Raised bed gardening is a more convenient way of gardening compared to the normal gardening method. This is because practicing raised bed gardening advocates for less damage to your yield. There are very many tips that exist to help you ensure you have a profitable raised garden. The most important tip to consider is the quality of soil you are buying for your garden since most of external soil could be contaminated and this could mean harm to your plants. It is therefore important to carefully examine the soil before buying it. Another good tip is to put a barrier such as a gopher wire at the bottom of the bed before adding soil since this wire will prevent movement of pests from the ground into the soil.
Once you have added soil into your raised garden, you can add compost manure as the top dress as compost manure enriches the soil with nutrients and oxygen for a crop to be planted. The irrigation system is another important factor that needs to be considered early on before planting. Putting a tap with a hose pipe or sprinkler in the garden before planting will help minimize unnecessary movement inside your garden. Your raised bed garden should not be too wide to allow you reach the center of your garden without stepping on it. Having a good drainage system in your raised bed is important as this helps avoid water stagnation that lead to formation of puddles in the garden. Puddles will lead to over absorption of water by seeds or transplants and this may result in rotting of certain plants.
Having the right soil is simply the most vital thing to consider and by right soil it means the soil has all the right nutrients, minerals and it has the right texture that is not too coarse or too smooth. For a successful raised bed garden for a beginner, it is best to start with simple herbs that require little attention and are simple to tend to. Simple herbs may be petunias, pansies, basil, lemon grass or peppers and squash. Other than the gopher wire, you can create boundaries around your garden using a board and other partial barriers that minimize movement into the garden. Arrange your garden in rows to make weeding and cleaning your farm an easy task. It is key to understand the needs of your herbs as some require sunlight to germinate while others do well under the shade.
Leafy vegetables do better under shades because of their large surface area which makes it easy to use minimum sunlight for photosynthesis. Track what you plant every season to help you balance out vegetables according to their needs. Tomatoes for instance, require a lot of calcium making it important to enrich your soil with calcium after harvest to make it available for other plants. Mulch your raised bed garden often to make sure the soil is always rich in moisture for your plants. Mulching also minimizes invasion of your garden by pests and prevents erosion, it improves the fertility of the soil since imported soil thinks out very easily. Use a handheld tiller which makes it easier to rich the center of your garden without stepping on the soil. While planting, pair your plants carefully because certain vegetables such as onions and tomatoes grow well together.
You can research to find out what other seeds grow well together since some crops when wrongfully paired, may behave as competitors for certain nutrients leading to lower yields during harvest time. When your garden is not in use, plant cover crops that minimize erosion and improve the soil’s fertility for the next planting session. Cover vegetation engages the soil to keep the soil fluffy and prevent it from thinking out. Grow seeds and transplants according to the season that they do well in as some do well during the rainy weather and others during hot weather. During the summer, invest in xerophytes as they require little water and nutrients to survive. Keep a record of what you cultivate every year and try to monitor the yield of each crop as this helps you determine which vegetables did well in which season. Having a record will help you remember what you did to a certain crop that resulted in a high yield and then do it again in the next season.
Besides adding a cover plantation, you can just cover up your soil during the cold weather with magazines or dead plant parts. With time, the magazines and plant parts will not and decompose enriching your soil with microorganisms needed by crops in the next planting session. When the garden is not in use, fluff the soil regularly with a handheld tiller to evenly spread out minerals, nutrients and microorganisms in the soil. Start with one or two crops that are easy to manage in the first season of gardening before adding more vegetables as time goes by while you get more experience. Putting borders around your garden help minimize erosion caused by running water on the sides of your garden. You can replace the soil in your garden after two or three years or add more soil to the soil currently in your garden. This is necessary because a raised bed garden consists of imported soil that usually thins out after a while unlike a regular garden.
When adding more soil to your garden, make sure it is the same type as what you have been using for uniformity. Raised bed gardening is not complex compared to basic gardening, the only difference is that raised bed gardening is like growing crops in a large raised container. The size of your garden does not determine the amount of yield you will get since this is determined by the amount of work that you put in your garden. For successful raised bed gardening, just start small and simple then advance as time goes by. Make sure you set aside adequate time every week to tend to your garden. Keep enriching your soil regularly and spray with insecticides and herbicides to keep insects and diseases away.