Raised garden beds are gradually gaining popularity among most gardeners to cultivate different crops. You can choose these gardens to cultivate various vegetables, fruits, herbs, or any crop you wish to grow. This gardening system involves growing your crops or plants on higher ground and enclosing the raised garden with stones, woods, repurposed materials, bales of hay, etc.
This system allows you to grow various crops in a controlled or small space and achieve greater harvests. However, before starting this gardening, it’ll be vital to understand everything from the preparation and best soil mixture to the other essential details. This article provides a comprehensive guide on the raised garden bed.
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Preparing Raised Garden Bed
Preparing a raised garden is straightforward and is similar to preparing a standard ground or bed. You don’t need complex machines or equipment to prepare your land for cultivation. However, the only difference is that you’re unlikely to dig deep into the ground when preparing this bed or garden. Below are the key steps to consider when preparing your raised bed:
- Draw out the right plan for your raised garden. Depending on your space and available material, you can hire an expert to provide the best plan for your garden.
- Choose a proper location for the raised garden bed. Choose an area with at least eight hours of sunlight to enhance maximum vegetation and yields.
- Decide on the dimensions of the raised bed, including the height, base, and width.
- After deciding on the appropriate measurement, lay out your garden’s perimeter by marking all the corners or posts.
- Assemble your raised garden frame. Ensure that the structure matches measurements to make it easy to calculate the amount of soil for the bed.
- Choose good soil for your bed or garden by considering the appropriate quality and nutrients your plants need.
- Add the soil and level the frame where necessary.
- Clean up your raised bed base before adding the topsoil.
- Include a suitable irrigation system for your flower or garden vegetable-raised bed.
How to Calculate Soil for Raised Beds
Calculating soil for rectangular or square beds
Calculating the soil for your rectangular or square uses a straightforward process. The process involves finding the length, width, and height, then multiple.
Soil volume = L*W*H
After getting the answer, it’ll be vital to divide it by 27 to find your volume in cubic units.
Calculating soil for L-shaped beds
Divide your L-shaped beds into two figures having four sides when finding the soil for an L-shaped bed. After getting the measurements of the two figures, you can use the formula for calculating the soil for a rectangular to find the appropriate volume. After getting the figure, you can add them together.
Soil volume = (L*W*H) + (L*W*H)
For instance, when having a 3*6 bed, the volume of your soil will be = (6*3*1.4) + (3*3*1.4) = after getting the answers, it’ll be necessary to convert them to cubic units.
Calculating soil for U-shaped raised garden beds
When calculating the soil volume for your U-shaped raised garden bed, it’ll be necessary to start by dividing the bed into three figures. After the divisions, you can calculate the volume for each figure before adding them together. You can divide the shape or bed into rectangles or squares.
Calculating soil for hexagonal beds
Hexagonal prism is the shape that hexagonal raised beds form. These beds can have a regular hexagon, with all sides having the same measurements, or irregular hexagons with different measurements. Experts reveal the best formula o calculate the soil for this shape including
V= 3/2 (3) s2h
Where v is the total soil volume
S is the length of one side
While H is the height of your bed
Calculating soil for octagonal beds
These beds come as irregular or regular octagons. The formula for calculating the volume of soil for these raised beds is V= 2(1+2) S2H
Where V is the total soil
S is the length of the octagon
While H is the height of your bed
Suitable Material for a Raised Bed
Choosing a suitable building material is key to enhancing the proper construction and durability of the garden. With the numerous materials available, choosing materials that offer the best options will be vital. The suitable materials for a raised bed include plastics, stone, or durable wood, like cedar, redwood, and cypress.
Experts reveal that these are the best and right materials for your construction needs as they can stand against exposure to soil, water, or insects. Investing your time and resources to search for the best material you can use to construct your garden, offering high quality and durability, will be vital. Remember, the materials you choose will depend on your location, budget, and the duration you want to use the bed for cultivation
Raised Vegetable Garden Ideas
A raised vegetable garden offers an appropriate way to grow your vegetable as it allows better air circulation and drainage than the in-ground alternatives. Furthermore, they increase the gardening spaces to increase your cultivations and harvest.
However, choosing the best ideas to get the best returns will be good. Besides the good returns, these ideas will enhance the attractiveness of the raised garden. Below are the top raised vegetable garden ideas you can incorporate into your cultivation:
- Use brick pavers
- Build your own raised vegetable bed using concrete blocks
- Use stone slabs, like marble, granite, slate, etc
- Use wooden planks or boards
- Use recycled materials
- Create the raised beds using straw bales
- Construct the beds using landscape timbers
Soil Mixture for Raised Vegetable Garden
Many gardeners prefer it raised vegetable gardens due to the ability to control the cultivation of the soil. This gardening system provides the luxury of choosing the best soil for growing your crops. Thus, it’ll be necessary to find the perfect soil mixture for gardening when designing and constructing it. Below is the ideal soil mixture for the raised vegetable garden:
- 50% topsoil
- 30% compost
- You can amend the remaining 20% to include other elements like chopped leaves, ground bark, mushroom compost, peat moss, and mineralized soil blend to enhance better growth and good soil texture.
Advantages and Disadvantages of a Raised Garden
A raised garden has numerous benefits to the gardener, enhancing vegetative production and other benefits. Nevertheless, this garden system also comes with various disadvantages you must consider when venturing into raised vegetable gardening. Below are the advantages and disadvantages of this gardening system:
- It offers maximum protection from pests and diseases
- Allows soil control
- The best space-saving alternative when you have a small garden
- Allows better water drainage in the bed or farm
- Easily accessible for everyone
- Reduces risks of erosion and runoff
- Allows you to grow various plant varieties
- Easy to maintain
- Allows extended growing seasons
- Expensive to construct and maintain
- Time-consuming to construct
- Dries out faster in warmer months due to the realized garden’s superior drainage
- Confines the plant’s roots
- Varying soil quality
With the diversification of gardening, raised vegetable gardening is gradually becoming the most sought-after alternative for growing various vegetables and fruits. This system involves cultivating your crops in a raised ground with appropriate soil to support the plant growth. It involves multiple processes from preparing the land, choosing the soil, and planting, which you need to understand to enhance successful cultivation. Above is a comprehensive guide on the raised garden bed