For the professional, semi-professional or novice gardener, we are probably aware that raised beds will take the dredgery, hard labour and stress from our gardening chores. These raised beds will reduce a series of issues related to gardening and remove that hard digging that we always associated with outdoor gardening in general. No longer is the back-breaking exercise of firstly, having to dig or till the garden and then come along some days later and attempt to break-up the soil with a fork or rake. Raised bed frames-review, will attempt to untangle the non mysteries of this horticultural hobby and make this account of raised bed gardening as simple as we possibly can.
Like the job description that we are so well accustomed to reading online from time to time…’no experience required’ can be easily applied to this exercise. It’s safe to say that anyone who has never attempted to grow a garden previously, could not and should not fail at gardening by using this system, ie raised beds.
For starters building a raised bed is not an overly difficult project, with a little planning and assistance one can assemble this in less than one hour. The material that is required is very little and perhaps we may have this lying around at home in a garage or shed. One could always get this at our local hardware store or failing that, these raised bed frames are available for purchase online and come in flatpack form. Basically, what we are looking at is four planks of wood, nailed or screwed together to form a rectangle, giving you a confined overground gardening space of 4ft. x 8ft. approx.
Getting a head start;
With raised beds in place, we have a much more organised envoirnment for our planting and the previous gardening challenges that we would have encountered, have dissappeared into the mists of time. The initial advise for a novice or beginnerer gardener would be to start with one bed frame and work upwards and onwards from there. Its like any other job or walk of life, we need to start at the bottom and work our way up from there. The scientific research shows and tells us that plants and vegetables are much happier in this envoirnment and its so easy to see why. They have little or competition from weeds, so all the nourishment that exists in the soil is allocated to our vegetables, thus giving an improved harvest in the end.
In a raised bed rectangle measuring approx. 4ft x 8ft, its really simple to manage and take care of, indeed, one could say it practically takes care of itself. Watering is just one task that needs to be looked at frequently, especially in the early days afer planting and depending on where we live and what type of climate prevails. As soon as the plants and veggies mature, their leaves form a canopy over the frame and reduces moisture loss. The moisture is also contained within the frame and is an extra chore or task that cab be easily eliminated by integrating an irrigation system.
Location, location, location;
Needless to say that location of the raised beds is paramount and so important to the healthy growth of our vegetables. Always select a sunny area, orientate the beds in an east – west direction for optimum sun benefits and critically ensure that the bed frame is on level flat ground. As a raised bed is considered the most productive and also deemed an attractive accessory to our back yard or back garden, the one critical element of this whole equation is the soil. If we discover that we have poor soil in our back gardens, which invariably is the case, this issue is easily resolved by adding some well rotted farmyard manure ( if available ) or some good quality compost. After adding some of the manure, compost or good grade topsoil, fork in and mix with the existing soil and we are ready for planting.
Raised bed advantages;
If again we are completely new to the world of raised bed gardening and we are wondering what is all the fuss about this system of gardening, let’s look at some of the advantages of using this method of gardening. Within the raised bed frame, we have for starters good quality growing conditions which will result in very early positive yields. The fact that the soil is well prepared and well drained, this gives an added advantage over the old system that we used. The fact that the bed soil heats up earlier than before is also beneficial to the plants and vegetables and this creates an oven type envoirnment, which will help growth and also extends the growing season. We also can plant our vegetables closer to each other, so as to maximise the range and amount that we can plant. One other important element of this system is that the fact that our raised beds can be 8-12″ higher than normal, this will assist with not having to bend or stoop while attending to the maintenance of our raised garden beds.
Plant and harvest;
Once we have all of the above established, its now time to go ahead and plant up our raised beds. Naturally we will have thought about what we are going to plant and one piece of advise that I would offer, which is, plant vegetables that are easy to grow and cultivate. These would be some salads like lettuce, rocket, spinach and the like. The vegetables that grow very easy and with little or no maintenance are onions, spring onions, strawberries and maybe baby potatoes and so on. These will return yields within 4-6 weeks and that’s pretty fast in the growing gardening world. Once we have seen how easy these exercises were, that should give us confidence and motivation to continue with this great outdoor hobby.
We have all learned and read about the chemical and pesticide sprays that are frequently used in food production, how many hundreds of airmiles the produce has travelled and so forth. We can now change all of this by setting aside some time to concentrate on growing our own and moving slowly towards becoming more self-sustainable and self-sufficient in providing for ourselves and our families. What we have just reviewed takes very little time from our busy lives, if we can afford say 1-2 hours out of our daily schedule, then this exercise, will have been time well spent.
Here’s hoping and trusting that you have found this information useful and beneficial, if so, remember that we are very sociable here at buildingraisedbeds.com. Please join in the conersation and feel free to leave comments in the contact section down below.
Happy gardening to all out there,
Cheers Phil Browne.
“As far as Frances was concerned,
gardening was simply
― Sarah Waters,