Home > Great Big Greenhouse Blog > February 2016 > IN THE DIRT with DOUG - GARDENING IN RAISED BEDS


                Raised garden beds have become very popular these past few years.  The concept of a raised garden bed is allowing homeowners or renters to use a small backyard or small patio to grow vegetables and herbs.
The National Gardening Association is finding that each year more homeowners are using raised garden beds to be creative with their landscaping and for creating defined lines within the landscape.
                Raised garden beds are quite popular for vegetable and herb growing.  Also, these beds can be of any size, shape, and dimension allowing the homeowner to be creative.  Most raised garden beds are square or rectangle and made of wood.  Some of the more popular sizes are 4’ x  4’, 4’ x  8’, and 4’ x  12’.  Again, the size of your raised bed is a personal decision.  It depends are what you want to grow in the raised bed.
                For vegetable or herb growing, the raised bed needs to be positioned where it will receive 6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight. 
                Most raised beds are made from rot resistant wood.  Some types of wood are better than others when it comes to rotting.  Cypress, cedar, and white oak make excellent wood choices.  Whichever wood you use, you still want to treat the wood with a clear, low-toxicity preservative such as copper naphthenate or IPBC.  Once treated, you want to coat the wood with an exterior grade, water – based finish such as paint or stain. 
                Not all raised beds are made of wood.  Other materials that can be used to form your raised bed are stone, pavers, brick, or re-cycled plastic products.
                The depth of the raised bed is important.  For vegetable gardening I would recommend a raised bed with a depth of 18” to 24”.  You need depth for growing such vegetables as tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, squash, and others that have a deeper growing root system.   For herb growing it could be a shallow as 6”.
                One tip that I learned is that before filling the raised bed with soil you want to line the inside of the bed with a landscape fabric.  This landscape fabric will allow water to seep out of the soil but, at the same time, keep the soil contained within the raised garden bed.
                The type of soil used in the raised bed is very important.  A soil needs to consist of high organic matter, peat moss, vermiculite, perlite, and composted manure.  The soil needs to be well draining.
                For your convenience, here at The Great Big Greenhouse, we do sell a raised garden bed kit.  It is called Ecotype Raised Garden Beds.  It is a 4’ x 4’ x 6” and is easy to assemble.  The cost is $79.99 and a good, easy way to test raised garden beds as your option to gardening.
                To share a story:  A customer came into the store early last week.  She has raised garden beds on legs to give some height.  The customer has arthritis and has a hard time bending over or kneeling.  Having raised beds on legs allows her to continue to enjoy her vegetable gardening even with her physical limitations.
                Bottom line  -  February is a good month to think this concept of vegetable gardening in raised beds and build yourself a small box and have fun growing some vegetables this spring.
Posted: 2/12/2016 by Doug Hensel | with 0 comment(s)
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