Even if you live somewhere with just a small backyard, you can enjoy your very own garden. A raised-bed garden is great for small areas and can be put together without a lot of effort.
The benefits of giving your garden a lift
Find your growth potential
Raised-bed gardens (sometimes called boxed gardens) are great for different types of plants from flowers to herbs to vegetables. These gardens sit on top of the ground (with no bottoms) with "walls" that help keep the soil from being washed away. The good drainage properties of these types of gardens help provide the needed water without making things soggy for your plants. They also help the roots of your plants grow better. Maintenance of a raised-bed garden is easier than that of a traditional garden, and you can build one in even a small space.
The dirt on raised-bed gardens
There are several components to building a raised bed garden. From the frame to the soil to the seeds or plants, it can be as simple as purchasing a kit from your local garden or hardware store, or you can customize your garden and build your own. Keep in mind that there are many different ways and methods to build a raised bed garden. Do your research before you decide what will work best for you. We'll focus on the most basic here.
Most raised beds are anywhere from 12 to 16 inches tall but you can make them taller (though if they're taller you should plan to put supports in place for the surrounding walls). It's recommended to keep the beds at about 4 feet wide to make it easy to reach your plants from either side. The length is up to you, depending on your available space. However, supports also might be necessary for long gardens to keep the bed from bowing.
If you're building your own basic raised-bed garden rather than using a kit, cedar, composite and recycled plastic are common choices for the walls. If you use wood, try to use lumber that hasn't been treated.
The basic building blocks
If you prefer to purchase a kit for a raised-bed garden, many are available, including:
Does the idea of a raised-bed garden grow on you?
You don't have to have much of a green thumb -- or a lot of space -- for a lovely garden. Raised-bed gardens are easier to maintain than traditional gardens, and your build-out options range from basic to elaborate.
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