Raised bed gardening is a hybrid technique and has been a part of our gardening culture for more than a Millennium. Been known by many other names in different parts of the world at that time, raising garden beds served a distinct set of advantages over traditional farming.
Despite gaining popularity in recent times, this technique still incorporates a variety of old farming principles for growing your raised vegetable garden and is equally effective & efficient.
Raised garden beds, also commonly referred to as garden boxes or elevated gardens, provides various benefits to its user compared to its in-ground counterparts.
Benefits of Having a Raised Garden Bed
Here are a few benefits of having an elevated garden:
- Garden boxes reduce the chances of unwanted weed growth within the vegetation area. Moreover, this technique also prevents the penetration of such unwanted plant growth by shielding it from all sides. Just make are the soil being used is weed-free.
- Not only does this technique prevent weed growth, but it also inhibits the growth of insects and pests, keeping the area spruced up, neat, and clean.
- The most prominent use of raised beds since early times has been to avoid the ill effects of soil erosion. All the nutrition you add to your soil will not runoff, and thus, it won’t require any additional tilling or any other work.
- Raised garden beds are known to promote better growth of vegetation that’s better in terms of plant strength, nutrition, and also requires less growth-time, accompanied by higher yields.
- This type of gardening takes away all the physical strains that you could have got on your back, shoulder, neck, and knees. Maintaining garden boxes is fairly easy and is compatible to be used by the elderly, and physically disabled persons.
- Raised garden boxes give you the most sustainable way of building a small farm in the backyard, and maintain your raised vegetable garden organically.
You can easily own a raised vegetable garden by purchasing a kit from the market or online, but then if you are a DIY enthusiast, this post is just for you as it contains a few added tips and steps to prepare your own little raised garden. First, let’s discuss the set of things you will need!
List of Required Tools
Elevated wooden boxes have been a preferred means of building raised gardens, and constructing one at your home is also quite easy. But before moving on to the materials required, there are a few essential woodwork tools that you should be ready with, to execute this DIY project. That list particularly includes:
- A drill machines
- A hand saw or circular saw
- Measuring Tape
- Speed Square/ Carpenter Square
- Phillips screw head bits
- Common Drill bits (1/8”, 1/4″, 3/8″)
- Galvanized nails or screws
- Raised Bed Liner
Your list of essential tools must include safety equipment such as safety gear, ear protection, gloves, and other necessary items. Besides, you will require to have the best liners for the raised bed. Make sure you prevent any mishaps to maintain that DIY charm and enthusiasm.
Also read: 13 Reasons to buy Yimby Tumbler Composter
Type of Material Required and Size Recommendation For Your Raised Vegetable Garden
When you are building from scratch, the types of material you can use will open a new window. Here, in farmingmethod.com we always try to put every bit of information to ease your farm life.
Lets, learn about the best practices regarding the soil, materials, and its size.
Liner For Raised Bed
The most common question is what to put under the raised bed garden. We have a separate article for that. You can read what to put under your raised bed garden to get more ideas.
Now. there are some options that you can choose from.
- Landscape Fabric
- Gopher Wire
Preferred Type of Wood
It is necessary to understand that it is the right type of woo, besides the quality of soil that predicates your garden, and farm quality. When buying wood, here are certain things that you can look for such as-
- The wood should be safe for growing crops, and resistant against use with soil & humidity.
- Wood should be lasting and rot-resistant.
- Avoid wood that mentions CCA pressure-treatment, and the ones that have been recycled, stained, or painted.
- You can use natural wood such as ginger, onion, cedar, redwood, pine, cypress for a good quality wood structure. There are many others that you can consider for your garden box.
Type Of Soil
The added benefits of extra fertile growth and quality vegetation are all determined by the type of soil you use for your raised garden bed. A lot about the type of soil chosen, however, depends on the climate conditions, weather, pH requirements, and humidity factors.
One easy way to proceed for beginners is to use an equal mixture of high-quality composed and screened topsoil. While there is no particular combination that can get along with all kinds of vegetables and crops, you can always do basic research on the various crop requirements and alter the soil specifications as per the vegetation growth needs.
Determining the Required Size
A 6 inches depth is essential for plantation when using garden boxes. While the actual choice of depth may vary depending on the nature of the crop, an ideal 2 ft depth has been considered to facilitate the compatibility of the garden beds in growing a wider variety of crops and vegetables.
Coming to the width, some people prefer 2 ft width, while some prefer 4, however, the actual choice, here again, depends on the nature of the crop yield space. The width should be enough to make every part of the garden accessible at all times.
The length depends completely on the space available, and the choice of the user. There are several variations seen when it comes to the box length, and it may vary anywhere between 6 feet to 12 feet.
The size that we will consider here would be a normal 6ft length by 4ft width, 2 ft depth along with elevation of 2 ft underneath.
Preparing the Place for your Raised Garden Bed
A lot of factors related to your raised vegetable garden depends on the landscape and site that you choose. The most important thing to consider is proper exposure of sunlight for a range of 6 to 8 hours daily to ensure proper nutrition and growth.
Despite being mentioned a few times in this post, your raised vegetable garden doesn’t necessarily need to be in the backyard of your house. Depending on the sunlight exposure, it can be placed on the rooftop, front yard, or anywhere that’s comfortable and convenient for all its purposes.
Besides, if you are planning to install an irrigation system to ease up the watering process, you will have to make sure the site is well prepared and compatible with box placement and architecture.
List of Materials to build a 6 ft x 4 ft x 2 ft rectangular garden box with 2 ft leg elevation.
- 5 boards of dimension 10 ft by 1 ft and 1-inch width.
- 4 by 4 wooden posts (cedar or any durable wood post that’s strong and rot-resistant.
- Steel Fencing of approx. 6 ft by 4 ft dimension.
- Landscape fabric of 6 ft by 4 ft dimension.
Building the Elevated Garden Box
- Cut the 10 ft x 1 ft boards in a 6 to 4 ratio, making 4 boards each of 6 ft by 1 ft and 4 ft by 1 ft.
- For the legs, cut the 4 by 4 wood post up to 4 ft length.
- Join the boards using drills and galvanized screws to form a perfect rectangular shape that is 6ft by 4 ft in dimension, with 2 ft depth. Cross-check the dimension by justifying the diagonal length of each side.
- Attach the four legs on each corner of the rectangular box, and fix it properly with drills and screws.
- Take a 10 ft x 1ft board and cut it in 3 ft by 1 ft length each. Use these pieces to fix the bottom of the bed by placing them at an equal distance with some gap.
- Place the steel fencing over the bed of the garden box. Fix the fencing with the base using a stapler, or a nail gun.
- Place the landscape fabric over the steel fencing without leaving any extra space at the corners.
- Place the soil as per your needs and shuffle it effectively so that it is properly mixed.
With the above set and done, you are ready with an elevated garden to grow veggies of your choice. With proper care and gardening, you will find your personally raised vegetable garden bloom in no time.