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Raised Bed Gardening Tips – Simple and Effective

Thinking that raised bed gardening might be a good choice for your space or home? There’s a reason why using raised beds has become quite a popular choice. Not only is it a simple way to get your garden space set up quickly but it’s also an easy long-term gardening solution when you don’t have a ton of space. 

Raised garden bed

Depending on where you live in the world, raised bed gardening might or might not be an option for you. If you think that there’s a chance that you can use this type of gardening to grow your own foods and herbs, it’s time to dive into the logistics and plan to make it happen. 

What Is Raised Bed Gardening

Overall, a raised garden bed is basically a type of garden bed that is built upon the soil in your yard or on a space that is above the ground.

Raised garden beds don’t require any digging into the ground and are typically built using a different type of material as the border. This can be wood, cement, hay, etc.

Different people will use different supplies to create their raised beds depending on the climate and area that they live. 

Why Use a Raised Bed Garden

There are many reasons why people would choose a garden bed that is raised, rather than planting straight in the ground. Some reasons are in their control while others or not.

One of the main reasons that people use raised garden beds is because the ground or soil isn’t conducive for planting a garden. Either the soil in the ground doesn’t have all the nutrients needed to produce and grow food, or there is too much clay or rocks in the soil to create a great garden area.

When this happens, the easiest solution is to create a garden bed of their own that they can fill with great soil and other nutrients that are needed.

Another reason that people use raised garden beds is that they’re living in an area temporarily. Using garden beds gives them the chance to create a garden for the short time that they’re there and then it can easily be taken apart when they leave.

Older people and people with disabilities may choose to use raised beds because they are much easier to access. There’s no unnecessary bending, and it’s much easier to weed.

And lastly, people use gardening beds when they live in a small space or have a small yard area. The beauty of garden beds is that you can make them any size that you want to fit any size space. As long as natural light can get to it to help it grow, garden beds can be made of all varied sizes. 

Raised Bed Gardening Books

Even though the thought process behind having your own raised garden might seem simple, there are many things that you need to keep in mind and learn. This is why having a few gardening books to walk you through the process can save you from more work later in the future. 

Raised Bed Gardening for Beginners: Everything You Need to Know to Start and Sustain a Thriving Garden

Raised Bed Gardening for Beginners is a great book for just starting out. From setting up your garden bed to figuring out the soil and maintaining temperatures, you’ll get all the answers that you’re looking for here.

Written by a lifelong gardener, this book breaks down all the questions that all new gardeners have and answers them in a simple and easy process. 

Raised Bed Revolution: Build It, Fill It, Plant It ... Garden Anywhere!

This book is proof that you can build a garden anywhere. Find out the perfect materials needed for a raised garden bed, get the measurements, find cost-effective gardening solutions, and get the confidence to implement and start your garden journey. The Raised Bed Revolution book will change everything you thought you knew about gardening – in a good way! 

Veg in One Bed: How to Grow an Abundance of Food in One Raised Bed, Month by Month

Do you think that gardening is just seasonal? Veg In One Bed proves that it doesn’t have to be. Not only that, but this book also shows you how to grow all your vegetables in one small space and in the very same gardening bed, over and over again. This book teaches you how to utilize the small space and grow an abundance of food. 

How To Build a Raised Bed Garden

Depending on what type of raised bed garden you’re wanting to make, there are options. Here is a simple sample of a wood raised garden bed that won’t take long to make at all. 

Decide what size of a raised bed that you want

Once you decide on the size, you can have any local lumber yard cut the wood to your liking. You can cut it yourself if you have the tools and equipment to do so.

Keep in mind that you can also order kits for garden beds online or buy them at your local store as well. Raised garden kits come already cut and ready for you to put together.

Set your cut boards in place and support them

After you have the boards cut and have them in your space outdoors that you’re wanting to get your garden bed set up, it’s time to piece them together by hammering in a nail to hold them all in place. It’s also a good idea to use stakes in the corners so that it keeps the boards up and gives them more support. 

Add in the soil

The purpose of having your garden bed is that you’re able to fill it full of soil and nutrients to create the best possible growing environment for your plants.

Once you’ve created a secure and steady garden bed structure, it’s time to fill it full of the soil that you need and make certain that it’s deep enough to plant in the seeds and plants.  One of the best ways to fill a garden bed is to use the lasagna gardening method, where you layer different types of material your garden needs.

You will need to have at least 6-12 inches of soil for your garden bed to give the plants and roots enough soil to grow in and expand. Any less than that and you’re going to be depriving your plants of nutrients. 

Building a garden bed isn’t hard and there are many ways to have one built. It’s a good idea to talk to other gardeners in your area that have built their own garden beds as well so that you can see theirs and have a local visual of what you’re hoping to build. 

Raised Bed Gardening Tips

Since raised bed gardening is quite popular, here are a few simple tips to remember.

  • Put your garden bed in an area that gets good sunlight and has good water drainage as well. 
  • Plan ahead and know that if you’re going to be moving soon, a kit might be the best for you to start.  
  • Don’t forget that you can easily plant veggies and food that have already started growing to get a headstart on growing them. 

Frequently asked questions about raised bed gardening

Should I build my own raised bed garden, or buy a kit?

This all just depends on the effort that you want to put into it. Either option is fine, but obviously building your own is a lot more work. Kits can be great but they will be a lot more costly, too. 

Is it hard to build a raised bed from scratch?

Not necessarily. Some of us are better at DIY than others. There are many varied options for building your own raised garden bed so find one that makes you feel the most confident to tackle. Find a plan online and follow it. It should be easy enough to build your own.

How high should my raised garden bed be?

It depends on what you wan tot plant in it. Some shallow root vegetables (radishes, lettuce, swiss chard, etc.) can be planted in beds as low as 6″ tall.  But most plants need at least 12″ depth.

The biggest thing to worry about is having your soil be deep enough for your plants to grow. Of course, if you’re worried about animals getting into your garden, you will need to add some extra height to your garden bed as well. 

How is gardening in raised beds different than regular gardening?

Gardening in raised beds keeps your space more organized, is easier to keep weed-free, and can be more comparable for some people, as you don’t need to bend all the way to the ground level

Regular gardening does require more work overall. Things like tilling the ground and pulling out weeds that have grown up all year, just to get it ready and primed to plant. 

There are advantages and disadvantages to each method, so choose what works best for you.

Who can benefit from gardening in raised beds?

Anyone can! Gardening is raised beds is a great way to give anyone, anywhere a garden fast. Raised garden beds are also a great way to have the kids join in on the gardening fun, too. They’ll learn how to garden and set up their own space, even if it’s a small one. 

Raised garden beds are also great for people who are disabled or handicapped or elderly/senior as well. Since it’s a small space, it’s just a lot more manageable and easy to maintain and move around with. 

What can I plant in a raised bed garden?

Anything that you want! As long as you’re choosing foods that are good for your growing area, you should be able to plant anything that you want in your raised garden bed. This year we planted almost all of our vegetables in raised beds, and our garden did amazingly well.

Remember that the depth of your soil is going to be extremely important during this time and is imperative for certain types of plants. This is especially true for foods like potatoes or carrots that grow underground as they’ll need a deep enough area to continue to grow and thrive. 

Raised garden beds designs

Raised garden bed ladder

It’s always nice to see what other people did before you get started. So, here are a few ideas of raised garden bed designs.

I love this staggered design for a garden bed. Perfect for strawberries, as seen above. They’ll cascade down and will be very easy to pick.

Raised beds with gravel in between

This set up is very organized. I also like the gravel in between the raised beds to help to keep the weeds in check.

Tall garden beds

Here’s an example of taller garden beds, perfect for older people who need an elevated garden.

Extra tall garden beds

When you want a raised garden bed for esthetic purposes, this is great! Also if you want t garden standing up.

U shaped garden bed

Beautiful and efficient, this garden bed will let you garden without stretching too much. 

Now that you know these simple raised bed gardening tips, what type of raised garden bed are you planning on using? 

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Adriana Copaceanu is a passionate nature lover living in the country on her dream property where she grows vegetables, lavender, and wildflowers that she shares with the wildlife they attract. When she's not in the garden, she loves spending time with her chickens and planning her next nature project. Check out her books below:

How to Grow Lavender for Fun and Profit: Lessons Learned from Planting Three Hundred Lavender Plants

How to Raise Chickens for Eggs: A Guide to Raising Happy, Healthy Chickens for Nutritious, Organic Eggs at Home

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