So you have picked up your raised garden bed what now?
In this blog, you will learn what you will need to know that are important for your raised garden bed that you have just purchased from Mitre 10, Aldi, Kmart, Stratco or Bunnings or made it yourself from sleepers or concrete blocks.
We all know that growing your food is as smart of an idea as it is healthy. It guarantees food security and is the best way to know where your food has come from. ( no nasty pesticides) It is also excellent in getting the kids involved in learning new things and getting back to basics.
Many people grow their food and are turning to raised garden bed solutions are they are a great option. However, there are a few key considerations when setting these up. Below we will go through some things to keep in mind regarding location, soil, plants, watering, and protection from pests (big and small).
What can you grow in a raised vegetable garden?
It does depend on the time of year to what plants you can grow. If you are growing vegetables, check the growing season to make sure it is the prime time to plant. The right time of year for planting particular plants is vital for giving them the best opportunity to thrive.
You can start with plants that are hard to find in your local fruit and vegetable store or are expensive to buy fresh.
- 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 be excellent 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 is excellent for soups, pizza, mixed with sea salt and roasted potatoes for your 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 is 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. 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.
How to water your garden?
While it’s tempting to start planting first, you must make sure you set up your raised garden beds near a water source. Use a watering system like a drip irrigation kit or a soaker hose with an irrigation controller to save water and get to the plant’s roots most effectively. Choose a location for your raised garden bed planter that is within proximity to a water source.
What soil do I need for my garden?
If you are building low raised beds, you may be able to turn the soil that is already in there and add some extra organic matter on top. If the ground under the bed is compacted or on concrete, it’s best to get the deepest raised garden bed you can afford and fill the beds with soil. Plants tend to grow better in aerated soil.
How much soil do you need for a raised garden bed?
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, which, which 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.
How to mulch your garden?
Add a 7-10cm layer of mulch to the top as bare soil warms fast and will dry out fast in direct sunlight. Ensure the mulch is not too thick, or the water won’t be able to get through to the roots where it matters. For the mulch, you can use grass clipping, sugar cane, pea straw, Lucerne hay, wood chips or any other mulches that are local to your area. Call your local landscape supplier for advice on this.
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 such as Snap Clamps that make it easy to change the netting or material during different seasons. Look at some other 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 assemble
- Rot-resistant and rustproof
- Able to be taken down at the end of the season and used to create something else
- Give you the ability to change over netting or mesh easily
- 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 our customer’s photos of their garden protection, shade houses, greenhouses, cold frames and more that they have designed and built themselves.
Remember, after picking up your raised garden bed; there are a few things to consider:
- What to plant and when
- How you going to water your raised garden
- What soil and how much is required to fill the garden bed
- How to protect your hard work from pests.
Watch our videos on how to design and build a PVC pipe and connector frame
How to design a do it yourself garden cover to protect your vegetables from pests
The video was uploaded on 8/30/2020.
You can view the video here.
The video lasts for 17 minutes and 20 seconds.
Step by step how to Build a do it yourself garden cover to protect your vegetables from pests
The video was uploaded on 8/30/2020.
You can view the video here.
The video lasts for 13 minutes and 25 seconds.
Visit the Klever Cages blog for more gardening tips and home PVC use ideas.