Convenient And A Great Way To Plant!
Garden beds that have been raised above the ground are a time honored way of providing a growing area for your plants or garden vegetables when the native soil is unusable, such as with clay or rock filled soils. It is also a great way to add some interesting design elements into your backyard landscaping and if constructed properly can also act as attachment points for garden arbors and pergolas in the future. Raised garden beds can also be a great way to increase space usage in a very small planting area.
Like many other areas of our web site we are going to once again harp on proper and prior planning as a way to make sure that you get beds that will not only suit your purposes, but will last you for many years to come. As an example a simple vegetable garden needs to be laid out to receive the optimal amount of sunlight each and every day, but does not necessarily need to be constructed of the most durable materials. On the other hand if you intend to use it to attach a large garden arbor or pergola then it will need to be made of sturdier material and be of a minimum height to provide stability.
When constructing a garden bed for the planting of ornamental trees or vines, such as wisteria or grape, ensure that the box will be big enough to contain the plant’s root system plus have some room left over. Otherwise the plants roots will quickly fill the box making it nearly impossible to plant other items and creating difficulty watering during the summer, making it a daily chore.
Projects For You To Consider:
In general these beds are constructed of ground contact pressure treated lumber, but you need not stop there, many raised beds have been constructed of brick or stackable masonry block. All of these materials can be viewed and purchased at your local Home Depot, Lowe’s or at most local lumber stores.
As you get ready to add soil to your new planting area you will need to take into account what you’ll actually be growing in them. Items such as ornamental trees, vines and perennials can probably get by with a top soil mix. When planting flowers and vegetables a lighter mix will be needed and amended with some sort of compost. This can either be done by the bag from your local hardware store or you can visit your local nursery and pick up the soil by the yard. The by the yard route is generally the most cost effective way to go, especially if your beds are large and deep. Forty bags of Miracle Grow Soil can be a very expensive proposition.
As you are installing your new beds a thought might have come to you “How long will these last before I have to replace them?” Using ground contact pressure treated lumber is a great way to extend the life of any garden box beyond 10 years and again the thicker the material the longer it will probably last. For instance a 4×6 treated landscape timber is going to last longer and stay straighter than a 2×10 piece of lumber. An additional way to extend a boxes life is to cover the interior sides with an impermeable material like pond liner and simply leave the bottom open for drainage.
Thinking ahead though to when you will have to replace your raised garden beds is a good idea and it is suggested that you do not use nails or spikes to join the beds pieces together. These can be a slugfest at best to remove when the time comes. Instead use decks screws in lighter material or in the case of landscaping Timbers use TimberLok Screws, which are available in varying lengths. Yes these are a little bit pricier, but when the time comes to replace your beds with new material you’ll be thanking me when all you need to disassemble them is a drill with a socket head attachment.
Well we’ve given you some pointers and guidelines for the construction of raised garden beds and we hope you found them useful. The links below will give you further information on this subject so please feel free to follow them.