We aren’t new to raised bed gardening, we just have never build a raised bed garden yet. The ones we have were already built and sitting in our backyard when we purchased our home. They are now old and falling apart, so it’s time for us to build our own raised bed gardens.
Raised bed gardens which are gardens beds built on top of your existing soil. For us they are perfect as our yard is made of concrete. Okay it’s dirt but it’s hard dense clay that uses up all my energy just trying to break it up.
We have two raised bed gardens at the moment. One is mine and the other Jenny’s. She is a lover of Petunias and I love everything else garden related. I use my raised bed to grow tasty strawberries and zucchinis. I also added a few clematis to Jenny’s raised bed to make use of the big trellis that goes up the back of the bed.
These are only a foot about ground which is still a lot of bending and crouching which hurts my back in no time. Our new raised bed gardens will be much higher so that we could sit on them to work the gardens if we feel like it.
I saw raised bed gardens at the YMCA off Van Harvey Blvd which are perfect. They are actually higher than we had planned but we wouldn’t have to bend much at all. I think they would be ideal for what we want.
Raised Bed Garden Benefits We Like
- less of a weeding problem;
- I get to dig in great topsoil instead of clay;
- I don’t but I could move the raised beds if necessary;
- I waste less space using raised beds;
- I never walk and compact the soil;
- raised bed gardens heat up quicker come spring;
- drainage is no longer an issue;
- they look marvellous.
Building From Scratch or Prefabricated
I am not sure whether we will build our raised beds from scratch by buying the materials and getting out the saw, hammer and nails or if we will go with a kit. If our son is home to help I would prefer making it a project the two of us can work on. If not it’s likely a raised bed kit.
I like wood but would never go with treated lumber because we would be growing things we could eat and that’s a scary thought. For this reason we may be looking at other materials that are more environmentally safe such as brick, cement blocks or even rock. We have also thought about recycled plastic.
You may want to have access to raised bed garden plans which can really help if you are not inclined that way.
Don’t Build In The Shade
I didn’t put a lot of thought into our first garden and mid summer I realized it was mostly shaded during the day which wasn’t my intent. The second garden I put in was too close to the property fence and trees grew tall enough to block early morning sun.
I also had a real problem with the second garden because it was put in a low area of the yard and gets flooded easily. Last year was the wettest year I can remember and so our vegetable garden had their roots in water most of the spring and summer, right up until fall.
Dad Always Said, Measure Twice, Cut Once
I worked in construction for a while and heard the same phrase there. It’s good advice and will save you a lot of money. I would suggest you measure the length, width and height and take those measurements with you to the hardware store so you get it right. Even get them to cut the lengths you will need.
We still have at least another month before it will be nice enough to get outside and start building but I am so looking forward to our building our first every raised bed gardens.