Growing vegetables in raised beds can be an excellent way of becoming self sufficient and can make for an attractive garden feature. A little fact that I didn’t know is that containers and grow bags are also considered to be forms of raised beds, they are just smaller versions.
When it comes to determining what you can grow in raised beds, you’ll be pleased to know that almost any vegetable is suitable for this kind of gardening, so long as they are not climbers such as tomatoes. This is because the compost used in a raised bed is not compact and won’t be able to support stakes.
Root vegetables and potatoes welcome the home of a raised bed, with carrots, turnips and parsnips thriving in this environment.
When should I make a raised bed?
There are two seasons that provide the perfect timings to create a raised bed. Autumn encourages you soil to create a good tilth and Spring ensures the soil is dry enough to dig up.
What is the ideal size of a raised bed?
Four by four beds are a good starting point as it isn’t too big, nor to small and provides you with the perfect size to get to grips with raised bed gardening. If you want a long bed that exceeds four feet, it’s best to split it up and have multiple beds. You don’t want to spend half your morning walking around it, nor do you want to trample on your crops when trying to tend to others.
• You’re able to use your space more efficiently
• Soil doesn’t become compact making it easy to maintain
• Less work is required before any planting commences. There isn’t much need to dig or fork the soil up in preparation
• Often you’ll find that the soil used has good drainage
• You have easy access to all your crops
Decorative raised beds
When constructing a raised bed, here are a few ideas you could use to make your raised bed an architectural feature:
• If you want multiple beds, why not play around with their heights and place them strategically?
• Use old pieces of wood. This is a fantastic way of recycling unwanted wood items and turning them into something aesthetically pleasing
Mr McGregor is a guest writer for the popular garden centre Notcutts who are both passionate about growing your own and all the ways you can do so.