Photo credit by wentzy
Raised gardening is simply the process of growing plants and flowers above the ground. Flower lovers and gardeners use raised gardening when they don't have large areas of the outdoors to plant in. It is useful for those who have small yards or just want to plant in one area in the yard as well. If you have already planted your annual garden, but would like an area to grow herbs or any other types of plants, creating a raised garden bed may be the route to take. While raised gardening beds take away the toil of having to bend down much, it is also incredibly useful for senior citizens, or those who may have arthritis in the knees and legs.
When you are creating your raised garden bed, you will want soil that is at least six to eight inches high. You may use soil from a garden that already exists, or twenty five percent of your soil can be directly from your yard. After adding soil from your yard, you will need equal parts of sand and compost. You may use wood, stones, logs, or bricks to put around your garden edges to make it more permanent. Begin building your bed in the seasons of fall or early winter before the ground freezes, so that you will be ready to plant once spring arrives. An average sized raised bed garden is about twenty five feet long and three inches in width.
If you would like to keep away garden pests, protect your garden from both the bottom and the top. Use chicken wire to cover the bottom of the bed to keep rodents or other animals from munching on your garden produce. For protection from birds, cover the top of the garden with bird netting. To reduce the amount of weeds that grow in your garden, use mulch in your bed. Try mulches like organic bark or black plastic.
Watering a raised garden bed is very simple. Plants only need to be watered where they are growing instead of in between rows like a regular garden. Try not to use overhead watering in your raised garden, because the plants are more likely to get a plant disease within the foilage. Should your garden get any kind of soil disease, you can always take out the old soil, and replace it with new soil, and continue gardening again.
For off season gardening, such as in the winter-time, you can also turn your garden into its own little personal green house. Place a type of plastic structure over your garden bed to keep out the cold air, and to let in the warmth of the sun. You can purchase what is called a “cold frame,” which is created from polycarbonate panels. A cold frame is great for starting any vegetables or herbs early before Spring begins or to protect your flowers that are most sensitive to the cold weather.
So if you are looking to begin something simple and small, or would like to plant in another area of your yard, try creating a raised garden bed. They are simple to take care of as they don't require as much work as a larger garden does. Just remember that you are working with a smaller area, and keep the above listed tips in mind when you are caring for your garden.