How to Plant Raised Gardens

Overview

Planting raised beds does not take long. It will allow the gardener to plant a healthy garden, when combined with organic practices, and can be combined with other gardening methods to ensure the most produce possible. Raised beds can also be used to plant herbs and flowers. Good soil and weed control are key when gardening in a raised bed, as is watering. When the soil is built up properly, larger yields are possible.

Step 1

Use a spade to break up the ground where the raised bed will be located. Take out all grass and weeds and dig about 12 inches down. Sift through the soil with your fingers and take out rocks larger than small pebbles, as well as sticks. Place the bed frame over the area that has been worked. Be sure that it is sturdy and not wobbly when fixed in place. Add compost to about half the height of the frame and mix it well with the soil that was dug up. Add more compost up to the top of the frame and work into the soil again using a hand trowel or shovel.

Step 2

Plant the seeds, seedlings and cuttings in the raised beds. Place seeds about 1/4 to 1/2 inch into the soil, according to the packet directions. Cover the roots of the seedlings well with soil, and be sure the cuttings are planted as directed. Water the bed well.

Step 3

Use "square foot gardening" if you need to get the most produce possible out of a small space. This method requires less watering, thinning and weeding than traditional gardening. In this method, you plant vegetables in squares rather than rows, to maximize space. Expand the space further with a trellis, which will hold plants like pumpkins, peas, beans or cucumbers.

Step 4

Build a basic wooden frame over the raised bed for even more space. it should have four "legs" and an open frame around the top, like an arbor. hang planters from the top of the frame, and pole beans will grow up the wooden poles. Use hanging planters as container gardens by planting things such as berries and herbs.

Step 5

Practice "lasagna gardening" within the beds to reduce time and energy spent on weeding and cultivating. In this method, you create multiple layers of newspaper, grass clippings, mulch and compost, planting vegetables and flowers in the top soil layer; each year you add more layers of organic matter. Over time the various layers break down and enrich the garden soil.

Things You'll Need

  • Raised bed
  • Garden soil
  • Spade
  • Compost
  • Trellis
  • Wood frame
  • Hanging planters
  • Seeds
  • Seedlings
  • Cuttings
  • Water

References

  • Square Foot Gardening; Mel Bartholomew
  • Our Garden Gang: Lasagna Gardening 101

Who Can Help

  • All About Planters: Container Gardening
Keywords: Raised beds, Plant raised gardens, Vegetable gardening, Square foot gardening

About this Author

Shannon Buck is a freelance writer residing in the small town of Milford, Maine. Her work has appeared on several sites including GreenandSave.com, where she writes The Green Mom column. She has written on many subjects, including home improvement, gardening, low-income living, writing and homeschooling.