Raised bed gardening is a great way to grow vegetables, especially if the native soil in your yard is trampled, lacks nutrients, or has poor drainage. Raised garden beds have long been popular with gardening professionals, helping them produce abundant yields in half the space. More recently, recreational gardeners have also discovered the benefits of this practical mini farm or balcony garden for their yards. It provides a back-friendly working position and optimal growing and harvesting conditions since there is no need to bend over to pull weeds or harvest vegetables. If you're after a successful raised garden bed, then we recommend these pro tips to keep your garden thriving.
1. Choose the correct location:
When choosing the right location for your loft bed, it's important to consider several factors, including sunlight, water sources, and aesthetic harmony. Make sure to choose a location that can receive at least 6 hours of sunlight and is close to a water source. You may also want to place your raised bed where it blends in with the rest of the garden, or where it is considered unattractive and needs to be brightened. Make sure your plants are protected from extreme winds and heat. It's important to remember that plants like cucumbers and zucchini need a wind shelter in the garden, while plants like tomatoes and peppers are less sensitive. Leafy greens like lettuce and spinach are also shade tolerant, so you can plant them in places with less sun.
2. Understand the needs of plants:
Beginners are generally advised to start with herbs because they are hardy and easy to grow. Other plants, like tomatoes, can be more challenging to grow and require additional monitoring and maintenance. Once you're ready to grow more challenging plants, be sure to properly research their needs, keeping factors such as sunlight amount and adding necessary soil amendments in mind. Transplanting is the process of removing plants and relocating them to another location. Most warm-season plants, like tomatoes, should be transplanted, while most cool-season plants should be sown.
3. Plant in advance:
When plants are grown under foil or glass, they are able to grow earlier because the heated, humid air enclosed in the walls encourages faster and earlier growth. This is essential not only in spring, but also for continuous planting throughout the rest of the year. You can combine cool frames with raised garden beds to ensure a good harvest. Many plants grow better in raised garden beds, produce higher yields and are ready for harvest earlier than those grown in the ground. Make sure not to plant too early, which can stunt the plant's growth. When nighttime temperatures are around 40 degrees, you can start growing crops.
4. Fill with the correct soil:
To ensure higher yields, it is important to fill your raised garden beds with high-quality soil. You should avoid using native soil in your yard because it can be contaminated or poorly composed. The ideal soil type is sandy loam, which is loose, well-drained, organic-rich soil in nature. You can purchase special raised garden bed soil bags designed for raised garden beds, or you can experiment with a mix of potting soil and garden soil on your own.
If you want to save money, we recommend you try the giant culture method, which is a process of creating mounds from decaying wood and organic materials to replicate the ideal natural environment for your crops. You can reuse existing logs and branches located around your property for this method. Avoid fertilizers that are not specifically labeled for fruits and vegetables, as they may contain the wrong nutrients and reduce the size of your harvest.
5. Add compost:
Compost is an important ingredient in any garden, often enriching the soil with key nutrients. To maintain healthy soil, add a layer of compost at least 1-2 inches thick. This is an important step if you want to plan ahead for next year's harvest. Adding compost to your garden bed after plants stop producing, along with a layer of organic mulch, will ensure that organic nutrients are added to the soil for spring planting. You can also supplement the soil with compost when severe storms erode the soil, when trees and vegetables are blooming, and when you notice the soil is dense, sandy, or full of clay. After you've filled your garden bed with a layer of garden soil, add a layer of compost. It is critical to fill the raised bed under the edge so it does not overflow,
Be careful adding too much commercial compost, as high salinity can cause plants to wilt. Nutrient-rich homemade compost is recommended as an alternative. Remember, when it comes to properly filling a raised garden bed, only recommendations can be made, as it ultimately depends on your budget and the materials you have at your disposal.
6. Choose the right material:
It's important to choose the right material for your garden bed, especially if you're looking for a long-lasting option. Wooden beds break down faster than metal beds and are less durable and resistant to the elements. Choosing a metal raised garden bed with modular components will greatly reduce the tedium of setup and maintenance involved in building your own garden bed. Plus, they last longer and don't have the same risk of chemical leaching as treated wood.
7. Wrap bubble foil around the bed:
In spring or fall, some people decide to wrap bubble foil around their raised beds. This helps keep heat in the bed and promotes decomposition, which helps warm the soil and allows you to multiply plants earlier, or harvest longer.
8. Add a layer of overlay:
Add a layer of mulch at the end of the growing season to protect the soil from cold winter weather. Once the plants are established, you should also add mulch this season to retain soil moisture and prevent weeds from multiplying. Keeping the soil cool throughout the winter helps maintain healthy soil in the spring. For best results, apply evenly in a 2-inch layer and press lightly.
9. Rooted aquatic plants:
You should water at the base of the plant rather than using a sprinkler or sprayer, which tends to spray the leaves. This can increase the likelihood of fungal disease or lead to oversaturation. Consider using a soaker hose or installing a drip irrigation system to deliver water at the ground level.
All of our raised garden beds are modular and can be as small as 2'x3.5' or as large as 8'x4' or larger, giving plants plenty of room to thrive and establish a deep root system. Our beds are large enough to hold at least two rows of plants. If you want to have a beautiful and productive garden, you should definitely try our raised beds.
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