Raised bed gardening is all the rage now, as “backyard farmers” do not have enough time to till, plant and weed large vegetable gardens for their families. Raised beds are easier to maintain and, with a little effort in establishing the garden, they can last for many years to come. They are convenient, often just outside your back door, off the deck, or close by in a selected space in your yard. Just make sure to choose a sunny spot, where the vegetable plants will thrive and produce bountiful crops for your enjoyment throughout the season.
Size matters—you can tailor the size needed according to your family size and choice of vegetables to plant. It’s best to start small, such as a rectangular bed 8’ x 5’, or whatever you choose. Just make sure not to make it too wide, as you may need to be able to reach across to plant. It’s best to choose a location that allows you access on all sides, as you will need to move around the perimeter to work your garden.
You can make the raised garden yourself, or get raised bed corners at a garden supply site, such as Gardener’s Supply Co. (gardeners.com). They come in different heights, from 6” to 23”. If you plan on root crops, such as beets and carrots, you might want to have a little deeper bed to accommodate those. Remember, the higher the bed, the more soil you will need. Lumber can be purchased at any lumber supply store, or Lowe’s or Home Depot, as you don’t want chemicals leaching into the garden.
Don’t buy pressure-treated lumber; cedar is best for longevity. Once you have chosen the right spot in your yard, assemble the bed and fill with good potting soil. You can add fertilizer later. A little planning will assure that you will have a lot of success with just a bit of effort to become a successful vegetable gardener!