At Glover Nursery we are dedicated to helping you achieve your garden goals. We love to answer your questions and set you up for success with the best plants and garden supplies. Recently, we’ve received a few questions from you all about raised garden beds: what are they, how do I make one, what are the benefits, and how can I make sure it's successful? We want to answer all of your raised bed questions right now!
Raised bed gardening is a type of gardening in which the soil is lifted above ground level and enclosed. The structures for raised beds, a platform with four walls or garden boxes, can be constructed out of wood, rock, or concrete and can be any size that works for you and your space! From small patio gardens to large backyard spreads, raised beds are a great choice.
The soil in a raised bed is typically enriched with compost. Personally, we suggest Rich and Complete; it works wonders in raised beds!
Raised garden beds can be dated back to medieval times when farmers would use walls made of woven limbs and branches - wattle fences - to keep their gardens contained. Fast forward to the 18th century when Parisian gardeners would use horse manure to grow vegetables to sell at the market. In the 1970s this way of gardening was appealing to smaller-scale home gardeners because of the higher yield.
When it comes to raised garden beds you can grow a wide selection of different plants. Some annuals you could grow in your raised bed garden are petunias, pansies, and a variety of herbs. Vegetables like carrots, kale, cucumber, lettuces, radishes, spinach, tomatoes, peas, beans, and squash are common for raised garden beds. If there is a vegetable that you eat often, you can likely grow it in your raised garden!
Pro Tip: Use trellises for plants like peas that like to crawl.
Another useful link: Learn about Setting Your Veggie Beds Up For Success Garden
An elevated garden bed is beneficial for a number of reasons - both for you and your plants. First, lifting your garden from ground level makes bending over and working on your garden less of a strain on your body. You can lift it as high as you need - as long as you can fill it with soil!
A raised bed also isolates your plants and helps prevent weeds and pests. Because you add all the soil to the garden bed, it will likely be way more nutrient-rich so that you can grow more in a smaller amount of space. The soil will also be more aerated and have better draining. Your plants will love it!
Raised garden beds allow for a longer growing season because they warm up quicker in the spring, and cool down slower in the fall. You can also cover them as the weather gets colder and create a kind of greenhouse.
Depending on the size of your outdoor space, raised garden beds can fit into small spaces or large spaces. They’re very versatile.
You may also read: Cost Effective Veggies For Your Garden
Many people choose to build their raised garden beds themselves with treated 2 x 4s or retainer wall materials. If you are crafty, building raised beds could be a fun weekend project! Some home improvement stores even provide raised garden bed kits.
At our garden center, we carry beautiful cedar raised garden boxes made by local artisans that have a 3'x6' growing area with a small platform around the side to give space for holding material while planting in the box. The full size of the box is 42"x78” and the boxes hold a cubic yard of soil.
Let us know in the comments if you plan to start a raised bed this spring! If you already have one - tell us your favorite thing to grow. If you’d like to join an ever-growing online garden community for both beginners and seasoned gardeners alike, come say hello in our Glover Nursery Gardening Group. The community is always sharing their garden wins and gardening tips.