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  How to Make a Raised Bed
  April 2nd, 2005

Is this Bed Right for You?

A raised bed for a garden is great where soil conditions cause poor drainage, or where the soil itself is poor. In addition, it’s a very convenient way to garden, with less bending and stooping, and some natural protection for the plants. A raised bed can be surrounded by brick, cinder blocks, stone walls, wood, or other materials to suit your tastes.

When deciding where to put a raised bed, you’ll have to consider several things. Will you want to grow sun-lovers or shade plants? Will you be growing plants that reach higher than your roof — if so, you don’t want to locate your raised bed under the eaves, even though that may be ideal for plants needing some extra protection at certain times of year. You also don’t want to locate a raised bed against a wood house, of course!

Whether your raised bed will be against the house or free-standing, decide how wide it will be. Don’t make it so wide you’ll have difficulty reaching plants or so narrow the plants won’t have room to spread. Also decide what height you want, both for looks and convenience. Plan your garden bed for easy access!

Also keep in mind, if you have a hilly yard, that the raised bed concept can easily be adapted to create terraces.

Once you have an area selected, loosen the soil at the present ground level and get rid of any weeds . Fill the bed with a good soil mixture for the plants you intend to plant. You might also consider putting in extras such as a drip irrigation system, which can save both work and, more importantly, water. Plant your plants and add some good mulch on the top, and you’ll have a garden plot that’s both easy to care for and attractive.

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