DIY: Rooting for Raised Beds
As with many things in life, the hardest part of having a vegetable garden is knowing where to start. Most urban farmers don’t have space for the expansive rows seen on traditional farms, but there is nothing stopping you from turning your backyard into a beautiful, edible oasis.
If you are an aspiring or new gardener, here is a word to the wise on one easy way to get started: Use raised beds.
Here are three reasons why raised beds will get you growing:
1. No Waiting: It can take years to amend the existing soil in your garden before it is ready for vegetable cultivation. With raised beds, you get to skip the waiting and jump to the growing. Fill your raised beds with only the organic, nutrient-rich soil that you want.
2. Fewer Weeds: Weeds can’t grow where they can’t go. Raised beds act as a natural barrier between invasive weeds and your delicious vegetables. It’s as simple as that.
3. Keep Clean: Raised beds form boundaries between your vegetables and walking paths. Cover your paths with beautiful gravel or stone, and rest assured your vegetables are not being trampled. Now you can grab some greens in your garden for dinner after a rainy day and know you’re not bringing the mud back inside with you.
Top three tips for growing in raised beds:
1. Use Rot-Resistant Wood: Cedar or redwood is best. Steer clear of pressure treated wood, as it has chemicals that may leech into your soil and crops.
2. Splurge for Drip Irrigation: Gardening should be a hobby, not a chore. Drip irrigation delivers the correct amount of water to the correct part of the plant, right at the root zone. Using an automatic water timer, you will be able to go on vacation and know that your baby vegetables are getting the water that they need.
3. Trellis Vining Vegetables: Tomatoes and cucumbers are delicious garden favorites, but they can also be space hogs. Training your favorite vining vegetables up a trellis will save space and add a beautiful third dimension to your raised bed.