For many people, making a garden can be difficult. Whether it’s due to bad soil, poor lighting, or fear that the plants will get overgrown, many push their plans off year after year because they want their garden to be perfect. Luckily, a huge trend in modern gardening is popping up, or rather, being built up! Raised bed gardens have become increasingly popular, especially because people in cities want a way to be able to produce their own food in a more compact space. This week, we’ll teach you how to build your garden so your veggies and fruits can flourish no matter where you plant them!
Building the Frame
First you’ll want to measure the open area you have. Measure and cut 2x4s to use as corner posts, making sure they are at least six inches high. If you’re planning to keep your bed in the same place for a few years, you can make them a bit longer and dig into the earth, using the extra length as support posts. Next, make a frame with 2x4s at least six inches high and lay out the frame in a rectangle on the ground. Now it’s time to attach the boards to the corner posts. First use wood glue and clamps to keep the boards in place. Wood glue will ensure that your boards don’t split as they begin to warp. Finally, drill holes and use deck screws to firmly attach the frame to the corner posts. Using deck screws will make your garden walls less likely to split or strip with time and fall apart. Any additional wood can be cut six inches high and used to reinforce the walls of the garden bed.
Setting the Frame
If you made your corner posts longer, mark the ground where the frame will lay and dig far enough into the earth to make your frame lay flush with the ground. Whether or not you made long corner posts, you’ll want to loosen the dirt where your frame will lay so that it can settle properly. If you bought wood that’s rot resistant, you’re ready to lay and fill the frame. If not, make sure to add a layer of plastic along the inside of the wood to avoid rotting.
Filling the Raised Garden Bed
The most important thing you can do for your garden, especially if you’re doing this to get it ready for next planting season, is layer the contents inside to produce the most nutrient rich soil you can. Start by adding a thin layer of cardboard to the bottom. This will kill off most invading weeds and grasses while still allowing earthworms and other helpful critters access. Next, a layer of mulch goes down. This ensures the garden receives proper drainage and helps your plants avoid root rot. If possible, a layer of straw or hay on top of that would be beneficial for adding nutrients to the root base, but it is not necessary. Lastly, a manure-based soil at least 3 inches thick should cover the mulch. There should still be an inch and a half to two inches of space before the top of the frame. If it is filled too full, the soil will spill out and it would be a waste of money.
There are tons of tips and tricks online about how to turn raised bed gardens into tiny greenhouses or use fences for vine plants. Leave your suggestions in the comments below, or tell us how your raised bed garden turned out!
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