Practical Raised Bed Gardening Tips

Many people decide to grow raised bed gardens, which are basically garden beds placed at a higher level than the soil people walk on. Besides helping gardeners with back problems who can’t kneel and bend over their plants, the raised gardens also bring benefits to the plants. This type of gardening improves water drainage, helps gardeners to use space wisely, boosts the growth of plants and makes pest control easier. With all these benefits, you should start your own raised bed garden and these practical raised bed gardening tips will teach you how to manage it.

Test the quality of the soil

The first and the most important of all raised bed gardening tips is to start the project with a soil test that will determine the state and the needs of your soil. The most common type of soil is a mixture of bark, peat moss, and compost, which is a good type, but it might lack some important minerals. Since a soil poor in nutrients and minerals will not encourage the plants to grow properly, you will need to add compost to the soil to make it perfect for holding nutrients, water, and oxygen.

Use organic compost

When you decide to use compost, use organic one made of food remains that you would normally toss in the trash. Instead of doing so, collect all the food residues, peelings, used coffee beans and any other remains and mix it with the soil in to increase its nutritional value.

Improve the quality of the soil

Raised bed gardening tips regarding soil preparation involve a process called solarization, which implies a plastic sheet placed over the soil beds. This plastic sheet will raise the temperature of the soil to a point that will kill pathogens, weeds, and insects. Although this is a process that will take long to complete, its benefits will be long-lasting.

Capitalize space

Another category of useful raised bed gardening tips involves organization and space use. To make sure you will get the maximum yields from each bed, you have to smartly arrange the plants and be careful not to plant too tightly. Instead of planting in square patterns or rows, plant in triangles so that you will be able to fit more plants in each bed. The shape of the bed is also important and a bed with rounded tops that look like an arch will create a wider planting surface than a square shaped bed.

Grow vertical

If your available space only allows you to build a small raised bed, you can gain space by growing the plants vertically. Vining vegetables like tomatoes, peas, squash, melons and more can grow straight up if you tie them to trellises, fences or stakes for support.