You can either buy raised garden beds or build one. Having a raised garden bed in your backyard or new house offers many benefits regardless of your choice. A raised bed garden can be made from different materials such as rot-resistant woods, recycled plastic, fabric, and concrete blocks. Apart from their aesthetic appeal, raised garden beds also reduce the workload associated with in-ground bed maintenance.
why grow plants using raised garden beds
One of the best things about raised beds is that they need less tilling and weeding than ground-level beds. Many gardeners add soil amendments like compost to the top of the raised bed during fall and let nature take its course during the nature to take its course.
That way, they do not need to dig up compacted beds every year. You can also buy raised garden beds with an irrigation system or use soaker hoses. Here are the other benefits of gardening and planting crops in your own raised beds:
easier on the back
Raised beds are easier on the back. Kneeling, bending, and stooping are bad for the joints and back. Raised garden beds come in different heights, making it easier to reach the crops. Moreover, a series of garden beds enclosed by paths look great all year round. Plus, since you are planting crops in your garden beds, you will have more food.
Aside from these benefits, raised beds can improve drainage. Suppose the garden soil is usually wet during springtime. In that case, a raised bed can solve this issue by elevating the soil and giving the plant roots enough room to breathe.
acts as a deterrent
Raised beds can also deter critters and burrowing pests. Moreover, garden beds make installing deterrents like weed barriers, copper slug fencing, and wire mesh easier. Raising the beds also moves the crops away from rabbits and dogs.
If there are weeds, you can place a weed barrier underneath the bed’s soil to prevent invasive weeds from invading the bed. A raised bed that contains nutrient-rich soil also warms faster during spring. So, if you plant in a raised bed that is 12″ deep, you can expect the growing season of your crops to be longer in your new garden.
importance of soil depth in the raised bed
Suppose you are worried about the soil quality underneath the bed. In that case, you have to consider the soil depth or height of the garden bed to make sure that the plants will grow within the bed’s parameters. Soil depth is also essential when placing the raised garden bed on the driveway or patio. The structure of the garden beds must be depth enough for the roots of the plants to grow downwards freely.
Moreover, you need to ensure that the raised bed drains well. The soil depth will not be an issue if the soil beneath the raised bed is friable and loose since the plant roots can grow past the raised bed into the subsoil beneath.
raised garden bed plans to consider
Do you want a place to relax in your garden? Perhaps you want to install an irrigation system or add decorative details to improve your backyard’s aesthetic appeal. Maybe you want to put hardware cloth beneath the soil to protect the plants from pests. A raised garden bed can help you do these things and more. Is your space limited? Do not worry because the plans listed below are suitable for any garden space.
This raised bed plan provides a lot of space at the bottom, allowing the roots of your crops to grow freely. The slight curvature on the slats offers added visual appeal. The bed can also keep your garden soil in place. Moreover, it will not topple over when unruly kids or pets bump into it.
This decorative elevated bed measures 4’4″ by 4’4″ by 12.5″ and features diamond patterns. The patterns are optional. However, if you want to add more variety and colour to your garden, this planter is a good option for you.
Fill the raised bed with high-quality soil or growing medium for the best results and feed the plants with the proper nutrients. This plan can give you a fruitful harvest of summer vegetables and herbs. It is easy to maintain and allows you to reach the center of the bed from any side. You can also put two 4×4 beds symmetrically to have more space for planting.
This raised bed garden is made with BPA-free and UV-resistant fabric. It is also hemmed with a tough triple-hem and tan fabric for added durability. It holds approximately 170 gallons and has PVC fittings.
A fabric raised bed provides ample drainage for plants and keeps roots aerated. Fill it with 25 percent potting soil, 25 percent good soil, and 50 percent compost, and it will support various kinds of vegetables.
4×8 raised bed gardens
If you want a more extensive raised garden to grow more plants and pursue your gardening hobby, consider building a 4×8 raised bed. Here are some raised bed plans that you can consider.
The idea and cost of building a raised bed garden may intimidate some people. But you do not need to worry because this garden plan is beginner-friendly. Most importantly, it does not cost a lot to build. Follow this plan, and you will have a 4′ x 8′ x 1′ raised bed garden in no time.
Now, you can start growing your favourite vegetables in a 4’8″ x 4’8″ x 8″ raised bed. If you do not want to deal with saws and wooden boards, this raised bed plan is right for you. Since this plan uses cinder blocks, you do not need to measure or cut wood or buy power tools. You only need to find the best spot for the raised garden, level the ground then put the blocks in place.
Do you have a new patch of land in your backyard? This raised garden bed plan can protect your plants from invasive weeds and pests. Watch the video tutorial and see the step-by-step guide on making a 4′ x 8′ x 1′ raised garden bed. Start at 0:38 on the video below to get some tips on building one:
This plan is perfect for you if you want to work with wood. It uses pressure treated wood and corrugated metal. Untreated wood will eventually rot, so you need pressure treated wood. Follow the plan, and you will learn how to build a 4′ by 8′ by 2’3″ elevated bed in your backyard.
You can make a 4×8 raised bed from three 8′ boards. You have to cut each board into two to four sections. Before building raised beds, you have to remove the grass to ensure no weed seeds are left behind. Learn how to build a 4×8 raised garden bed here:
This bed measures 4’x8’x2′ and cedar or pressure-treated wood. You can use self-tapping screws, but you would have to use a drill bit to drill holes into the wood if there is none. This 4×8 raised bed plan also requires you to get peat moss. If you do not have peat moss, you can replace it with vermiculite or perlite.
If you want to have a footpath around the raised garden bed, put weed meat or landscaping fabric around it before filling it with weed free soil. Place the weed mat under the sides of the raised bed to keep weeds and grass down.
Do not forget to cover the footpath with a thick layer of mulch once the raised bed is complete. You can also install a trellis using PVC pipes.
This raised bed plan is perfect for families who want to build their own garden beds. The 4×8 raised bed is perfect for planting special flowers or dedicated food crops like strawberries, making it ideal for experienced hobby farmers who enjoy harvesting flowers or seeds or canning preserves to sell online. It has enough room to grow your favourite flowers, vegetables, and other plants, from fragrant herbs to luscious tomatoes. You can set up the raised beds for succession planting too.
This 4×8 raised bed plan is a modular kit that includes bracing and stacking brackets and composite boards. It can also receive direct sunlight depending on where you put them. Plus, you can install hardware cloth to prevent grass from growing.
The boards also provide insulation to the soil, which helps extend the growing season. Thanks to the insulated boards, the soil will not dry fast. Thus, you do not need to water the plants often.
To build a 4×8 lumber raised bed, you need three 8’-long 2″ by 6″ lumber pieces. If you want to build a 4×4 bed, you need two pieces of lumber. You can also ask the store where you bought it to cut it for you.
Do not forget to fill raised beds with a nutrient-rich compost mix. Add enriched topsoil to the bed as well. The soil’s fine texture allows for immediate planting and sowing. Moreover, the soil will eventually settle. Once it does, put compost on top of it.
lumber raised garden with corner posts
This vegetable garden bed fits almost anywhere. It uses lumber and takes less than four hours to build. You can also make the raised bed as deep or shallow as you want. This garden bed has corner posts to support it and prevent bowing
what to do if you have limited space in your garden
Before you start planting, look at your grocery list. What items do you buy every week? Some people may buy carrots, beets, greens like Swiss chard, baby bok choy, spinach, kale and onions, cucumbers, peppers, or herbs weekly.
Grow the ones that you do not often see on your grocery list. For instance, if you do not buy tomatoes often, you can grow them in your garden beds. It is also good to plant vegetables that you do not buy often. It is fun to plant and see the crops grow and then harvest them at the end of the growing season.
spacing in raised beds
Read the plant tags or seed packets carefully. It should include spacing recommendations and the width and height of mature plants. One of the best things about a raised garden bed is that it allows you to do intensive planting or plant vegetables closely together.
Plus, you do not need to water the plants often. Still, it is a clever idea to watch thin plants closely as they grow. That way, you can maintain the air circulation in the raised bed and have a highly productive garden.
tips for vegetable garden plans
Avoid putting taller plants in front of the short ones as they cast shade on the crops behind them. You can also grow compact plant varieties that sprawl in raised beds so that they do not take up your entire garden. Here are other gardening tips that you can consider.
flowers as pest deterrents
If you have bush cucumber varieties, you can put tomato cages around them so that they will have something to climb on. You can also plant flowers like nasturtiums, alyssum, and marigolds in the raised beds to deter plant pests and attract pollinators.
Consider succession planting and gardening. Many green thumbs or people new to gardening do not know that the growing season for vegetables does not end after planting heat lovers like melons, tomatoes, and cucumbers. As soon as you have space in your garden beds, fill them with another plant. Do not forget to add compost to the raised bed as well. The compost will add nutrients to the soil and feed plants.
replace cool weather plants with hot weather crops
With succession planting, you can use the same spot twice. After harvesting cool weather plants like spinach, winter squash, turnips, beets, lettuces, and turnips, replace them with hot weather crops like squash, hot peppers, potatoes, summer squash, tomatoes, and cabbages.
With good management, gardening, and planning, you could use one 4×8 raised bed to produce enough for one family. As you thin or harvest hot weather crops, you could plant cool weather plants so that you will have enough produce throughout the year.
a five to seven-year crop rotation cycle
Experts suggest a five or seven-year crop rotation cycle. In other words, your garden should have at least five or seven raised garden beds. So, every year, you can raise root crops and vegetables with flowers or other plants.
The cycle continues, allowing you to start planting and gardening next spring. Even if you only have one raised bed, you can still harvest multiple crops as long as you know how to do it right. If you want to increase your production, you can install 8 raised beds in your garden.
If you like the idea of having a low-maintenance garden that does not require you to bend down or kneel, a raised garden bed is right for you. Moreover, building a simple raised bed is one of the best options for those with limited space in their backyard to pursue their gardening hobby. So, if you want to grow your favourite plants, consider the plans listed above. You only need basic carpentry skills, and you will have a beautiful raised bed garden in no time. Once you have a raised bed, you can start gardening and planting your own produce.