Advantages of Using Raised Bed Gardening Boxes?

Apr 28, 2012 by

raised garden bedWhen my wife and I started gardening, we did not even think about using raised beds or gardening boxes for planting. We thought we could just go out and start a patch of garden by removing our lawn, or by removing a weak patch. We didn’t really get very good results by doing a garden this way. Then we learned about garden boxes. Using garden boxes and raised beds has completely transformed the way we do gardening and increased our yield.

Why Should You Use Garden Boxes?

Using a garden box helps improve drainage – if you live in an area that doesn’t get very good drainage, you won’t get good vegetables unless you use a garden box. Having raised beds also improves the drainage of your flower bed or your garden. Having good drainage is important because it helps your roots to develop deeper, and it keeps your plants from developing diseases. In addition, when your soil is constantly wet, it puts a lot of stress on the plant roots.

how to make garden boxesGardening boxes makes it easier to fertilize – you’ll need to use as much fertilizer when you have a garden box because there is no guarantee that all of your fertilizer will go straight to the plants that are in the beds. Also, you’ll be growing plants closer together, so growing in a garden box can actually save you a lot of room.

Using garden boxes makes it easier to weed. Actually, you will develop weeds in your garden boxes and still your plants start growing quickly. Once this happens, it won’t fit in your boxes. I usually plant on the first or second week of April, and then I only have to wait until the end of May. After May, my vegetables are usually growing so well that there is no space for weeds to grow. It is actually one of the best reasons why you should have garden box. Weeds have a harder time getting blown into your garden when surrounded by a box. In addition, you will track weed seeds into your garden by walking through it. Because you don’t develop as many weeds with a garden box, it takes less time to do gardening.

Plants are pretty easy to start gardening boxes. This is because you can usually use very high quality soil, or compost in your boxes. It’s not nearly as expensive as it is to do a whole garden as it is to do a box. Plus if you ever need to dig anything out of the box is easy to do because the roots are contained in a smaller area. When you have a gardening boxes also keeps the soil loose. When soil is loose, it makes it easier for most plans to germinate and grow.

How to Make a Gardening Box

First, you need to do is decide where to plant your box. Make sure that you take into account where the sun appears throughout the day. For most vegetables, you want to get a least 8 to 12 hours of sunlight every day. Also, decide how you’re going to water your garden. If you can set it up so that your garden is watered by a sprinkler system, or by a timer and a soaker hose, it will save you a lot of time.

When you make a gardening box you want to make sure that you use landscaping ties, bricks or stones. It is not a good idea to use pressure-treated wood because you don’t want the chemicals to leach into your soil. The best raised gardening beds should be 8 to 10 inches high. Some years we have planted some raised beds that are only 4 inches high, and they have also worked. Carrots tend to work really well in a raised bed gardens, but the potatoes tends to make the soil more compacted. The type of nursery  we plant in a garden box is important. For more information on this, please see our article on the 10 easiest vegetables to plant.

Once you bring home your board, you have to cut and then nail it together. If you’re using boards that are 2″ x 10” wide, you just screw them together at the ends and you have a gardening box. If you want a stronger box, or if you’re using three-quarter inch plywood, make sure to put wooden blocks on the corners so that you can strengthen them. You can fill them with ordinary topsoil from your yard but you’ll probably have better results if you buy premium gardening soil from a nursery. The best type of mixes will contain weed-free compost, mushroom peat moss, vermiculite, or a blended topsoil. It is worth it to always choose the best soil you can, especially when you are just starting out. This will increase your yield dramatically.

We make all of our gardening boxes 4″ x 8″ and we usually get old lumber for free from Craigslist to save money. The length of the boxes really matter, but if you are buying 8 foot ports anyway, you might as well make the boxes of these 8 feet long. The reason why we use four feet for the width is because when the boxes are 4 feet wide you can still read them without having to step on your garden. If you’re going to have more than one box, make sure there’s a space between them.

Using a raised garden beds can cut down on the amount of time that you spend on your garden. It will also give you a higher yield per square foot, than you would get without a garden box.

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