What is Raised Bed Gardening?
As the name suggests, raised bed gardening is a technique people use for gardening in various ways. It works quite simply. The raised concept implies that soil is raised above the ground. Usually surrounded by some material, like concrete, wood or rock. The soil can also be enriched with compost. People use it for planting vegetable plants.
These plants are usually placed in a geometrical pattern, much closer than what is conventionally done. Raised beds are often used in complex structures. They offer higher productivity They can be used to control erosion, they also save water. They can also require fewer nutrients due to the bed structure. These structures can be used in large areas for crops as well.
Benefits of Raised Bed Gardening:
Now you must be wondering what are the benefits of this form of gardening? Well, there are many. Firstly, they extend the planting seasons. Which means that they can grow in irregular seasons as well.
They can reduce weeds as well if taken care of properly. The soil is raised up from the ground, which means that no one will be walking on them and damaging them.
Furthermore, these are great options for elderly people. They won’t have to bend over to manage them or take care of them. People also use self-watering raised beds to further lessen the work. These beds are fed water automatically and don’t require human intervention.
How is it Different?
The second thing to consider is the material. While it is natural to have concerns, you needn’t worry. If you really want to save money, you can always opt for concrete blocks. They look unattractive no doubt, but let’s face it, if you are doing it for the crops then does it really matter? Concrete blocks are really cheap and readily available in the market.
If you want something better and attractive. Then the best option is timber. Timber wood is great and used in many materials around the world. Timber wood is strong and long-lasting.
You can also use polythene which is UV treated. This is again quite a good option and one that lasts long. Ultimately people end up choosing different materials. This is the beauty of these beds, you can opt for different options. Now that you know the basics. If you are planning to set up a raised bed garden. That is great!
However, you need the perfect soil recipe. It can get quite difficult for first-timers. Which is why we will tell you how to have the perfect soil mix recipe. If you get a well-balanced bed mix, it can produce up to four times more than row crops! The soil in raised beds tends to warm faster as well, which means you will get a head-start in the season for growth.
However, you must remember that none of this is possible without having the right balance in your bed’s soil.
To begin with, you probably want to buy compost and fill up the bed’s box. If you can get organic compost in your region that would be a great option as well.
In case you don’t know what composting is, it is decomposed organic matter. Which is recycled so that it can be used for various purposes? Getting it in the box is the basic step for healthy growing.
Before buying your compost, make sure it has been completely finished. The same goes if you want to use any manure. Make sure that the manure has been composted and it isn’t hot anymore. Any leftovers in the manure can hamper the fertility of the soil.
Add in a little mix to the compost, like peat, pumice or vermiculite. This helps in the drainage of the bed, quite useful for root vegetables. The perfect way to make sure that your compost is ready is to spread it in the fall.
You can leave it on the surface to finish in the cycles of winter. It will be ready by then. If you don’t want to spread the compost in the fall, no sweat. You can use it as you go.
Read more: Top 6 Microgreens You Must Grow In Your Kitchen Garden
You can strike bales and straws in the beds and find them with good results in the spring. The bale does two things for you; it prevents weeds from growing and it conditions the soil beneath it.
If you are putting up new beds in the spring, why don’t you put your first planting in the straw bales? Straw bale gardening has really grown popular in recent times. Some gardeners have even gone to the extent of skipping boxes and growing in the bale!
Good and healthy organic soil is the most important thing for healthy, nutritious vegetables. It is filled with air that plant roots need, it is fluffy and loose as well. It has adequate nutrients and minerals for plants to grow and get a great yield. Filling your bed’s soil is a great chance to get a high-quality soil.
Here is the recipe you need for it:
0) 5 bags Black Gold Peat Moss, 2.2 cf x 5 = 11 cf. Black Gold Peat Moss is a natural, organic soil conditioner. It has an excellent mix of materials. It contains an extraordinary cell structure that helps regulate moisture and air around plant roots creating an ideal growing environment.
It also helps to save water. You probably want to mix liberally with any soil to improve water retention, soil aeration and to stimulate root development. Click here to Buy.
1) 3 bags Teufel’s Organic Compost, 3 cf x 3 = 9 cf. Helps to build the soil and feed the plants. It contains an active source of organic matter, humus and other important soil builders required by plants to prosper.
It has no sewage sludge or biosolids that are often found in commercial brands, which is harmful to the soil. You want to apply it evenly wherever organic matter is needed. Each bag will cover a 3′ x 6′ area 2″ deep.
2) 4 bags Worm Castings, 1 cf x 4 = 4 cf. Vermicompost or Worm Castings are the rich digested soil that red wiggler worms leave behind. They contain no chemicals. Helps plants grow and fight off diseases. Has as many as 10,000 different microbes, which helps plants grow.
They are odour free as well. You can grow them indoors or outdoors. Nutrients are in a form which can be used essentially by plants. It improves the quality of the plants, vegetables and fruits growing. It has a neutral pH, which means it can be used for all plants.
Laboratory results show that even 10% vermicompost in potting mix improves germination rates, plant growth, appearance and fruiting. Also contains natural growth hormones that provide a strong kick to plants. Evenly apply 5-10 pounds per 100 square feet and work into the soil. Click here to Buy
3) 3 bags Organic Chicken Manure, 1 cf x 3 = 3 cf. Organic Chicken Manure Fertilizer provides a well-balanced supply of nutrients to plants. Great for mulching and moisture retention. It won’t burn and is compliant with the USDA’s National Organic Program. It has been approved for organic use.
Gives over 5 times more plant food value than steer manure. It is weed and dirt free. Ground for uniform texture. Guaranteed for grow your plants etc. It has a slow timed release for more effect. Click here to Buy
4) 2 bag Therm-O-Rock Organic Vermiculite, 2cf x 2= 4 cf. Therm-O-Rock Organic Horticultural Vermiculite is certified Asbestos Free and when mixed with peat, bark or compost, it provides moisture retention and splendid aeration.
Another one of its features is that it won’t rot and it is of #3 medium grade. It helps to support the robust root structure. It also kindles fast root growth. A natural mineral which holds more water than perlite or pumice and when heated, it expands. Click here to Buy
5) 3-6 lbs Azomite. Down to Earth Azomite is made from natural volcanic mineral deposits which contain more than 70 minerals. It has been verified that it enhances crop production and rate of growth.
Another benefit includes the simple and clean application; the formula is almost dust-free. The availability is in 6lb. box. Down To Earth Azomite offers a large variety of minerals and trace elements that can aid deeply rejuvenate depleted garden soils.
It can not only be applied directly but also in a mixture with other soil amendments. Broadcast 3-6 lbs per 1,000 square feet in your lawn and consistently water it well. Click here to Buy
6) 1-2 lbs Kelp Meal. Dr Earth Kelp Meal is resultant from cold water Norwegian seaweed instilled with seven strains of beneficial soil microbes. It is a greater raw material that actually revitalizes and progresses the biological life of your soil.
Dr Earth Kelp Meat is the perfect raw material for vegetable gardens, roses, trees and shrubs, and tropical plants. Amongst many features the most remarkable is that it is a potent all-rounder ingredient that assists all plants, it also encourages health in all planting applications.
Not only is it a superb source of potash but also contains minerals, vitamins, hormones, growth regulators and enzymes. For container plants, it is advised that you add 1/4 cup per 1/2 cubic foot of soil and blend comprehensively for maximum effects. Click here to Buy
7) 3-6 lbs Oyster Shell Flour. Add Down To Earth Oyster Shell Flour for your absolute plant health and soil conditioning. The variety of particle sizes in this crushed mix confirms speedy and long-term discharge of calcium which builds stronger plants that can endure disease and pest assaults.
It is OMRI listed and recorded for consumption in organic production. Not only does it support solid root growth and uptake of all minerals but also progresses and improves soil texture and aeration. It benefits by Raising pH in acidic soils.
For use in lawns, broadcast 1/4 to 1/2 cup per 10 square feet in your lawn reliant on soil analysis and water consistently. Click here to Buy
8) 2-4 lbs All-Purpose Fertilizer. Dr Earth Premium Gold All Purpose Fertilizer is OMRI listed and recorded for usage in organic production. The exceptional function of this fertilizer is that it discharges its balanced plant nutrition rapidly, yet lasts and continues to feed for several months.
It naturally encourages healthy growth and larger, more profuse harvests. Comprises of not one GMOs or sewage sludge. It is made of 100% natural ingredients which eliminate the requirement for synthetic chemicals.
A handcrafted blend which is safe for pets and people both and is perfect for every plant in your garden because it includes beneficial soil microbes. It is greatly suggested for vegetables, flowers, potted plants and all types of shrubs and trees.
For the use in gardens while bed preparation, mix 1-1/3 cups for every 10 sq ft of growing area, or 6 cups for every 50 ft of planting row in your garden and work the soil evenly to a depth of 6-12 inches and water it well and consistently. Click here to Buy
In this way, you can get the perfect bed gardening soil recipe. This mixture will provide you with the optimum level required for plants, crops and fruits to grow.
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