You might be asking yourself, ‘why would I need plans for a raised garden bed?’ Well, with vegetable and produce prices soaring higher every season, it’s true that more and more people every day are becoming interested in growing their own food. A backyard home garden can be an inexpensive and fun way to take control of your food supply, while at the same time lowering your grocery bill. Here are some basic ideas and plans for a raised garden bed to get you started.
-When constructing your gardens frame, do not use lumber or building materials that have been treated with any kind of dangerous chemicals. Railroad ties can be treated with creosote and other poisons that will quickly leach into the soil and damage your plants. Untreated hardwoods are best to use, while concrete blocks can be another cost effective and safe border choice.
-Choose a level, slightly raised spot, away from trees but close to your source of water. Sunlight is a must for any garden, and 6-8 hours of direct sun per day would be ideal. For the greatest possible sun exposure, try locating your Raised garden beds in a North to South direction.
-Raised garden beds can vary widely in size, but generally speaking a 3 to 4 foot wide frame, raised anywhere from 6 inches to waist high will work well.
-Use a layer of chicken wire to line the bottom of your garden frame. This will help prevent animals from burrowing underneath and accessing your plants from below.
-Make sure you fill your frame with a high quality gardening soil. Be sure to select a pH balanced healthy soil that drains well; while at the same time retaining a fair amount of water.
Plans for a Raised Garden Bed: Advantages
-Because there is no foot traffic, the soil is not compacted and the roots are allowed to thrive.
-Plants in a raised container garden are planted rather close together creating a microclimate. This important factor conserves water, creates more shade (decreasing weeds!) and increases harvest yield over traditional row gardening.
-Raised gardens have an extended growing season. It will be insulated from the cooler earth below, enabling you to plant earlier and grow later into the season.
-Plants can be raised in beds where the native soil is too nutrient poor to support a garden.
-Being above ground you stoop over less, and overall it’s easier on your back and knees. Waist high planters are a great solution for folks with health issues.