If you’re planning to start growing your own produce this year, raised beds are a must.
With so many amazing benefits for plants and veggies, as well as for your health (goodbye bad back!), they are a necessity for any keen gardener, whether you’re a beginner or a growing veteran!
Garden Oasis have created this guide on raised beds to help advise our readers on the best raised bed for them, to give them some helpful tips and pointers and to reveal all of the incredible benefits and reasons why 2017 just has to be the year that you invest in one.
- Improved drainage – as raised beds are above the surrounding ground level, drainage systems are better, which in turns help to warm soil temperatures faster in spring
- Protect your soil from traffic leading to compaction – this will protect the good open structure your soil will have, which is crucial for easy root growth and maintaining air pockets beneficial for microbial life or helpful organisms
- Ability to choose nutritious soil – because you will be filling the raised bed yourself, you have the freedom to choose quality soil, which will improve the growth of your plants and vegetables
- Ease of access – especially important for those gardeners subject to back pain or who have mobility problems
- Highly likely to have less weeds and pests – as you can grow your vegetables in blocks, therefore more uniformly, there is far less competition between plants which suppresses weeds more effectively
- They look attractive, tidy & offer more growing space – if you’ve used up all the space in your borders already, raised beds are an attractive way to loan yourself some more
- Urban gardeners - the soil in the raised beds will not be polluted like the soil in their garden, especially helpful if their homes are built on brownfield sites
- Treated soil – again, particularly beneficial to those who have had to treat their garden soil with strong chemicals to protect against pests & weeds
The majority of our raised beds can be constructed in less than an hour – enabling you to get started almost immediately! We have a range of attractive and unusual designs, different heights to suit different gardens and varied depths dependant on what you plan to grow.
They are all appropriately treated for the respective materials, giving the products a long lifespan to produce year upon year of joyful plant and veggie production!Below are a few of our most popular raised beds:
However if you are pretty old school, enjoy a garden project and feel confident enough to construct your own, we have some tips to help you along the way:
- Although raised beds can be constructed at any time of year, generally gardeners find it more convenient to build them over winter or early spring, granted the soil is not waterlogged or frozen.
- When choosing the size of your beds, keep in mind the fact that raised beds perform best when there is minimal walking traffic on them! Leave yourself enough room to walk down either side – and enough room for your trusty wheelbarrow!
- Now it’s time to consider your materials – it all depends on how long you want your raised bed to last and how much money you are willing to spend on it. For example, timber is exceptionally cheap but it is the least durable and although masonry is permanent it requires a big outgoing to begin with and the cost of hiring skilled professionals to help you.
- Where topsoil isn’t suitable for your chosen crops, you can just loosen it and cover with new soil. Combining 3 parts organic matter and 2 parts sharp sand to 7 parts topsoil makes a good general soil mix.
- Allow the soil to settle for around 2 weeks before planting – yes, major patience is required!
Commonly however, raised beds are use for growing vegetables, as they are perfect for lessening the risk of pest invasion and disease
Here are a few of our top tips for vegetable growing in a raised bed:
- Grow your produce in blocks because this will encourage the plants to grow uniformly and helps to prevent weed growth move effectively!
- Only disperse fertilisers, organic matter and manures on the areas where plants growth to avoid wastage!
- Position your beds north to south, as opposed to east to west, to ensure even exposure to sunlight
Regardless of whether you want to purchase a ready-to-go raised bed or whether you want challenge yourself by constructing your own, you just have to start raised bed growing this year!
Spring is well on the way & we’ve shown you the benefits, so now let the healthy and delicious produce speak for itself!