How to start a Garden

A Basic Guide on How To Start A Raised Bed Garden

November 13, 2015 by Adam

If you like to eat organic and fresh vegetables but you don't love the idea running up a huge water bill or pulling weeds with a traditional raw garden, then you are definitely going to like square foot gardening. Raised garden beds are also popularly known as garden boxes. These raised garden beds are good for growing small plots of flowers and veggies. They prevent soil compaction, keep pathway weeds from your soil, serve as a barrier to pests and offer good drainage. The sides of the beds normally keep your precious garden soil from being washed away or eroded during heavy rains.In most regions all around the world, gardeners are able to grow crops earlier in the season because the soil is well drained and warmer when it is above ground level. Farmers can build their own raised garden beds with a lot of ease. However, they will have to decide how tall they want the bed to be, what type of wood to use and whether they wish to utilize pre-made corner braces which actually simplify the process of construction or whether they want to build the entire bed on their own.

It is always advisable to use cedar wood to construct the garden bed because it is rot resistance. Redwood is also another exceptional rot resistance wood. How long the wood will last will actually depend on the local weather conditions and the type of cedar used. The raised bed can be of any length or shape. Normally, the soil in these beds is raised up to 6 inches above the soil that is found in the surrounding area and is enclosed by a rocky, wooden or concrete block frame. The crops in these beds are placed much closer as compared to conventional row type gardening and the beds are usually placed in geometrical shapes. The following are the benefits of raised bed gardening:

  • Raised beds usually drain better.
  • It is very simple to maintain.
  • Raised bed gardening offers you the opportunity of sitting comfortably on your seat as you are doing all the gardening instead of bending over crops to trim them.
  • If you have to apply water, compost, mulch and fertilizer, this can be done far more carefully and effectively if added to the garden bed.
  • You can also control conditions and soil types better in this type of bed.

Raised bed gardening usually does not need a lot of maintenance at all. Making the raised beds is very easy and it should be very affordable. The following is a simple guide on how to make this type of garden:

Choosing a site is one of the most significant decisions you will make when constructing a raised bed garden. You should ensure that you choose an area that will receive full sunlight because most crops need full sun. In case you need to plant crops that require partial sun either find a location that will receive partial and full sun or create another bed in a suitable location.

Decide the shape and size of your garden. You must ensure you will have access to all parts of your garden. Try keeping the garden narrow and long which will enable you to have access to all the vegetables that you have planted without stepping on the garden.

Preparing your site is very essential. Immediately you have the size and shape of your garden you will start building the bed.

Now you should construct the bed. Make sure you use a lumber that is resistant to rot such as cedar. It is important to consider the size of your garden before buying the wood. You should cut the wood into pieces of a desired length. After that, attach them together so as to create a simple frame.

After you have constructed the frame in an area you desire, ensure you level your bed from different directions. If the bed is not properly leveled, there will be a situation where water sits in one part of the garden and runs off in another.

Fill your garden with compost and soil once the bed has been properly leveled.

There are different reasons why farmers prefer raised garden beds. First, the soil in these beds never becomes compacted because it is never stepped on. The ease and popularity of planting vegetables in raised beds has encouraged many veggies enthusiast to get out there and attempt to plant some vegetables. Raised beds are great for growing anything, but actually there are some real stars that have risen above the rest. The following are some of the vegetables that you can grow in raised beds:

Root vegetables

Root vegetables thrive very well in these raised beds. Beets, parsnips, carrots and radishes flourish in rock-free, loose soil where they have adequate space to spread out.

Leafy greens

Greens such as spinach, kale and lettuce perform miraculously in raised beds. You have to plant these cool weather plants as soon as you get a trowel into your soil.


There are 3 major reasons why onions are the best vegetable to plant in raised beds. First, they require adequate organic matter. Additionally, they like quick draining soil and they need a long growing season. The soil in these types of beds can be catered to your own needs. In light of this, you can incorporate plenty of compost if you know you are going to plant onions in your bed.


Tomatoes need deep fertile soils with adequate nutrients so as to grow well. With a raised bed, you can simply customize the soil to your needs by adding in additional compost.


Potatoes need loamy, loose soil that drains well. This type of crop grows well in a raised bed. There are plenty of crops that you can grow in a raised bed. Make sure your raised bed is properly prepared so as to get the best results.