I’ve been gardening for 13 years and I”ve always just had a little space in the ground in my yard. Prior to moving to our new farm, we lived on 1 1/2 acres in a neighborhood. I definitely had the space to have a big garden but never really pursued one because honestly, it was a lot of work. Tilling and pulling weeds took up a lot of my time, even in that little space. When we moved to our 11 acres, I was determined to expand my garden and work smarter, not harder. Follow along below on why I switched to a raised garden bed.
How to Select Your Location
- Before you even think about building a raised bed, you’ll need to select the best location. The first thing to consider is the sun. Your vegetables are going to need lots of sunshine in order for them to grow.
- Select a location that is easy to access. Maybe it’s up near your home or if you’d rather, place your garden in the back yard. Just make sure you will tend to it every day.
- Make sure your garden location has access to water. This of course is a given but it’s much easier to have a hose bib near the space than to have to worry about trenching a new line.
Supporting Other Homesteaders
Using a Raised Garden Bed
Last fall, I found some galvanized raised beds that were 12 inches high and I decided to use them in our new permanent garden space. I knew the new garden was going to be a work-in-progress but I still wanted to grow vegetables for the season. I found these galvanized beds at a local hardware store. I purchased (2) 4×12 and (4) 4×4 beds. Let me tell you…..I will never go back to in-ground gardening. If I absolutely had to, of course, I would haha, but I am loving my raised garden bed so much. Here’s why:
I’ve noticed since last Fall that my soil is so rich and healthy. Everything I planted grew nicely right through Winter (I’m in zone 9B) right through Spring. I am using a mix of mushroom compost and cow manure. Our soil here in Florida is very sandy. Most things will grow in it, however; when adding organic matter and nutrients to the sand really enhances it. The roots of the plants have more room to go into the soil allowing the nutrients to be absorbed more efficiently.
This one is my favorite haha! I seriously work less with a raised garden bed. I planted my seeds last September and then again in February, so I have had my beds for two seasons now. I have virtually no weeds. I have a commercial landscape fabric that I laid down on top of our grass last fall. I then set the beds on top. The soil went right into the beds. I think my saving grace on the weeds is my fabric so I highly recommend laying it down prior to creating a raised garden bed. I don’t till my garden beds. The soil stays nice and fluffy.
They Look So Pretty
I’ve always envisioned a little cottage garden one day. I love the look of how uniformed the raised beds are. Everything stays in its place and looks so neat and tidy. Like I said above, my garden is a work-in-progress. The galvanized beds will be coming down eventually as my garden house is going where those are. My kids built me my new wood-raised garden beds a few months ago and I love how they turned out. I’ve been busy getting them set up so they will be all ready to go for my fall planting.
Easier On the Back
As I get older, I am loving not having to bend over all of the time in the garden. My new beds are 18 inches high. I seriously love the size of these new ones. I made them 5×10 and I have eight of them. well, I have one more to put together haha.
What’s Better – Store Bought or a DIY Raised Garden Bed?
Well, I have both. I can honestly tell you that I like them both. The galvanized beds were super easy to put together. I did them in a day by myself. If they were taller than 12 inches, I would probably keep them. I really wanted beds that were taller.
I also have 4 raised beds that come up to my waist. I bought these last year when I was transitioning my garden space. I used them on our back porch. These will be staying in my garden as they will be for all of my herbs.
If you are handy and have access to some good wood, then I say build your raised garden bed. I really wanted cedar or cypress but the prices are so high right now. We have friends that own a Sawmill so I called them up and told them I just wanted a rough cut pine, untreated, of course. We picked them up and started making our cuts. Just make sure you use some great supports for the inside. We used wood but I’ve seen others use metal brackets for bracing. I probably spent the same amount on both styles. I really love my wood-raised garden bed so I am happy I went with these.
Tips on Planting in a Raised Garden Bed
I started doing the Back To Eden garden method back in 2016. We had just bought our property in 2015 and I was so anxious to get started gardening. We had no water on the property but I was determined. I didn’t want to make raised beds because I had no idea where I wanted my garden to eventually go. I used the BTE method on just traditional in-ground gardening. I bought one of those empty sprayers and would add water from my house and bring it over every day. Hey, you do what you have to do, right? I hardly watered once my seeds were established. I started noticing all of my vegetables were growing so much prettier than before using the BTE method. I had no weeds and I watered very little. There’s something amazing to this Back to Eden Garden method.
I encourage you to watch the 2-hour film HERE. Back to Eden Gardening is a regenerative organic gardening method that practices no-till and organic growing principles. The permaculture technique is simple — cover the soil. Growing food and plants with industrial techniques have devastated our climate and planet. That’s why we’re empowering gardeners to practice regenerative organic gardening principles. These practices reduce greenhouse gas emissions and could help trap more carbon than conventional gardening and agriculture. ~ Paul Gautschi’s
Tools You May Need
Non-GMO Heirloom Seeds – Use Discount Code: SAVE10NOW for 10% off your order.
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