DIY raised beds can give you instant gratification. Growing your own food is one of the most satisfying things a gardener can do. If you would like to transform your garden into a productive and beautiful place that can provide for you and your household, one of the things you will have to do is think about creating the growing spaces required.
WHY BUILD A RAISED BED GARDEN?
Raised beds make it easier to obtain a yield from your garden. The good news is that you can create one yourself far more easily and cheaply than you might imagine. Here are some step by step instructions to get you ready for home growing in next to no time.
Once you have decided on a location for your raised beds, one of the first things to decide is how to form its sides. Plenty of low cost and sustainable options are available to gardeners. made raised bed kits are available – but why bother, when there are so many do it yourself options around? The key is to work out what materials are freely and readily available to you.
You can create DIY raised beds with a range of different materials – many of which you may already have available on and around your property. You can construct them from scrap wood, for example, or from other scrap building materials such as brick or stone. Also, you can use stones dug from around your garden.
Another option is to reuse household waste to create a framework for raised beds. For example, you can create beautiful bed surrounds with glass bottles simply stuck upside down into the soil.
Many gardeners will spend a huge investment in time simply preparing a planting area, digging up the turf, weeding and double digging – don’t! Whether building a new raised bed on the lawn or hard standing, no digging is required. You can create DIY raised beds without disturbing the precious soil ecosystem beneath and without back-breaking labor.
You can make new ones in the same way that you might make a lasagna – in layers. Begin with some thick cardboard laid directly inside your new frame, on the grass or ground. Atop this cardboard, lay layers of garden waste – grass clippings, pruned cuttings, whatever you have to hand. You can even chuck in the vegetable scraps from your kitchen, interleaved with unbleached paper and cardboard.
All of these materials will compost in place. In a dry area, rotting logs and larger pieces of wood buried in the heap will help add moisture.
Finally, top these with a layer of compost, where you can sow or plant your seeds or seedlings. If you have already been making your own compost at home, the whole thing could be completely free of charge! If you have not – begin to do so now. This compost can be used as a mulch and will top up your beds as the levels drop over time.
STOCKING RAISED BEDS
Your raised garden beds are now ready to be planted. In an organic garden, mixed planting is best. Create a polyculture with plants that are good companions to one another. Consider perennial vegetables or fruits that will provide food year after year, for a lower maintenance edible garden.