Raised Bed Gardening
You want to grow stuff - but don't have the room -
Raised bed gardening has gained popularity over the past few years. Smaller backyard gardens and families have led to the down-sizing of planting areas and the amount of produce needed.
Raised raised bed gardening is fun and enjoyable for the gardening enthusiast or wannabe. Planting and tending a garden is still a favorite hobby and pastime for millions of persons around the world.
By making a raised garden bed or two in the early spring, home gardeners can plant earlier than planting in unmounded soil. Soil dries and warms up more quickly in the spring in raised beds, explained Jan McNeilan, consumer horticulture agent with the Oregon State University Extension Service.
Weeds? - Weed Science Society of America
Reducing foot traffic on the beds themselves reduces soil compaction, a bane to growing plants. Make the raised beds narrow enough that the center of each bed can be planted, watered and weeded from a footpath beside the bed.
Raised beds ~~Help start gardening earlier in spring
Gardening: A New Layering System for Bountiful Gardens:
To make simple raised beds, choose a well-drained site with a minimum of six hours of sunlight per day, preferably near a water source. Beds should be only as wide as can be easily worked from either side and as long as desired.
The taste of freshly
picked vegetables is beyond compare
Raised beds are smaller in size than traditional gardens making them
easier for most people to maintain. For example, the denser plantings help reduce weed
infestations. The only drawback is because these gardens are raised they require
close attention to the moisture content of the soil in the beds. Be careful and water
generously so the beds are not allowed to dry out.
Because of the work involved, try one or two beds first," suggested McNeilan. "If you like the results, add on more next season."
If the soil is compacted, wait to prepare the bed until the soil is dry enough to pulverize into small chunks.
Spread a two- to three-inch layer of organic material over the soil surface. Organic material can include compost, sawdust, ground bark, leaves, chipped pruning materials, manures or planting mix. Adding an additional source of nitrogen helps the organic material break down more efficiently.
If you are thinking about doing gardening at home this video will surely help.
Rototill or spade the organic material, supplemental nitrogen, any other amendments, and soil down to a depth of six inches.
With a shovel and rake, shape the bed. Shovel a walkway area, about a foot and one-half wide, to a depth of six inches. Add the excavated soil to the top of the bed. Finished raised beds should be eight to12 inches higher than the paths. Level the top of the bed with a rake. Add sawdust or bark to the paths between beds for a less muddy walking surface.
Made from Recycled Plastic
Plant seeds or transplants so they are evenly spaced as the season progresses. Fertilize and water as needed. Keep walkways as dry as possible to minimize weeds. Place stakes at the corners of the beds to prevent the hose from dragging across plants.
Organic material constantly decomposes and disappears, so replenish your raised beds with compost regularly. Cover the beds with two inches of leaves, compost or a cover crop like crimson clover or fava beans each autumn or early spring where the climate is harsher. Turn under cover crop or leaves in spring, and plant again the next year.
"Once the beds have gone through the improvement process, roto-tilling should be unnecessary," said McNeilan. "Light spading or forking will then create a suitable bed for planting. As time goes on, soil will keep loosening and you will be able to garden almost year round."
If you are growing vegetable, do not use creosote soaked old railway ties. Chemicals have a way to leach into the soil and thus into the plants.
The new reused snap in plastic boards and expensive. They are best because they will not rot or contaminate your plants and soil. You can use other materials like stone walls, wood but do not use pressure treated wood unless it is "brown" and does not have zinc in the composition of the treatment chemical, if you are growing veggie... or just pile the dirt up so it is higher than the nearby ground.
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We get e-Mail Comments:
Hi Folks, I have already been using raised beds for about ten years and find that cedar wood lasts a long time. I still have some cedar built beds I built ten years ago. I found the answer to the question I had in mind---Don't use treated lumber! I like the fact that now I can kneel on the grass between the beds and reach across the beds for planting and weeding and I can easily attach wooden supports for agricultural cloth should I need it. I don't have to roto-till and, in fact, I've sold both my tillers. No more gas stink! The soil is easy to turn over too.
On this Island where we have thousands of rocks of all sizes and shapes, I'm able to add compost or topsoil and leave the stones and rocks deep down to create good drainage in this wet winter climate. I conserve water during our dry summers and I don't waste manure or other fertilizers by spreading it all over the lot. Thanks for the beautiful web page. Roy Oram, Pender Island, BC.
p.s. I love your music by my favourite composer, Mozart.
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