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What are the Best Tips for Building a Raised Garden Bed?

By Tess C. Taylor
Updated Jan 20, 2024
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Building a raised garden bed is a practical option for adding dimension and growing area to a property for the purposes of ornamental or vegetable gardening. Many times, building a raised garden bed is a convenient, low cost idea when space for a full-sized garden is an issue, bending over to tend to a regular garden is difficult or there is a short growing season. Choosing to build a raised garden bed is also a good option for the sake of controlling a contained garden area and keeping the raised garden soil quality more effectively.

An easy way to build a raised garden bed is to choose a border or container material that can withstand the weight of the raised garden walls. Some materials to consider when building a raised garden bed can be found at any home and garden supply shop, such as cement blocks, untreated rail road ties, recycled bricks or even old tires. Using materials that blend in well with natural surroundings and can withstand changes in temperature and weather conditions is a good idea in general when building a raised garden bed.

Other materials that are needed when building a raised garden bed include soil, organic fertilizer, heavy weed-resistant lining, wood shavings or pine straw to protect and create irrigation for the growing plants. Depending on the size of the garden or if layers will be added later, the materials for the base of the raised garden bed should be lined up into a square or rectangular shape with little to no gaps between blocks or wood rails. Once secured, a piece of weed resistant lining should be added with wood shavings added to the base, then at least 24 inches (61 cm) of soil can be layered on top with the fertilizer mixed in.

Once the building of the raised garden bed is completed, the plants that will grow in this fresh soil can be chosen and planted according to the needs of the garden. Generally as a rule, with a raised vegetable garden, it is important that healthy in-season plants be chosen for the garden bed. Consider the results desired and plant healthy specimens that fair well for the climate and type of garden wanted. If the raised garden bed is to be used for ornamental purposes, choosing different layers and colors of plants that come annually or have different growing seasons may be a good choice for more interesting and long lasting results.

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