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Raised Garden Beds
Raised Garden Beds are popular and beneficial for growing better gardens with less bending and straining to reach plants. They are a great way to grow your favorite flowers, herbs, fruits, and vegetables. Undoubtedly, raised bed gardens look better, and are better kept than other gardens.
Raised beds can be placed almost anywhere. They work great out in the garden, around trees, and as borders. Smaller raised bed frames will fit balconies and decks, so anyone can garden.
Why Raised Garden Beds:
Warmer soil- The soil is elevated above ground level, allowing the sun and air to warm it faster. This facilitates earlier planting, and better seed germination, especially in colder, more northern climates.
Easy to reach- Less bending over and stretching makes the joys of working in your garden and harvesting it far more pleasurable. People with back or knee problems, other handicaps, and elderly people really appreciate the ease of access.
Good drainage- Because the soil is above ground level, heavy rains drain off much better. Standing water is entirely eliminated. And, the existence and length of waterlogged soil after heavy downpours is minimized.
Control of soil content- Sure, you can use soil from the surrounding area. But, people with raised beds will bring in as much as 100% of the soil, compost and manure they need to fill the beds. The resulting mix is a vast improvement over the soil in your back yard. In addition, growers seek a soil mix that is ideal for the plants they will grow in their raised beds.
Appearance- Raised beds make for just about the most attractive gardens around. Maybe, it just seems that way, or it's personal preference. More likely, it's the fact that people who use raised beds tend to care more about the overall appearance of their garden .
Components of a Raised Bed Garden:
The Frame- Usually composed of 2"X4" to 2" X 6" lumber. Wood or plastic lumber is used. Plastic lumber is more attractive, and long lasting. Lengths depend upon the space you need for your area, and the amount of plants you want to grow. Sizes normally range from 2'X2' to 4'X8'.
The Soil- While you can use soil from the surrounding area, it is best to select the soil mixture that is ideal for the plants you are planning to grow. If the raised bed is really high, use soil from the surrounding area at the bottom.
DripHose- This is optional. You can use sprinklers or hand water. But a drip hose makes the raised bed more maintenance free and efficient. Add it at or just below the soil level . Make sure to work it in a pattern that will evenly cover the entire area in the raised bed.
Mulch- To make your raised bed almost maintenance free, use plastic mulch to keep weeds out. Add organic mulches of your choice for appearance.
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