5 Situations that Call for Raised Beds

If you've followed Growing The Home Garden for any length of time you probably know that I'm a proponent of raised bed gardening.  Raised beds can be made of all sorts of materials and have all kinds of advantages for growing a garden.  Raised beds are great solution for many tricky situations in the garden. Here are a few ways that raised beds can help a garden that may have some issues! 5 Situations that Call for Raised Beds Poor soil.  Very few gardeners are lucky enough to have perfect soil for gardening.  You may have hard clay, very sandy soil, or even no soil!  Raised beds help in each of these situations by allowing the gardener to have control over the soil conditions.  The soil can be just right from the very beginning.  It can be filled with a combinations of soil, compost, and other materials to be exactly…

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Building a Fall Garden Bed From Stone Retaining Wall Blocks

Fall is fast approaching.  No matter how much we may wish to pause time and reap our summer garden harvest we have to start thinking about the fall garden.  This weekend I redid and rebuilt one of my garden beds to update it for fall crops.  If you've followed me for a while you may remember the raised circular garden bed I made with retaining wall blocks.  With the help of Lowe's Creative Ideas I completely revamped it and prepared it for the fall crops. Here's where it was before.  The stones had sunk some into the soil and weeds had crept in all around.  I weeded and re-leveled the stones before beginning the "real" project! I brought home 36 retaining wall blocks from our local Lowe's in Spring Hill, TN.  On the level base provided by the stones I had there previously I set the first row of blocks.…

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Should You Use Raised Beds?

I've talked a lot about raised beds over the years here and there's no doubt that I'm a fan but are raised beds perfect for everybody?  Does everyone need a raised bed? Should you used raised beds in your garden? The answer is it isn't always necessary.  Anyone could utilize raised beds to have a great garden, but you don't have to have raised beds for an effective and productive garden.  Use this post as a checklist on whether you should use a raised bed or not. Here are some factors to help you evaluate if you should use raised beds. The Native Soil. If your soil is not an ideal soil for growing crops then you may want to use raised beds.  Soils can vary considerably from location to location and even within an acre the soils can be significantly different.  Parts of our yard are sloped with the…

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5 Steps to Planning a Raised Bed Garden

I've written several times before about raised beds.  I'm a fan, a huge fan of raised beds. With a raised bed you can control the soil, control the moisture, and garden virtually anywhere.  It makes sense that raised beds are a great option for every homeowner (here's why: 8 Benefits to Gardening in Raised Beds).  The question though that new gardeners will ask themselves is how am I going to do this?  How should I plan and design my raised bed garden?  Those are important questions that we'll look at here in this post. 5 Steps to Planning a Raised Bed Garden Step 1: Pick a Great Location for Your Raised Bed Garden Decide on a good location, it's essential.  Vegetables need the proper amount of light to thrive.  Most vegetables need full sun but you can get away with part sun or grow leafy vegetables in somewhat shady locations.…

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It’s Not Just a Box

It's not just a box.  Really it isn't.  It's so much more than that.  You built it in your backyard, sideyard, or even front yard.  You filled it with soil.  You tended that box and nurtured every single tiny seed you planted in it.  That box is your garden.  That box with the untreated wood your neighbor told you would rot one day isn't just a box.  It's food for your family.  It's education for your children.  It's nature in action and it is your raised bed. After we bought our house and I built my first raised beds in the backyard I thought I should explain what I was doing to my neighbor.  I didn't want him to think I was just some crazy person who simply liked making wooden boxes. He stopped by once to ask me something so I explained that they were for my new raised…

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Making a Raised Bed from Metal Roofing Materials

Recently I put together my newest raised bed.  I was inspired by some pictures I've seen lately where metal roofing materials were used for the sides.  It was a very cool look that I wanted to see if I could replicate for my garden.  I went to the store and gathered 9 2x4's, 3 steel roofing panels, and a box of deck screws.  The total material cost for this raised bed is around $100 but you could greatly diminish that if you could find old metal roofing from a barn or a shed.  The metal roofing panels were $15 each which adds up to almost half the project. I built the side frames for the raised beds first.  The 8' sides used full length 2x4s with 3 21 1/4 inch vertical pieces as supports on the sides and the middle.  The 4' sides only used 2 supports per side which made…

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How Tall Should a Raised Bed Be? (5 More Raised Bed Design Tips)

Have you ever wondered exactly how tall a raised bed should be?  Here's the answer: 11 and 5/16ths.  Yep that's right, 11 and 5/16ths.  Of course not!  The real answer is that the height of a raised bed is dependent on a number of factors which makes each situation different.  Today's Friday Fives post is another raised bed design post all about the height considerations when building a raised bed.  Hopefully this will be helpful as you plan you fall garden or even your spring garden for next year! 5 Considerations for Determining How Tall A Raised Bed Should Be! The most important thing for your plants is the soil.  It has all the nutrients and its where all the water will be stored after rains.  If you have rich, compost like soil already than you don't have to worry about how tall your bed will be.  In fact then…

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A Raised Bed with Concrete Retaining wall Blocks

This week I put together another project in the vegetable garden. It was a little one that was another step toward designing my vegetable garden as a parterre style garden layout.  This raised vegetable bed was also another project that I accomplished with materials furnished by Lowe's Creative Ideas.  The idea for this project was to create something that was both edible and ornamental! I decided that working in the vegetable garden was the way to go.  Vegetables can be very ornamental by themselves but I also incorporated some more traditional flowers and plants to enhance the garden's ornamental value. For materials on this project I used the retaining wall blocks.  There are quite a variety of block styles to choose from.  I went with a mid priced block (about $2.50 per block) that has some natural looking contouring.  The sides of the block are beveled to allow for rounded…

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