So you want to start a garden...did you know that one of the easiest ways to start a garden, especially for the garden is with a raised bed garden? Building the casing for the raised bed is the first step, knowing how exactly to intensive gardent is the secret to success. All of that can be learned right here....But I am going to start from the beginning, building that raised bed.
Before we get into building that raised bed you should have somewhat of an idea why building a raised bed should be your preferred method of gardening. First, a raised bed allows you to control the soil, minimizing the consequences of poorly aerated soil and unfertile soil. My soil is only about 6 inches thick, with bedrock underneath. If I had to depend on a conventional garden I could never get the things to grow that I want. Second, a raised bed reduced your prep and maintenance work load. A raised bed is easier to weed and filling it takes no time at all. If you plan properly you can even include irragation for each bed. Trust me...a raised bed is the way to go.
Building that raised bed takes no time at all. A raised bed is just that...raised. There are a zillion ways you can create that border from simply piling dirt on to landscape fabric, to creating beautifully landscaped gardens with paver stones. I first created raised beds with cinder blocks...but I believe this is a much easier method, so here we go.
You need to decide on the size of raised bed, I like a mix of 4'x4' and 10 x 5, the key is to pick a number that is easily dividable with the lumber you choose, but I would definitely plan for a mix of sizes. Now you need to purchase your lumber, don't get that treated stuff, you can paint the outside of the wood if you want, but I want the inside au-natural...will it eventually rot? Sure...but not for at least several years and when that happens it is cheap enough to simply replace the wood. Once you get your planks, lets say 10' planks for arguments sake, I like to keep the beds no wider than 5', that way you are not walking in the bed...you want to avoid that at all costs...so keep it no wider than 5'. I buy three 2x10x10's and cut one in half. You will also purchase a 6ft 4x4 post. Your going to cut that post up into 10" sections, you need one for each corner. You will also purchase lag bolts, I like 1/2" size. Hopefully you have a battery drill and a drill bit just one size smaller than the lag bolt, you will also need a socket set. Your going to then set the planks up as if you were building a box, it helps if you have an assistant. Then, take your corner post section and fit it right into where the boards meet up...see ....like a glove. Your going to drill two holes through each board into the post section, I do one at a time. The next step is simple...put in your lag bolt and tighten with socket wrench. Do this to each corner and your done. Dont waste time digging the soil below, most veggies grow in the top 6" of the soil..some go deeper so that 10" wide board is sufficient for whatever you are going, things like potatoes you will just create a small hill within the bed. Go get yourself some newspapers and line the ground inside your new garden bed frame until there is no more grass showing. Now comes the fun part...adding the dirt. If you want to do this right you should have a large wheel barrow, or even a tarp where you can mix your soil, compost, fertilizer, and any other additives together before adding to your bed. I like to use a mixture of two parts top soil, one part humus, and one part manure...I find this works really well. To fill a bed that size you will need quite a few bags...the easier thing to do is have someone in the area deliver a load of topsoil and a load of manure and then just buy some bags of humus, if you can find composted horse manure then just mix it half and half with topsoil. Once you add that to your bed...your ready to plant. This is the time to add any type of irrigation...dont do it afterwards or it is a royal pain. My recommendation would be a simple soaker hose zigzag through the bed. Until next time...HAPPY GARDENING!
Pages in category "Raised Bed Intensive Gardening"
This category contains only the following page.