The content of the article:
We want to share personal experience and give recommendations on how to build a homemade garden in your yard. Special skills and skill for this will not be required, and it is very easy to take care of it.
Advantages of a raised bed
This simple building will greatly simplify your country life:
- Ideal for a small area (in contrast to the garden in rows).
- Suitable for stony and infertile soil.
- In comparison with the usual vegetable garden yields more yields with the same area. This is due to better drainage and deep rooting of plants.
- Increases the growing season, since in cold regions with the arrival of spring, you can begin the tillage of soil early.
- Simplifies the process of gardening. For example, a dense planting creates a shadow (which acts as a mulch) to prevent the growth of weeds.
Materials for the construction of a raised bed
Many gardeners are worried about the safety of wood carcass. First, remember that the pressed wood impregnated with the antiseptic of the CCA family can not be used. It emits arsenic. To improve the shelf life of the tree, there are several options:
- Today, mass production of pressed wood adds a mixture of chemicals that protects it from rotting due to moisture. Despite the fact that this kind of wood is certified and safe for plants, some all equally doubt this account and prefer to use alternative environmentally friendly materials.
- More expensive tree species, for example, cedar, contain natural oils that prevent rotting, increasing the longevity of the material. They are expensive, but they will last even longer.
- The thicker the board, the longer it does not rot. For example, a two-inch wall of larch is able to stand for 10 years without any care.
You can also use concrete blocks or brick, but keep in mind that concrete eventually increases the acidity of the soil.
Some even accommodate railway sleepers, but I do not recommend doing this. If old samples can still come up, then in the manufacture of new ones, creosote treatment is used, which is toxic.
Planning and dimensions
Having defined the variety of wood, you can proceed to planning for the future construction:
- Choose a place to which enough sunlight will fall.
- The standard width of the bed is 120 cm. This size provides unhindered access to plants without the need to step inside;
- the length of the structure is not fundamental. Sections often make 120x240 cm or 120x360 cm.
- The depth can vary, however, should be at least 15 cm. Roots are required from 15 to 30 cm, so the ideal depth is 30 cm.
- Before installing a bed, check that the ground is not compressed. To do this, loosen it with garden forks to a depth of 15 - 20 cm. For improved rooting, some gardeners remove the top layer of soil (at the depth of the shovel), then dig out the next layer and mix together with the first.
Construction of a raised bed
To support the design, install wooden poles in each corner (and every 60 cm for long beds). I recommend doing this from the inside - so the supports will be less noticeable.
The pillars should be dug about 60%, leaving the upper part above the ground. Make sure that they all have the same height, otherwise the sections will turn out to be uneven.
Then set the bottom row of boards and check that they are all on the same level. After that, nail the rest. It is best to use galvanized nails or screws.
In order to comfortably move between beds, leave a passage of 60-70 cm.
Soil for filling
Fill the sections with a mixture of topsoil, compost and other organic materials (eg manure) to ensure that the plants are in a nutrient-rich environment.
Note that the land in such beds dries out faster, which is useful in spring and autumn. However, in the summer cover the top layer of soil with straw, mulch or hay.
Frequent watering is necessary for any plants on the dais. Especially it concerns the early stages of their growth in raised beds.
Which plants can be planted
Virtually any crops can be grown in raised beds. Vegetables are the most common, but also successfully plant fruit, shrubs and even trees. Just remember that some plants will grow beyond their section, and this should be taken into account when planning the location.
A few general recommendations will allow you to maximize the benefits of the garden.
Continuity.Timely replacement of seedlings will ensure continuous production. When one crop is harvested, have ready seedlings for transplantation to the place of the old ones. For the best result use quickly maturing varieties to get the maximum fruit in one season.
Dense planting.Plant different cultures tightly together to save space. Plants should be at such a distance that their leaves touch each other, shielding the earth from the sun's rays. This will prevent the appearance of weeds and retain moisture, eliminating the need to often water, weed and mulch the ground. As the plants, as they mature, will press each other, pick up early ripening in the first place, leaving others room for full development. For example, combine lettuce leaves with seasonal vegetables such as tomatoes, broccoli or peppers.
Different cultures are allies, not rivals.Plants have different root lengths. Planting them next is the key to better use of the entire bed volume. For example, you can combine beans that have short roots, and beetroot, which has a deep rooting. By doing this, you eliminate competition between cultures. It is also beneficial to plant vegetables (cabbage, cucumbers) that are demanding for the amount of nutrients, together with unpretentious beans or carrots.
Help to grow.If there is a fence in the northern side of the garden, then the tallest plants planted there will not cast a shadow on the rest. Do not let the frizzy varieties grow chaotically, taking up valuable space. Help them grow in the right direction:
- Cucumbers willingly climb up the trellised fence. As a result, hanging fruit is very convenient to collect.
- Tomatoes ripen more quickly and give more tomatoes if they are above the ground, tied to a support.
- Peas and beans are always drawn to the sky. Substitute a tripod or wire mesh, and they will begin to wrap around it.
Some heavy plants, for example, melons and watermelons, will need help in directed growth. Tie their shoots to the support to get them moving in the right direction. Maintain large fruits with straps so that they do not come off and fall before time.
Nutritious soil, sufficient sun and good drainage are all necessary conditions for the successful development of the garden. Create your own garden, which will always please you and your friends with fresh vegetables and fruits to the table.