Do You Need To Solve a Gardening Problem?
Installing any kind of raised beds kit is an ideal and effective way of tackling many common gardening problems that cannot be resolved any other way. You can use them to increase architectural interest; help with steep slopes or awkward terrain; grow plants that you never thought possible by changing your basic soil type, and improve drainage or winter water logging problems.
Also, if you garden at higher altitudes or have an exposed windy patio, having a solidly built and more drought resistant brick or stone raised bed may be a more practical alternative to a lighter container. But if you garden on a balcony or roof top, where weight might be an issue, then building a brick or stone raised bed may not be the right option for you, although you may still be OK with using a relatively more lightweight material such as plastic.
Low Maintenance Wooden Raised Beds Can Be Attractive....
Choosing The Right Raised Beds Kit Can Be Difficult....
But choosing the best raised beds kit for your garden is not always an easy decision. Consumers today have a vast choice of raised bed kits to choose from as they come in all sorts of different materials, sizes, colours and shapes, with wildly varying price tags which range from the very cheap to the highly expensive.
So the main question is ‘How do I choose the best raised beds kit for me and my circumstances?’
Discover How To Plant Up Your Raised Bed Rght Here....
- CLICK HERE for a raised bed planting checklist
Want to know how to plant up a raised bed? Follow these simple rules and you cannot go wrong!
Buying Decisions Are Usually Based On Two Factors!
Well, most people make the decision based on two factors alone: – (1) which raised beds kit they like the best and (2) at a price that they can afford.
But before you rush out to your local garden centre and buy the first, most attractive raised beds kit you find, there are in fact some other factors you may need to consider before making a final purchase.
Some suitable planning questions you may like to consider include the following: -
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What's the Best Location for a Raised Bed? Is It Right For Me?
You’ll need to choose your intended spot carefully, because raised beds by their very description and nature are larger than containers or planters and need to be constructed, usually with permanent paths or access points so once put in are usually permanent structures and not easily removed. A good landscaping idea will not only need to be in keeping with the general surroundings but it will also need to repeat themes, materials, colours and shapes thereby creating a thread of interest which subtly yet effectively links up all the different areas of your garden that then encourages people to want to explore more of it!
Ideas For Stylish and Well Designed Raised Beds....
What Type of Plants Do You Intend To Grow In Your Raised Beds?
When you install your raised garden beds, you’ll be able to choose from a wider variety of flowers and plants, including those that are not naturally suited to your soil type. Why? Because plants that cannot tolerate lime, such as berberis, conifers, magnolias, heathers, hydrangeas, orchids, pieris, skimmia and even raspberries will be much easier to grow in a raised bed filled with ericaceous compost. But remember to use glue as an adhesive if you choose to have brick or stone built raised beds for acid loving plants, as any mortar that you use will contain lime.
You’ll also find that alpines do better in raised beds as they naturally require free draining soil and tend to look more at home in a natural stone raised bed setting. To create the right setting and improve the drainage even more just add one part horticultural grit to 2 parts soil, and if building on solid foundations, don’t forget to add hardcore or gravel as well at the bottom of your raised bed.
However if you intend to grow fruit or vegetables, then your raised beds really do need to be quite large in size, with a minimum soil depth of 6 to 8 inches and positioned where they get at least 6 hours worth of sunshine a day in order to produce a worthwhile crop.
Raised Beds Kits For Growing Vegetables....
And the Most Ideal Size, Shape and Depth For a Raised Bed Is?
Well, the simple answer is that they can be any size, shape or depth that you want them to be. Today there’s an ever-expanding range of raised bed kits on offer that will cater for the most avid and particular of garden designers. Generally speaking, once you have chosen a style of raised bed that you like which also complements the surroundings, then all you have to do is ensure that your built raised bed is:-
(1) deep enough so that it holds plenty of soil to provide sufficient nutrients, drainage and water to maintain your plants,
(2) high enough so that you are not constantly bending down or over them,
(3) and yet narrow enough so that you can easily reach across and tend to all your plants without having to stretch too much.
My recommendation is that if you do want to grow vegetables, rectangles are the easiest shape to build in wood and maintain, 10ft x 4ft in size with permanent paths in-between. Whilst patio or terraced raised beds can be any size, shape or material, but not less than 18 inches wide or be warned you will be constantly watering in the summer time!
Reconstitued Stone - Ideal Material For Any Kind of Size or Shape DIY Garden Terrace or Raised Bed You Want To Build...
Have YOU Got the Right DIY Skills?
Brick, reconstituted stone and plastic materials will always last longer and look better than wood, (which will need some annual maintenance if you want it to last for years) and the very light weight plastics that are available, but deteriorate in colour and looks over time. But whatever type of raised bed you decided to opt for, you do need to ask yourself do you possess the right DIY skills if you intend to build it yourself? The reason I mention this aspect is because I was recently shown around a friend’s house and garden and was surprised at how many ‘DIY projects’ were left unfinished, which ranged from the house air conditioning system, kitchen remodelling, pond and brick barbecue on the patio. It was because a lack of skills or knowledge had first halted the initial work and then project apathy stopped it completely!
I and my partner have built several raised beds out of wood, recycled stone, reconstituted stone and red brick and although the projects were great fun to do, the work was actually very demanding both physically and mentally. Even though we have now completed several projects, we did run into problems, despite meticulous planning, so I would say that the greatest skill to have before you embark on anything is a ‘project management’ type attitude. And by that I mean, if you run into potential or unforeseen problems which are guaranteed to happen on any kind of project not just building a raised beds one is, don’t be put off as problems or issues are never insurmountable and alternative solutions can always be found....even if you have to research way into the small hours of the night.
Once you have the answers to the above questions, then you are ready to start looking at what’s available in the shops, at the local garden centre or on the internet. If you struggle trying to keep an image in your mind’s eye of what you are looking for, do some research on the internet and download some pictures of raised bed kits that you actually like the look of. This will help to keep you focused and stop you from buying on impulse a raised bed that is totally unsuitable for you and your circumstances! ......So why not start researching right now?
lisa.bom on January 15, 2012:
Very useful. I will take your advise and use it when planting my garden. Thank you for sharing.