How so you make a raised garden bed easily? Our guide explains what to do and how to fill and plant your raised garden bed in any situation.
Raised beds are not only attractive to look at, they are also practical solutions for the garden. In contrast to an ordinary bed, the raised bed can be cared for from a comfortable position. In addition, it is not only suitable for flowers, but also serves for crops, taking advantage of the rising trend for people to grow their own vegetables.
And it’s amazingly easy to build and plant. Even garden newbies can create a raised bed within a very short time and soon enjoy the sight of useful plants or flowers. This article explains how construction works.
What is a raised bed?
Basically, a raised bed is a simple flower bed, which consists of a stand construction and whose top layer of earth is up to 80 centimeters above the actual floor. Therefore, it is ideal for older people, for whom gardening in flat beds is no longer easy. Of course, it also suits all other gardeners and can be easily maintained next to flat beds and flower terraces. It is very advantageous about the bed that the soil quality is completely independent of the actual garden soil. Therefore plants can be grown in raised beds that otherwise hardly thrive in the garden. Other advantages of the raised bed are:
- higher yield
- rare snail infestation
- Design remains individual
- Raised beds can also be created on the balcony or terrace
If you don’t have a garden, you can choose to use special modular systems for raised beds that guarantee a completely closed substructure. Alternatively, any building instructions for hobby craftsmen can be changed so that the raised bed can be placed on the balcony.
Make a raised garden bed: the layers
The easiest solution to create a raised bed is the commercially available variant. Raised bed kits are available in almost every hardware store with a garden department. Alternatively, the bed can be made from a stone, wood or plastic frame, or combinations such as the wood and corrugated metal shown above.
If you use wood, you should pay attention to very robust wood and paint it accordingly. To additionally protect the wood, it is advisable to cover the inside of the bed frame with pond liner. Since the design of the bed remains relatively individual, these instructions are limited to the most important points .
- Underneath – Under the raised bed is a wire mesh, for example rabbit wire. The grid prevents voles or other vermin from digging into the raised bed from below.
- Frame construction – The frame holds the raised bed together. In the simplest variant, a rectangular box made of wood is sufficient. If the frame is made and stable, the bed can already be filled.
To ensure that the plants grow well in the bed, good soil must be ensured. In the case of a raised bed, this consists not only of normal earth, but of five individual layers, which are stacked on top of each other:
- Soil layer – tree and shrub waste is ideal here. The cut should be roughly chopped and serves to ensure that the soil is well ventilated.
- Green waste – there is now a layer of green waste on the ground layer. Lawn cuts, garden waste, but also straw are suitable for this.
- Garden soil – this layer receives no special attention, nor does the soil need to be particularly valuable.
- Compost – the second top layer consists of mature and nutritious compost. The compost ensures that the plants find sufficient nutrients.
- Potting soil – the top layer is a layer of good potting soil. Here it is advisable to pay attention to a good product.
The width of the individual layers depends on the height of the flower bed. Basically there are approximate guidelines that are based on the later planting:
- Strawberry plants – one meter high
- Potatoes – 30 centimeters high
- Roses – half a meter high
What is planted in a raised bed?
Before the raised bed is built, gardeners should consider which plants they want to grow later . Because the root depth, the growth size of the plants and their needs also determine the size and height of the bed. If you choose a normal raised bed with a height of almost 80 centimeters, you have relatively free choice when it comes to planting.
Garden flowers, roses, small ornamental shrubs, but also vegetables and types of fruit find a safe and nutritious location in this bed. Another option is to design the raised bed with a lid. In this case, the edge of the bed is clearly above the top layer of the earth. If the transparent lid is now closed, a practical greenhouse is created.
However, the raised bed is particularly popular for growing vegetables. However, pumpkin varieties make a restriction. Pumpkins take up a lot of space and are therefore not suitable for this bed variant. Courgettes and rhubarb also take up too much space.
Plantings from different varieties are very advantageous:
In order to give the bed a fresh color, it is advisable to sow nasturtium on the free areas.
Due to the layering of the earth, the soil is particularly nutritious in the first year. Some vegetables do not tolerate the nutrient requirement, so it is advisable to choose vegetables that need a high nutrient content first. Eggplants, tomatoes and cucumbers are now eligible. Ultimately, vegetables that store nitrate in fruits or leaves should be avoided at the beginning.
Those who are less interested in vegetables can plant small raised plants on the raised bed. Almost all herbaceous plants thrive excellently in the raised bed, but fan maple and azaleas also find a good location. Alternatively, the raised bed can be used to grow cuttings. Once the cuttings have taken root in a small flowerpot, they can be planted in the raised bed over the summer and become larger there.
The raised bed is particularly suitable for the reproduction of trees and shrubs that could not be placed outdoors in the first few years. For the winter, the plants are packed thickly and the bed’s soil layer is protected from the cold. Since there is hardly any frost in the raised bed, many plants can remain in the bed over the winter.
Raised beds are real eye-catchers
A beautifully designed raised bed, either next to or between flat beds, as a terrace boundary or on the balcony are practical garden solutions. The simple maintenance of the plants is particularly important. But the possibilities that such a bed offers should not be scoffed at least – after all, with a sufficiently large raised bed, you can grow your own vegetables in the middle of the city.