Raised Bed Gardens
We are planning on finally planting a garden this year at our new house. This year will be our 3rd full summer so we really want to get some vegetables going as we miss having our own garden. We had a medium size vegetable garden at our first home and we grew tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce, green beans and squash.
I’ve seen lots of great looking and functional raised bed vegetable gardens so we’ve decided that we’re going to try building some. One of the reasons I want to use raised bed gardens is due to the slope of our back yard. I’m planning on planting the garden on a gradual slope. By using a raised bed I can create a level planting area that will allow me to water the garden without losing most of the water to the slope.
Photo Credit: Raised Bed Vegetable Garden
Benefits of Raised Bed Gardens
Raised Bed Vegetable Gardens have several benefits in addition to looking nice
- Soil – By creating a raised bed garden I’ll have to bring in soil to fill it. This means I have a perfect chance to use good quality soil from the beginning.
- Drainage – Raised bed gardens help ensure that your garden soil doesn’t become too saturated. Whether you leave the hose on too long or a down pour inundates your garden, the higher elevation will allow excess water to drain away.
- Access – Obviously a raised bed garden is much easier to access. You won’t have to bend over as far so weeding and picking should be much easier on your back. The raised bed is also a great way to keep foot traffic out of your garden so plants aren’t damaged.
Building Raised Bed Gardens
Building raised bed gardens isn’t very difficult. There are many different styles and materials that can be used. In the photo you can see a raised garden bed that Paul over at Homeowner’s Blog made last summer. He used stones to create his raised beds and they look really great.
Most people end up building raised bed gardens with some type of wood, typically cedar or a similar rot resistant lumber. Most experts say to avoid using pressure treated lumber to avoid any contact with harmful chemicals (I’m not really sure it’s that big of a deal). You can also buy raised bed kits made from plastic and wood. There are also some really good raised bed gardening books available with ideas and layouts.
Most likely I’ll build one medium sized raised bed garden. Most likely it will be 8 ft wide and 24 ft long. I haven’t decided what type of material I want to use yet. I’m considering using wood or some type of lanscape blocks. I suppose it will ultimately come down to cost and availability of materials.