So you have picked up your raised garden bed from Bunnings, Aldi or Stratco What now?
We all know that growing your food is as smart as it is healthy. It guarantees food security, is the best way to know where your food has come from and is great in getting the family involved learning new things and getting back to basics.
To grow their own food, many people are turning to raised garden bed solutions. However, there are a few key considerations when setting these up. Below we will go through some things to keep in mind when it comes to soil, plants, watering, and protection for your plants from pests (big and small).
(:1f331:) What can you grow in a raised vegetable garden?
Start with plants that are hard to find in the shops or expensive.
- Herbs are a great one as they are sometimes hard to find and don’t last long when you buy them. Start with the basics such as:
- Thyme – great with chicken dishes, pasta and soups. Try some thyme on a roasted mushroom and add goats cheese after it is cooked – yum!
- Basil – perfect for pizza and other Italian dishes such as meatballs etc. You can also use basil to make pesto, which will last longer and will of great in pasta with cream and tomatoes.
- Oregano – again great for pizza and pasta as well as meat dishes.
- Parsley – Use this as a garnish on your meal.
- Rosemary – great for soups, pizza, mixed with sea salt and added to roasted potatoes and for the Sunday roast.
- Salad leaves – have a gourmet salad with your rosemary steak or your thyme chicken. Try growing mignonette, butter, oakleaf, or even cos. Pick off what you need for that meal and let the rest keep growing.
- Snow peas – delicious straight from the pod raw or cook them in water and a little salt. The top of the snow peas are excellent in a salad.
- Root vegetables – such as turnips, baby carrots and radishes. Potatoes are better in a big area or a potato bag, so when they are ready, open the flap, and the potatoes and soil will come out the bottom.
- Tomatoes – these can require a bit more skill to grow; even the experts sometimes have trouble with tomatoes! Try starting with cherry tomatoes; great as is or in a salad.
- Broccoli – great for the colder months, add them to your dinner. Just pick off what you need and let the rest grow.
- Strawberries. Give them their own o make the most out of the plants. Make a little mound for the strawberry plant and put a piece of black plastic around it if you want to keep them out of the dirt.
(:1f4a7:) How to water your garden?
Now that you have decided what plants you want to grow, it’s time to think about how you are going to water these plants to keep them alive, which means planning your irrigation. While it’s tempting to just start planting it’s important you make sure you set up your raised garden beds near a water source. Use a drip irrigation kit with an irrigation controller to save water or ensure you have the raised garden bed within reach of the hose.
(:1f7eb:) What soil do I need for my garden?
If you are building a low raised garden, you may be able to turn the soil that is already in there and add some extra on top. If the ground under the bed is compacted or on concrete, then its best to get the deepest raised garden bed you can afford. A raised garden bed means less bending. Another advantage of using a raised garden bed is that the soil is aerated and not too compacted as plants tend to grow better in aerated soil.
Next, work out how much soil you need. To determine how much soil you will require, use an online soil volume calculator. If it is a deep bed, then remember that the roots may only grow about 30cms down so that is the most crucial part to get right. The remaining soil below that can be local soil, and this way will save on costs. You can also layer the soil with manure, compost, cardboard and minerals in-between to give your plants a better chance of growing. Add a 7-10cm layer of mulch to the top to finish it off. Make sure it’s not too thick or the water won’t be able to get through.
(:1f41b:) How do you protect your garden from pests?
The best way to protect your garden from pests, big and small is netting with a solid frame and attachments that make it easy to change the netting or material during different seasons. Have a look at some different netting options here and read a blog on the different netting types and when to use them. PVC pipe and connectors from Klever Cages can assist with all your protection requirements as they are:
- easy to build with
- rot proof and rustproof
- able to be taken down at the end of the season and used to create something else
- give you the ability to easily change over netting or mesh
- easy to add hinges for doors and other additions to
- an Australian owned and operated small business.
Having experimented with metal and wood in the past, PVC is definitely the best option. Have a look at hundreds of customer photos of garden protection, shade houses, greenhouses, cold frames and more.
Remember, after picking up your raised garden bed you have picked up from Bunnings, Aldi or Stratco there are a few things to consider:
- what to plant
- how you going to water your raised garden
- What soil is required to fill the garden bed
- how to protect your hard work from pests.
Visit the Klever Cages blog for more gardening tips and home PVC use ideas.
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