Raised beds help gardeners produce healthier vegetables. Raised beds give gardeners an opportunity to improve their soil's drainage and increase its level of nutrients. Similar to container gardening, raised beds can alleviate some of the physical demands of gardening by reducing the amount gardeners must kneel and bend to care for the vegetables.
Build the frame for the raised bed with non-toxic materials. Toxins from the framing material may leak into the soil and render your vegetables inedible. Purchase frame materials for the simplest and fastest construction. Find raised beds in garden supply stores, through mail order and online sources.
Make your own frames to give yourself the greatest flexibility and control costs. Build beds to fit the shape of your property. Triangles, squares and long rectangles are all viable options when you do it yourself. Create beds with new lumber or recycled materials. Clean recycled lumber thoroughly by sanding and scraping away all foreign materials. Use galvanized screws and nails to hold the pieces together. Galvanized metal resists rust.
Build your raised beds at the location on your property that receives the most sun. It does not matter if the soil in place is less than ideal for vegetables because you will add soil to raise the planting area.
Create a slope in your planting area to help the soil drain. Some vegetables, such as zucchini, prefer to grow on a slope. A slope exposes more planting area to sunlight, which means your bed will produce healthier and larger vegetables during the season.
Insect and Rodent Protection
Take advantage of a raised bed's structure to defend your vegetables from insects and rodents. Before installing the raised bed, lay down hardware cloth or any other grid material to thwart the efforts of burrowing rodents.
Protect your vegetation from threats from above with netting. Create tents over the plants by securing insect or butterfly netting to the sides of the raised beds. Netting allows water and light to pass through, but turns away hungry insects.
Creating barriers to ward against crawling pests is easier with raised beds. Gardeners who hold onto the theory that a copper band will deter slugs can add protection to the edges of their raised beds.
Leave enough space between beds to pass through the area with ease. Digging for potatoes can be tiring, reduce fatigue by sitting on a chair while tending to the plants. After building the beds, make paths through the area . Use some form of weed protection, such as weed-blocking cloth, under a layer of pine bark or gravel.