How to build raised garden beds under budget
If you are a gardening hobbyist, and you have been following a similar gardening for a long time—then, it is time for you to spruce up the direction of your hobby. Of course, gardening is not simply limited to sowing seeds, watering the plants, trimming the overgrown bushes, and plucking fresh roses for your dining table—it is so much more than that.
You may be inclined towards various types of gardening, such as, residential gardening, community gardening, or even water gardening. However, the trend of raised-bed gardening has grown over the years, and it has become a top choice amongst several home and apartment owners. Let’s have a look at what raised-bed gardens are and how to grow them in your house:
What are raised-bed gardens?
Raised-bed gardening is a contemporary type of gardening, where a gardener is expected to enclose the soil in containment units, known as beds. The length of the raised beds is estimated to be between 3 ft. to 4 ft., and they are generally constructed using a combination of concrete, wood, or rock. When experimenting with raised-bed gardening, the gardening soil is raised above the contiguous soil, and it is usually enriched using compost for enhancing the growth properties of the soil.
There are several uses of raised bed gardening. For instance, if you are contemplating growing basil or parsley leafs in your garden then, you can invest in raised garden beds to cultivate the seeds for these plants. You can also grow a variety of vegetables or vegetable plants in geometric containments, and it would allow you to grow vegetable plants without creating a fuss in your garden.
You can experiment with several soil types when using raised bed gardens. For instance, if you want to grow roses in one of the containment units then, you can add loam to it and sow seeds to grow roses in it. Similarly, you can arrange for organic soil in the garden beds for enabling the growth of parsley, basil, thyme, and other edible leafs. It would help you with growing plants in accordance with the recommended soil type and care for them accordingly.
Benefits of raised bed gardening:
Raised garden beds, alternatively known as garden boxes, are essential for growing small sections of flowers and vegetables across your garden. There are several benefits to using raised beds over traditional gardening, and how it can help with improving the quality of gardening by a tenfold. For starters, the use of garden boxes prevents the pathway weeds from contaminating organic garden soil as well as it keeps the soil save from unwanted compaction. In addition, it provides drainage to delicate loam soil and it prevents the slugs and snails from invading your ingestible plants.
The sides of the raised beds add protection to your garden, and it plays a crucial role in preventing the erosion of the soil under unfavorable circumstances. In certain regions, the gardeners rely on raised beds for planting vegetable leafs, as the soil tends to be suppler and tender when it is placed above the ground level—which supplements the growth of the seeds.
When looking for raised beds, you should make sure that you are not looking at garden planters, as these two containment units share certain similarities. The garden planters are equipped with semi-permeable cloth barrier, which allows the drainage of water through the provided bottom section.
On the contrary, raised beds are constructed without such bottoms, and they are relatively open towards the ground.
Let’s have a look at the in-depth benefits of using raised beds for gardening purposes:
- No tilling is beneficial for the soil
If you were to inspect the structure of a raised bed garden closely, you will find that a raised bed helps with setting up your soil for an easy and simple-to-follow gardening regime. A gardener is no longer required to till or harrow the soil for sowing seeds and other plantation nutrients to the garden boxes. They can simply add the fertilizers and amendments from the top and call it a day. On the other hand, they can use simple gardening tools for disseminating the products and seeds into the soil.
If you are invested in growing your plants and vegetables then, you would be expected to invest in soil conditioners, such as manures, composts, and mulches. However, you would be required to put in extra hard work for circulating the conditioners throughout the soil. Using garden beds allow you to pour the soil conditioners from the top surface, and it would be absorbed instantly. As an additional tip—the worms and roots in the soil are responsible for tilling it organically, while, tilling the soil manually or gardening tools would deplete the structure soil—not favorable for growing vegetable leafs.
- It is effective for your back
While, gardening is associated with improving your health and extending your life’s expectancy—gardening incessantly could certainly take a toll on your vertebrae column. It is no wonder that knees and back tend to get strained during watering your plants or planting new seeds—which may provoke you to call it quits on your newly found hobby.
If you have musculoskeletal problems and you still want to garden then, you can invest in a 12” tall garden bed to continue with your hobby. It would provide you with enough leverage to add seeds, plant the soils, trim the thrones, and groom your gardens without bending excessively. It is an effective option for those who are interested in pursuing a career in gardening or, simply want to garden in their leisure time.
- Raised beds look aesthetically cleaner and nice
There is nothing more aesthetically pleasing than a groomed and organized landscape. A messed up or jumbled up garden looks painful to look at, and you will never know what kinds of pests are attacking your plants and soil quality.
While, raised beds may add a beautiful appeal to your garden—it also serves a practical purpose to your garden. If you are attempting to grow a vegetable garden or a rose bed then, a raised bed may be a necessity for you. Raised beds also help with clearing out the pathways in your landscape, which is a must for most homeowners.
- Raised beds help with eradicating the invasion of critters
When growing ingestible or edible plants, you should make all the necessary efforts to keep the critters, pests, slugs, and snails away from your garden. The slugs are inclined to climb diagonally but, if you use a garden box with tall sides then, it would stop the invasion of the slugs. A majority of the expert gardeners suggest using copper flashing on your garden boxes, which helps with the prevention of critters notably.
As an alternative, you can install a hardware cloth at the bottom section of the garden box, and it would prevent the groundhogs from climbing your garden. Also, it prevents the dogs from soiling your plants.
- Raising beds enables a better drainage
When planning a gardening idea, you should arrange for proper means to enable the drainage of excessive water from the soil. If your gardens are susceptible to flooding or swampy yards then, resorting to a raised garden bed may be your only option to facilitate the drainage of excessive water from the soil. Garden beds come in various sizes and lengths; however, the experts recommend getting an 11” raised bed for overseeing the drainage of water from the plants.
How to make DIY garden boxes:
If you willing to take your hobby to a next level then, you should try constructing a raised garden bed at your expense. You would be required to invest in few woods, tools, and learn a step-by-step approach for making your own DIY raised gardens. Speaking of wood, you should be familiar with the wood to use for construction purposes, the length of the bed as well as decide that whether you want to construct the entire bed or, use readymade components for making your customized raised garden bed.
- What kind of wood to use:
In certain cases, most expert gardeners would recommend using cedar wood for constructing garden beds. Cedar wood is rot-resistant and it is easier to cut in comparison to its counterparts. You can choose between Vermont white cedar or Western red cedar for manufacturing your DIY raised garden bed. As an alternative, you can also choose Juniper cedar or Port Orford cedar for making your garden boxes. Or, you can also use redwood (another rot-resistant wood) material for constructing personalized garden beds.
- Ideal length of the bed:
Since you are in charge of constructing the garden boxes, the length of the boxes could vary between 6” height and 36” length; however, the common height is noted at 11”.
- Ideal width of the bed:
Expert gardeners recommend choosing garden beds with a width of 4”. It helps with reaching the center of the bed without any restrains.
Step-by-step approach on building raised garden beds under budget:
You can use affordable and accessible tools for constructing raised garden beds, and the items wouldn’t cost you more than $50 for the entire project. Let’s have a look at a step by step approach on how to create your personalized garden boxes:
Step-1: Prepare the soil for your garden box:
Start with choosing a site for your bed. You should make sure that there is enough sunlight and shade to facilitate the growth of the plants properly. If you are still contemplating which plants to grow in the box; choose the spot that is visible to sunlight for approximately 5-6 hours.
While, you can make your bed on a concrete surface, choosing a grass or soiled location would provide better leverage and nourishment properties to your DIY garden. It would also facilitate a better drainage of the water and it would help with the growth and nourishment of the roots.
Step-2: Frame the garden box and arrange for screws
Assemble longer pieces of wood parallel to each other and place the shorter planks of wood perpendicular to each other. Note down the measurements of the wooden planks and use an electric drill for drilling holes into the wooden planks to assemble it further.
Step-3: Build the bed
Take a screw driver and start with assembling the pieces for final construction. Ask another person to hold the wooden planks for you. Use a speed square for making sure that the boards are expected to conjoin at a 90-degree angle. Screw the wooden planks together for the completion of the project. Make sure to hold the planks properly when assembling them into a garden bed. Repeat the process until you have garnered favorable outcomes.
As a side note, to improve the life expectancy of the wood, try using a staple gun along with a heavy-duty plastic sheeting for attaching to your bed. It would not only make the planks resistant to rotting but, it would also make sure that the beds are sustainable to use.
Step-4: Fill your DIY garden box
Once you have completed the bed, place it in a desirable position and fill it with soil. If you notice any gaps between the box and ground, fill it with dirt. Don’t forget to place a permeable fabric at the bottom of the box for garnering optimal outcomes.
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