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Raised garden beds help to make gardening easier and give your outdoor space a tailored, finished look. These massively popular beds enable you to grow decorative and edible plants anywhere. The coronavirus pandemic has perhaps prompted the surge in interest in gardening. Express.co.uk has compiled a guide to show you how to make a raised garden bed.
What is a raised garden bed?
Raised beds are containment units which have several square feet of growing space and anywhere between half a foot to several feet of depth.
You can control the soil composition in a raised bed which can enable you to grow plants, vegetables or flowers wherever you are, regardless of whether your garden is concreted over or you have soil which is not fertile.
Raised beds are good for:
- Improving drainage
- Increasing soil temperature
- Improving access
- Enhance root health
- Increase ease of management
- Growing plants in a different soil type.
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How to make a raised garden bed
- Two 2”x12” wooden planks, measuring eight feet long
- Two 2”x12” wooden planks, measuring four feet long
- 12 pieces of rebar, measuring two feet long
- A rubber mallet
- Newspaper or cardboard
- Soil to fill the finished frame.
Begin by positioning your boards on a level section of ground, laying the boards down with their inner corners touching.
Stand one long board on its side and using a rubber mallet to hammer two pieces of rebar one foot from each corner, a few inches deep into the ground.
You can prop up the short sides using a piece of rebar at the centre of each for temporary support.
Prop up the second long side and adjust the alignment of your frame as necessary.
Then hammer the rebar a few inches deep one foot from each corner of the second long side.
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Add more support to the structure by hammering rebar a few inches deep a foot from each corner on the short sides and remove the temporary supports.
Add two pieces of rebar two feet apart along each long side.
These will then reinforce the frame when it is filled with soil and then hammer the rebar until six to 10 inches are exposed above ground.
The next step is to line the bottom of the bed with newspaper or cardboard and wet it thoroughly.
To conclude, you should fill your bed with soil to within a few inches of the top and then you can begin planting items in your raised bed.
Alternative materials you can use
If you do not wish to make the raised bed out of wooden planks, you can use the following materials:
- Wattle: Use wattle by weaving a frame with long, flexible sticks.
- Logs: If you have logs, you can create the frame by choosing straight pieces which are at least one foot in diameter.
- Concrete blocks: Concrete blocks are also an effective material and can be used by placing these blocks with open ends up to provide extra growing room.
- High and mighty: A wait-high bed can also be constructed for those with physical limitations.
- Stone can be used but skilled labour may be required for construction and footings.
- Brick is a strong and durable material to use.
What plants are raised beds suitable for?
Any types of plants can be grown in raised beds including:
- Soft fruits such as strawberries, blackberries and raspberries.
- Vegetables, such as courgettes, tomatoes and root vegetables.
- Herbaceous perennials are planted in raised beds when established a cutting garden for cut flowers.
- Alpines are an ideal addition to raised beds which relish good drainage.
- Small trees and shrubs are a good fit for raised beds ensuring they are not too large for your raised bed, but smaller trees and shrubs may be a better fit.
- Ericaceous or lime-hating plants can be planted by filling the beds with acid soil, lime-hating plants such as heathers and rhododendrons may be grown in areas of alkaline soil.
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