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How to build a raised garden bed: Step-by-step guide

When landscaping, we often get requests for raised garden beds since they are excellent to build a garden design around as a main feature, or are a common feature that many would like incorporating into their design for easy maintenance and efficient plant management.

We’d like to take you through what a raised garden bed actually is, why you might want one and explain the step-by-step process so that you, other landscapers and budding gardeners can build your own.

What is a raised garden bed?

A raised garden bed is generally a large planting box that offers perfect drainage, protection from pests and easy access to crops. It not only boosts vegetables above potentially waterlogged grounds, raised garden beds are easier to keep free of encroaching grass in comparison to ground level beds, whilst elevated soil warms quickly in spring and drains more easily after a rain.

Planting, thinning, weeding and harvest also become a lot easier in raised beds, helping to turn your backyard into the farm of your dreams!

raised-garden-bed-supplies-build-a-raised-garden-bed

Beyond these benefits is the control—as you grow your favourite foods or plants, you feed and soak your plants with simply what they require for optimum growth, since the soil can be of the composition you need as you are not planting directly into the ground.

A raised bed is efficient for growing as well as making an attractive centrepiece for your garden when fitted as a bottomless frame set into a shallow trench. The edges can be of any durable building material, including rock, brick, concrete and interlocking blocks. Watering troughs or claw-foot tubs will also work as long as they have the capacity and drainage.

Want to grow fresh veggies and flowers but worried about the limited space? A raised garden bed is a perfect solution. Here’s a step by step guide explaining how to make one.

Step 1: Choose the right location

Before you choose the right location to build the raised garden bed, keep in mind the type of plants you want to grow and how much sun, shade and wind they will need. Choose a place that fits your plants’ needs as much as possible, or find a spot that compromises on a few needs of multiple plants to get the best results.

Step 2: Building the Garden Bed

Before building the bed, you need to check out how big you want it to be. The size of the bed should be at least 6 inches high to provide easy accessibility and gives roots plenty of space to grow. For 4-foot by 6-foot bed with 2X4 untreated lumber, mark the lengths on the wall and cut the boards accordingly.

You can even cut posts for easy installation along the walls which give additional strength to the bed. Depending on the length of your support posts, drill two to three holes in them and connect all sides with screws to form a box. The posts should be on the inside of the bed.

Step 3: Prepare your Location

Place the frame in position and mark the outline with a shovel. Putting in the bed on the ground instead of a tough surface — like concrete — permits correct root growth and drainage.
Set the frame aside to get rid of the grass. Remove the dirt to help new plants grow deeply into the bottom. Before setting the bed, staple wide-mesh to the bottom of the frame to help prevent weeds and earthworms from ruining your crops or other plants.

Depending on the material you would like to use for your border, your will need to lay foundations accordingly. Check out these guidelines on the foundations you need and more information on preparing your raised garden bed base.

Step 4: Adding Soil and Plants

Raised garden beds can lose their nutrients sooner than normal soil, so fill the bed with a mixture of compost and nutrient-rich soil (this can be sterilised garden soil or loam). Set the plants gently and fill your bed, keeping the soil loose around plants so that water can easily reach the roots.

Step5: Watering

Try to water the plants in the morning when less water evaporates in the sun.

Step 6: Raised Garden Bed Options

Consider adding a mesh cover with wooden frames and PVC pipes to keep birds and insects away.

We hope you found this guide to raised garden beds useful. Check back soon for more helpful garnering tips and hints, and if you enjoyed this article, please share it on Facebook!

This article was brought to you by Kite Landscape’s expert landscapers based in Maidenhead, Windsor, Wokingham and surrounding areas. If you need some landscape gardening for your property or business, do get in touch, or visit our landscaping page for more information.  

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