wire to press it into place.The common thin stretchy black plastic-like stuff will rip into shreds over time and make a huge gross mess.Add the landscape fabric to the inside bottom of the bed in a similar manner as the hardware cloth.It is important to leave the fabric very loose rather than taut, to provide give as it rests against the hardware cloth for support.Because there shouldn’t be much weight pulling down on the fabric, we simply used a staple gun to secure the cloth in place around the inner lower perimeter of the bed.When adding the landscape fabric to the bottom of the bed, I made sure we had plenty of excess and it sat loosely inside.I also pushed down on it, keeping the fabric flat against the bottom as I attached it, to ensure the staples wouldn’t pop out from being overly tight once soil was added.If this style and example doesn’t work in your situation for whatever reason, there are still a TON of other options to garden on a patio, deck, balcony, driveway, or other hardscapes!Others have a fully solid bottom and an internal drainage collection system, and you can direct runoff with a hose or valve.In fact, we have built our standard raised bed design and added a wood bottom on a few occasions!We drilled several large half-inch drainage holes in the bottom, before lining the interior with landscape fabric and adding soil.We chose this style because we wanted to elevate the small beds on heavy-duty furniture dollies with wheels, making them mobile.Otherwise, we personally avoid adding wood bottoms since they do inevitably inhibit some drainage and are prone to rotting over time.Plan to make beds that you wish to elevate on legs or dollies smaller than ones you’d put on the ground (either in depth, or width and length).We heavily rely on fabric pots or grow bags to supplement our raised bed gardening space

How Deep Should A Raised Bed Be For Potatoes

How Deep Should A Raised Bed Be For Potatoes

Mulches are also ‘top-dressed’ throughout the growing season, and gradually decompose into the top layer of soil adding additional nutrients.Taproots will travel deeper into the soil if nutrients and water are available, and this also brings more trace minerals to the plant.Large-leafed, shallow-rooted plants such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower will still require staking to ensure they stay upright as they grow to maturity.Knowing the average root depth for your garden vegetables will help you decide where to plant each crop and how deeply to prepare your soil.For example, in our garden we may plant shallow rooted crops like lettuce in beds where the subsoil has more clay and does not drain well.Deeper soil provides additional nutrients and trace minerals, which further facilitate plant growth

When To Plant A Garden In Kentucky

When To Plant A Garden In Kentucky

City Last Frost Date First Frost Date Bowling Green 4/28 10/7 Danville 5/1 10/10 Frankfort 5/5 10/10 Henderson 4/21 10/8 Lexington 5/3 10/10 Louisville 4/19 10/20 Manchester 5/18 10/3 Middlesboro 5/15 10/5 Murray 4/17 10/10 Princeton 5/4 10/4 Scottsville 5/4 10/9 Williamsburg 5/11 10/6

What Soil To Use For Raised Bed Gardens

What Soil To Use For Raised Bed Gardens

This is especially advantageous for those whose property has hard-packed or clay soil, issues with tree roots, or concerns about pollutants.And since good soil is the foundation of a healthy garden, you want to make sure you’re setting your veggies up for success.The soil in a raised bed will remain loose and friable, rather than being hard-packed over time by footsteps.When I built my raised beds, I called around and ordered what I thought would be a good-quality triple mix.In Ontario where I live, triple mix is generally top soil, compost, and peat moss or black loam.All that rich organic matter is an important component that will hold moisture and provide nutrients to your plants.Topping up your beds with compost will add nutrients back into the soil to prepare it for whatever you plant next.To maintain the health of even the best soil for a raised garden bed, adding organic matter every year is essential.I find the soil levels in my raised beds are usually lower from the weight of the snow.If you have smaller containers to fill, check out Jessica’s recipes in her DIY potting soil article

How To Prepare Raised Garden Bed

How To Prepare Raised Garden Bed

In some cases, we’ve had to dig a hole in the pathway to pull the root under the side of a raised bed.It was a big job to dig up the bed and remove the roots, and then install a barrier.A narrow trench can be dug on the side of the raised bed which lies in the path of invasive roots.Then we slipped down, on edge, large sheets of HDPE recycled plastic which we got for free from a feed store

How To Build A Raised Garden Bed With Cinder Blocks

How To Build A Raised Garden Bed With Cinder Blocks

CLEVELAND, Ohio -- A few weeks ago in this column, I showed our raised beds built with cedar fence panels and invited readers to share their ideas, and I was not disappointed in the response

How To Make Raised Garden Beds With Brick

How To Make Raised Garden Beds With Brick

Be prepared to give your material supplier the length and height of the wall you plan to build.Make a story pole—a length of 1x2 with evenly spaced lines marking the height of each course of bricks

Best Ground Cover Around Raised Garden Beds

Best Ground Cover Around Raised Garden Beds

After building easy DIY raised garden beds comes the fun part of personalizing them.Raised bed landscaping can help deter weeds and give your garden a personal touch.Plus the prettier your garden is, the more likely you’ll want to spend time out there tending to your veggies.Around my raised beds, I added a river rock border and a paver stone path surrounded by ground cover and mulch.Ground cover plants (sedum tiles and Scotch Moss work well).Stake the string in place to mark where you want your river rocks to be, using the tape measure as needed.Once I measured where the square should be, it was easy to place the rocks roughly around the edges.This is a nice distance for casually walking across the garden at a reasonable pace.For days when I’m taking long strides in a hurry, the pavers are a tad close.Set the pavers to the side and start digging a trench along your defined path.The first time I did this, I dug the trench deep enough for my pavers to be flush with the ground.Once the path is in place, you can add some of the dirt you removed back into your trench between the pavers.There are lots of pretty ground covers that can beautify the area around your garden beds.You can tear each sedum tile into several smaller five-inch pieces and place them around your beds.I used this ground cover to continue my pathway up the hill past my raised beds, from where the pavers ended.I’ve lost a couple Scotch Moss plants because they need a little more water when getting established.Scotch Moss flowers in late spring, and don’t you love the chartreuse color?I added weed barrier and about an inch of pea gravel to go inside my river rock border, all around the beds, pavers and ground cover.To stop the weeds, don’t pull them—they tend to just grow right back.I added black mulch around the rest of my paver path and Scotch Moss.You could also add climbing plants, garden accessories, an arbor, or even a whimsical gnome because YOLO

How To Build Outdoor Raised Garden Beds

How To Build Outdoor Raised Garden Beds

The list of reasons for switching to raised vegetable garden beds is long, but these are the main advantages:.When looking at gauges of metal, remember that a higher number means thinner material.To avoid assembly mix-ups, note that the rails fit between the stiles on the side frames.Outdoor miters look better than square-cut butt joints at first, but they inevitably develop ugly gaps as the wood absorbs and releases moisture.Here’s how to install the planter: Set it into position, then slice into the soil around it, marking its footprint.Move the planter aside and dig a shallow perimeter trench, just a couple inches deep.When the planter is in place, cut a couple large slits in the bottom of the plastic liner so excess water can drain into the soil below—unless you plan to install a self-watering system.One common filler is plastic milk jugs (with caps screwed on tight)

How Deep Does A Raised Bed Need To Be For Potatoes

How Deep Does A Raised Bed Need To Be For Potatoes

Mulches are also ‘top-dressed’ throughout the growing season, and gradually decompose into the top layer of soil adding additional nutrients.Taproots will travel deeper into the soil if nutrients and water are available, and this also brings more trace minerals to the plant.Large-leafed, shallow-rooted plants such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower will still require staking to ensure they stay upright as they grow to maturity.Knowing the average root depth for your garden vegetables will help you decide where to plant each crop and how deeply to prepare your soil.For example, in our garden we may plant shallow rooted crops like lettuce in beds where the subsoil has more clay and does not drain well.Deeper soil provides additional nutrients and trace minerals, which further facilitate plant growth

How To Prepare A Raised Bed For Tomatoes

How To Prepare A Raised Bed For Tomatoes

I love to plant a variety, from the little cherry tomatoes that you can pop in your mouth like candy, to those big juicy ones that you can slice for summer burgers.Last year I let a few of my plants get a bit too wild, and ultimately, it affected the fruit.I’ve bent many a tomato cage by carelessly trying to shove them in the soil around a new plant.Instead, carefully press each “leg” of the cage into the soil, one at a time, until you work the whole thing in deep enough.As packed full of plants as your raised beds may be, avoid taking the garden hose and simply spraying everything, hoping the roots get wet.It’s a good idea to rotate where you plant things every two to three years for a couple of reasons.For example, Colorado potato beetles, which enjoy the foliage of nightshade veggies, like to linger around until spring and lie in wait for your tender new plants.When you’re pulling out spent plants in the fall, be sure to toss any unripe or already-rotten tomatoes in the compost, instead of letting them decompose in the garden

How To Diy A Raised Garden Bed

How To Diy A Raised Garden Bed

There are garden ideas for every budget, skill level and time frame.From cheap and easy to more complex and time consuming garden ideas, there is something for everyone.Before you begin, I recommend reading this guide for how to build a raised garden.$35 DIY Raised Bed Garden from Queen Bee Coupons.Retaining Wall Block Raised Garden Bed from Pet Scribbles.Simple Raised Garden Bed Boxes from Frugal Family Times.DIY Raised Bed (Removable) Pest Gate from Vegetable Gardener.$30 Raised Planter with Wooden Chicken Wire Fence from Remove and Replace.Terra Cotta Pipes Raised Garden from Apartment Therapy.Raised Rock Herb Spiral from Family Food Garden.DIY Raised Garden with Trellis from Pondered Primed and Perfected.Raised Garden Bed and Trellis Combo from Weed Em’ and Reap.Three Tiered, Raised Garden Box from Real World Survivors.DIY Easy Access Raised Garden Bed from The Owner-Builder Network.Corrugated Metal Garden Beds from My Crazy Good Life

How To Make An Elevated Garden Bed

How To Make An Elevated Garden Bed

Since the Middle Ages, when monks filled them with medicinal plants, raised beds have been a smart, simple way to sow and grow things practically anywhere.These elevated mounds of earth, often contained by a rectangular frame, offer total flexibility: You can plot them wherever you want, fill them with your ideal blend of soil, and plant them more densely than a regular garden, which means fewer weeds.The length of the box will depend on your space, but width is important: You want to be able to weed and reach plants without stepping in and crushing them or compacting the soil.You can construct a raised bed from Corten steel, stones, or bricks, but wood planks are the most common material, and the easiest for beginners.If you live in a city where soil contamination from lead or other chemicals is a concern, or want to plant on a patio or another concrete surface, staple heavy-duty landscape or weed-blocking fabric across the bottom of the bed before you place it.Pour a mixture of top-soil and compost into your box (ask an expert or consult your county's cooperative exchange for advice on the right ratio), leaving about an inch of space below the top of the frame

Supplies Needed To Build A Raised Garden

Supplies Needed To Build A Raised Garden

They also come handy for creating a vertical outline around the lumber pieces when you place them on the ground in the arrangement you desire for the raised box

What Size To Make A Raised Garden Bed

What Size To Make A Raised Garden Bed

When I made my first raised beds, these are a few tips I gathered, as well as things I wish I had thought about beforehand.This allows you to easily reach into the raised bed from the side to plant and dig and weed, without having to step into the garden where you risk compacting the soil.If it’s too shallow those roots will reach down into that subsoil (or hard surface) and hit a brick wall.When preparing a raised bed garden, location is everything, but it doesn’t have to be your backyard.If you want to set up a whole drip irrigation system with a line running from your tap or rain barrel, you might want to do this before your raised bed areas are finished and filled.There are some handy soil calculators out there that will help you determine how much you need to fill your raised bed, like this one from Gardener’s Supply Company.As far as type of soil, I like to emphasize buying the best quality that you can afford when preparing a raised bed garden.When I had multiple raised beds to fill, I ordered triple mix from a local supplier (after chatting with them on the phone about my options) and top-dressed it with organic vegetable compost.I like to recommend leaving some in reserve to replenish your raised beds throughout the season.Here are several illustrated 4×8 raised bed layout plans you can use to determine the placement and spacing of your veggie plants

Raised Garden Box Soil Mix

Raised Garden Box Soil Mix

In case you missed it: I had invited my email group to send me any questions they hoped I would answer on the topic of raised bed gardening.I received a huge response, many from folks who plan to start raised bed gardening for the first time this season.If you would like to join the conversation and contribute to future topics, click the red “Get Free Updates” button at the top of this page.It was rich with information learned through my many years of raised bed garden experience (also detailed last week) and a lot of research.Concrete blocks, for instance, are pretty unforgiving in structural soundness on uneven surfaces.The moist soil and plant material being held will put pressure on your bed side walls.Depending on bed length and the material you are using, it may be wise to add some wall support.(It helps to cut the bottom end of the 2”x4” stake into a point to make it easier to drive it into the ground).Since wood has the potential to bow or warp, note the direction of the grain at the end of each board.If you don’t use mortar to adhere your concrete blocks together, I recommend using rebar, which can be driven down through the hollow cores or using some other method of staking to better hold up to the bed pressure.The healthy raised bed soil will infiltrate and improve the health of that subsurface over time, and regardless of how high you are building, it doesn’t hurt to offer your plant’s roots the opportunity to reach down even deeper.For those of you building on hardscape or over contaminated soil, don’t feel like you are missing out on not being able to break up the surface.Additional Structure Considerations: If you are dealing with gophers or other subterranean root-chompers, these burrowing pests are best prevented during the raised bed construction phase.Consider adding a layer of chicken wire or other metal mesh to the bottom of your raised beds.Stainless steel hardware cloth reportedly lasts even longer than galvanized.Burrowing rodents are crafty creatures, so extend your mesh barrier up, alongside the sidewalls of your bed structure.Yes, this can be a lot of work, but you’ll only get one shot at this preventative measure, without having to deconstruct your raised beds down the road.Regardless of the size you are building, the depth you are creating, or the material you are using; I don’t recommend weed cloth.You might think it’s a neat and tidy improvement to place that clean, black weed cloth at the base of your garden bed.Weed mat – regardless of material – provides no benefit and will hamper drainage as the pores eventually clog.The only time I would consider an exception to this rule and risk drainage loss is when fighting Bermuda grass.Instead, the soil is the environment that promotes a healthy ecosystem below the surface – that can facilitate (or hinder) the ability for air, water and nutrients to be utilized by plants and their roots at an optimal level.A healthy soil food web is busy with billions of microscopic organisms as well as larger creatures, like earthworms, all working together.A soil food web is complex, so building that healthy ecosystem doesn’t mean a trip to the home improvement store, buying lots of bags of garden soil to fill up all your raised bed space.Over the years, I’ve developed a mixture of elements that has brought me abundant gardening success.As mentioned earlier in this series, your soil is not the area in which I recommend cutting corners cost-wise.The U.S Composting Council encourages all gardeners and growers to “strive for five.” This refers to the goal of making the organic matter in your soil 5% of the total (by weight).The rough estimate to make that 5% happen is to include organic material of about 30% by volume to the total.It should tend towards the darker side of brown vs

When To Plant Raised Garden Beds

When To Plant Raised Garden Beds

By growing in a raised bed, you can have a productive, abundant vegetable garden — even in just a few square feet.If it's a Gardener's Supply bed, you'll find the soil quantity listed with the product details.When you're filling the beds, be sure to mix in some granular fertilizer, which will get the plants off to a good start.Pick a sunny site; vegetables need at least eight hours of sun each day.Check with your county's Cooperative Extension Service to get the dates, or use an online resource.The granular fertilizer added at the beginning of the season gives your plants a great start.Keep the show growing with regular applications of liquid fertilizer, applied at the rate recommended on the package

Garden Tools For Raised Beds Uk

Garden Tools For Raised Beds Uk

By Linda Hagen FREE WEEKLY NEWSLETTER: Plants, Design Ideas, Gardening Solutions & More!There’s always bigger and better, but buying the best quality tools that your budget will allow, and maintaining them, can go a long way in getting the most out of your investment.They are made of high-tech sport fabric that is water resistant, breathable, and provide a form fit that has been described as a ‘second skin’.Pruning Shears Hand pruners, also called secateurs, help reign in plants that are getting out of control and taking over.Anvil-style pruners cut with a sharp blade meeting a flat surface, similar to a knife on a board.Bypass pruners cut with a sharp blade passing by a sharp-edged flat surface, more like scissors.Anvil pruners are best for dead wood and can cause crush injuries to fresh, green stems and branches.The increased strength from the ratcheting action makes cutting through thicker or harder branches easier.Hand pruners, also called secateurs, help reign in plants that are getting out of control and taking over.Anvil-style pruners cut with a sharp blade meeting a flat surface, similar to a knife on a board.Bypass pruners cut with a sharp blade passing by a sharp-edged flat surface, more like scissors.The long handles provide the leverage it takes to cut through branches up to an inch or more in diameter.It can cut branches up to 2 inches in diameter and is perfect for dry or woody growth.The long handles provide the leverage it takes to cut through branches up to an inch or more in diameter.Forks with a slight curve to the spines are useful for scooping mulch or turning compost piles, much like a pitchfork.Landscape designer Genevieve Schmidt recommends the Radius Garden 203 Pro Ergonomic Steel Digging Fork.The stainless steel, square tines resist rusting and the ergonomic handle has a non-slip grip.They make easy work of digging holes for plants, edging, lifting sod, and moving small mounds of dirt from one area to another.This tool can be more on the pricey side, but a good spade will last you the rest of your gardening life.Treads on top of the blade give a sturdier and more comfortable foot surface when needing an extra push.It has a virtually unbreakable handle made from alloy tubing and a heat-treated blade with a sharp edge.They make easy work of digging holes for plants, edging, lifting sod, and moving small mounds of dirt from one area to another.This tool can be more on the pricey side, but a good spade will last you the rest of your gardening life.Award-winning landscape architect Jack Barnwell highly recommends the new Twist 'n Plant gardening augers from Proven Winners.Adjustable rakes do the job of more than one tool, reaching into narrow areas or gathering large piles of leaves.The rake head expands from 7 to 22 inches, and when stored in the collapsed position, it takes up less room.Vinyl hoses are lighter weight and less expensive, but kink easier and don’t last as long as rubber construction.The Bon Aire Ultimate Hose Nozzle is light weight and has a shut-off at either end of the spray range.The fire-hose-style nozzle goes from a light flow to a drenching shower, and can be used for cleaning concrete when adjusted to a nearly solid stream.The extended reach is also helpful to get to out-of-the-way containers, hanging plants, or the back edges of borders.Choose an appropriate length for your needs - longer for high hanging baskets, shorter for tighter spaces.Kitchen gardener and cookbook author Jeanne Kelley recommends the Dramm One-Touch Rain Wand.The extended reach is also helpful to get to out-of-the-way containers, hanging plants, or the back edges of borders.For outdoor use, our editors recommend the Bloem Deluxe Watering Can with a dual-handle design and removable sprinkle nozzle.Traditional dual-handle, single wheel styles can be harder to balance heavy or unevenly distributed loads.At just 29 pounds overall, it weighs 25% less than a traditional wheelbarrow, and the single handle makes it easy to push, pull and dump

Best Mix For Raised Vegetable Garden

Best Mix For Raised Vegetable Garden

In case you missed it: I had invited my email group to send me any questions they hoped I would answer on the topic of raised bed gardening.I received a huge response, many from folks who plan to start raised bed gardening for the first time this season.If you would like to join the conversation and contribute to future topics, click the red “Get Free Updates” button at the top of this page.It was rich with information learned through my many years of raised bed garden experience (also detailed last week) and a lot of research.Concrete blocks, for instance, are pretty unforgiving in structural soundness on uneven surfaces.The moist soil and plant material being held will put pressure on your bed side walls.Depending on bed length and the material you are using, it may be wise to add some wall support.(It helps to cut the bottom end of the 2”x4” stake into a point to make it easier to drive it into the ground).Since wood has the potential to bow or warp, note the direction of the grain at the end of each board.If you don’t use mortar to adhere your concrete blocks together, I recommend using rebar, which can be driven down through the hollow cores or using some other method of staking to better hold up to the bed pressure.The healthy raised bed soil will infiltrate and improve the health of that subsurface over time, and regardless of how high you are building, it doesn’t hurt to offer your plant’s roots the opportunity to reach down even deeper.For those of you building on hardscape or over contaminated soil, don’t feel like you are missing out on not being able to break up the surface.Additional Structure Considerations: If you are dealing with gophers or other subterranean root-chompers, these burrowing pests are best prevented during the raised bed construction phase.Consider adding a layer of chicken wire or other metal mesh to the bottom of your raised beds.Burrowing rodents are crafty creatures, so extend your mesh barrier up, alongside the sidewalls of your bed structure.Yes, this can be a lot of work, but you’ll only get one shot at this preventative measure, without having to deconstruct your raised beds down the road.Regardless of the size you are building, the depth you are creating, or the material you are using; I don’t recommend weed cloth.You might think it’s a neat and tidy improvement to place that clean, black weed cloth at the base of your garden bed.Weed mat – regardless of material – provides no benefit and will hamper drainage as the pores eventually clog.The only time I would consider an exception to this rule and risk drainage loss is when fighting Bermuda grass.Instead, the soil is the environment that promotes a healthy ecosystem below the surface – that can facilitate (or hinder) the ability for air, water and nutrients to be utilized by plants and their roots at an optimal level.A healthy soil food web is busy with billions of microscopic organisms as well as larger creatures, like earthworms, all working together.A soil food web is complex, so building that healthy ecosystem doesn’t mean a trip to the home improvement store, buying lots of bags of garden soil to fill up all your raised bed space.Over the years, I’ve developed a mixture of elements that has brought me abundant gardening success.As mentioned earlier in this series, your soil is not the area in which I recommend cutting corners cost-wise.The U.S Composting Council encourages all gardeners and growers to “strive for five.” This refers to the goal of making the organic matter in your soil 5% of the total (by weight).The rough estimate to make that 5% happen is to include organic material of about 30% by volume to the total.It should tend towards the darker side of brown vs

Do Raised Beds Need Drainage Holes

Do Raised Beds Need Drainage Holes

One task that I prioritize over the rest is making sure I have good drainage in my raised beds.Raised beds offer one significant advantage over in-ground planting in that they tend to drain and conversely, hold moisture, much better than other environments.At the same time, however, you need to be vigilant about what you are adding to your garden beds to make sure conditions are ideal for planting.Not only will it prevent overwatering or underwatering your plants, but it can also reduce the risk of various diseases associated with water issues, like root rot.There are several pests that will target plants growing in soils with poor drainage.Simply put, if plants are not growing as well as they could or in the best conditions, opportunistic pests will rapidly swoop in for a feast.Plus, plants that are grown in poorly draining soil (particularly that which is overly saturated) will not be able to access oxygen and nutrients.Poorly draining raised beds will seem to take forever to dry out in the spring, especially if you had a heavy snow cover over the winter.You could even add compost as a top dressing around your plants during the growing season if you’d like.You won’t have quite as many nutrients leach out of the soil as a result of regular winter erosion.This will add more structure to the soil so water and nutrients stay locked in a bit longer.Again, you’ll want to test your soil to figure out what kind of management you need, but some good options include:.Cover crops put down deep taproots that help aerate the soil.While these benefits are more pronounced with some kinds of cover crops than others – alfalfa, for example, has a very deep root system that can help pull nutrients up to surrounding plants – all cover crops can help loosen up compacted soil to some extent.A few weeks before you want to plant, simply turn the cover crop back into the soil, either by mechanical or manual tilling.Then, you’ll add brown and green materials, like compost, sawdust, peat moss, wood chips, or animal bedding.Once your plants are in the ground, you can continue to sheet compost around them, adding straw as mulch to help add to your beds and further improve their drainage, too.As I alluded to in the last tip, using mulch is a great way to keep weeds under control in your garden beds and also to improve drainage.If you’ve had problems with water pooling or draining too quickly out of certain corners of your raised beds, try adding mulch.Not only can it help balance things out in the short-term, but as the mulch breaks down, it will also add more structure and support to the surrounding soil.However, it’s important that you don’t neglect your raised beds in favor of curling up inside in front of the fireplace with a hot toddy (you can do that later).Add sheet composting ingredients, if you plan to do that, so they’ll have time to break down over the winter.If you’re frustrated with the poor drainage in your raised beds, it might be tempting to just throw out all the dirt and start over with brand new soil.Following these tips to improve the drainage in your raised beds can save you a lot of headache and backache

How To Build A Raised Garden Bed With 2x4

How To Build A Raised Garden Bed With 2x4

The list of reasons for switching to raised vegetable garden beds is long, but these are the main advantages:.When looking at gauges of metal, remember that a higher number means thinner material.To avoid assembly mix-ups, note that the rails fit between the stiles on the side frames.Outdoor miters look better than square-cut butt joints at first, but they inevitably develop ugly gaps as the wood absorbs and releases moisture.Here’s how to install the planter: Set it into position, then slice into the soil around it, marking its footprint.Move the planter aside and dig a shallow perimeter trench, just a couple inches deep.When the planter is in place, cut a couple large slits in the bottom of the plastic liner so excess water can drain into the soil below—unless you plan to install a self-watering system.One common filler is plastic milk jugs (with caps screwed on tight)

What Soil For Raised Garden

What Soil For Raised Garden

This is especially advantageous for those whose property has hard-packed or clay soil, issues with tree roots, or concerns about pollutants.And since good soil is the foundation of a healthy garden, you want to make sure you’re setting your veggies up for success.The soil in a raised bed will remain loose and friable, rather than being hard-packed over time by footsteps.When I built my raised beds, I called around and ordered what I thought would be a good-quality triple mix.In Ontario where I live, triple mix is generally top soil, compost, and peat moss or black loam.All that rich organic matter is an important component that will hold moisture and provide nutrients to your plants.Topping up your beds with compost will add nutrients back into the soil to prepare it for whatever you plant next.To maintain the health of even the best soil for a raised garden bed, adding organic matter every year is essential.I find the soil levels in my raised beds are usually lower from the weight of the snow.If you have smaller containers to fill, check out Jessica’s recipes in her DIY potting soil article

How To Set Up My Raised Garden Beds

How To Set Up My Raised Garden Beds

When I made my first raised beds, these are a few tips I gathered, as well as things I wish I had thought about beforehand.This allows you to easily reach into the raised bed from the side to plant and dig and weed, without having to step into the garden where you risk compacting the soil.If it’s too shallow those roots will reach down into that subsoil (or hard surface) and hit a brick wall.When preparing a raised bed garden, location is everything, but it doesn’t have to be your backyard.You’ll want to make modifications if you have a slope and assess whether the area drains well.If you want to set up a whole drip irrigation system with a line running from your tap or rain barrel, you might want to do this before your raised bed areas are finished and filled.There are some handy soil calculators out there that will help you determine how much you need to fill your raised bed, like this one from Gardener’s Supply Company.As far as type of soil, I like to emphasize buying the best quality that you can afford when preparing a raised bed garden.When I had multiple raised beds to fill, I ordered triple mix from a local supplier (after chatting with them on the phone about my options) and top-dressed it with organic vegetable compost.Here are several illustrated 4×8 raised bed layout plans you can use to determine the placement and spacing of your veggie plants

Raised Garden Bed Ideas Diy

Raised Garden Bed Ideas Diy

There are garden ideas for every budget, skill level and time frame.From cheap and easy to more complex and time consuming garden ideas, there is something for everyone.Before you begin, I recommend reading this guide for how to build a raised garden.$35 DIY Raised Bed Garden from Queen Bee Coupons.Retaining Wall Block Raised Garden Bed from Pet Scribbles.Simple Raised Garden Bed Boxes from Frugal Family Times.DIY Raised Bed (Removable) Pest Gate from Vegetable Gardener.$30 Raised Planter with Wooden Chicken Wire Fence from Remove and Replace.Terra Cotta Pipes Raised Garden from Apartment Therapy.Raised Rock Herb Spiral from Family Food Garden.DIY Raised Garden with Trellis from Pondered Primed and Perfected.Raised Garden Bed and Trellis Combo from Weed Em’ and Reap.Three Tiered, Raised Garden Box from Real World Survivors.DIY Easy Access Raised Garden Bed from The Owner-Builder Network.Corrugated Metal Garden Beds from My Crazy Good Life

How Do You Build A High Raised Bed Garden Waste

How Do You Build A High Raised Bed Garden Waste

Whether you have a big backyard or a small patio, raised beds can be customized to fit the space.The structure needs to be deep enough for the plants’ roots to grow downwards without hitting a “wall.” You’ll also want to make sure that your raised bed drains well.Tomatoes, for example, which benefit from being planted deeply, require about 24 to 36 inches (60 to 90 cm) of depth for their roots to grow.However, if your raised bed is about a foot high, the growth of the plant may simply be slightly stunted.I have successfully grown tomatoes in a one-foot-high raised bed where there was landscape fabric placed along the bottom (something I would not recommend doing for various reasons).The point I’m making in this case is the roots couldn’t extend below the base of the raised bed because of that barrier.Raised bed depth doesn’t matter as much if the soil underneath it is loose and healthy.Veggies can reach below the frame of the raised bed into the ground below, and grow healthy root systems beneath the garden.But having the edge keeps it tidy, and if you have more than one raised bed, you can create the rows between them, rather than between each type of vegetable plant itself as you would find in a traditional garden.I grow lots of lettuces, baby kale, and herbs, like parsley and cilantro, with no issues.Raised beds at thigh or waist height are great options for those who have problems bending down or kneeling.Another budget-saving tip for a tall raised bed is to fill the bottom third with yard waste—sticks and twigs, composted leaves, etc