Build and plant raised beds: how it works

Planting, maintaining and harvesting sounds like back pain? Not with a raised bed! Because you can garden there without having to bend down constantly, because the workplace is at a comfortable height of 80 to 100 cm. In contrast to a herb spiral, the raised bed works on only one level.

Advantages of raised beds

1. Back-friendly gardening

2. Almost no (root) weed

3. Nutrients, loose soil, few snails and warm feet

4. No fertilization, the plants are self-sufficient and basically grow on a compost heap

5. Cultivation almost like in the cold frame possible early in the year – raised beds warm up quickly

6. After a few years you can use the humus in the raised bed in the garden

7. Garden waste can be disposed of in the raised bed

Comfortable: create a raised bed and never have to bend down to harvest.

Build a raised bed

In principle, raised beds are huge flower boxes and mostly made of wood. This is easy to work with and fits in any garden. Larch is ideal, as it lasts a long time even without protective treatment. If you don’t want to build the bed yourself, buy ready-made kits. These are made of wood, gabions or plastic.

It is very important to line the side walls of a wooden raised bed with pond or pimpled film from the inside so that moisture does not penetrate the wood. In addition, a close-knit wire against voles is important on the floor, which is spread over the entire base area and which is firmly connected to the side walls.

Whether you are buying or building a raised bed, the corner posts must be precisely aligned.

Admittedly, wood doesn’t last forever and it takes a good two days to set up, but once set up, the only real disadvantage of a raised bed is the increased water consumption on hot days.

Raised beds for balcony and terrace

You don’t have to do without a bed on the balcony or terrace, in which flowers can of course also grow. There are many different models such as to buy the vegtrug, which take up little space but still enables a lavish harvest.

Small raised beds like some models are perfect for balconies or terraces.

Raised beds for the balcony are usually made of wood, thin sheet metal or fabric. In addition, there are also plant bags for wall mounting or plantable substrate bags for balcony gardeners.

The best time to build

It is best to set up in autumn or spring. Autumn has the advantage that the earth has settled by spring and can be supplemented well in spring. In spring, however, there is more material to be filled due to the pruning, which you can dispose of in the bed immediately.

Tip: Place wooden beds on curbs or vertically buried sidewalk slabs that separate wood and garden soil and prevent decay. This is also a perfect mowing edge so that brush cutters do not damage the wood.

Size and location of a raised bed

A raised bed should be at most 120 cm wide and 80 to 100 cm high, so that you can reach comfortably to the middle. The bed should be at least 200 cm long so that you can climb into the bed to easily shovel out the soil when the bed is completely refilled after five or six years. The orientation is irrelevant, the generally low plants always get enough light. Only shady places are unfavorable.

Harvest on every balcony: Mobile raised beds can be found everywhere

Build a raised bed: step-by-step instructions

1. Mark the surface and dig the floor a good 20 cm deep, optionally set the edge stones. To do this, dig a trench, insert the stones and fix them with concrete.

2 .. Align and fold in the corner posts, lay out a close-meshed grid against voles. Make additional posts to reinforce the side wall if the bed becomes longer than two meters in total or if thin boards are used.

3. Screw on the boards for the side walls and clamp the wire mesh under the first board. If you fasten the boards with long screws from the inside, no screw heads can be seen from the outside.

4. Tack the film from the inside onto the boards and screw a horizontal board onto the posts as a finish. Finished. If the wood is impregnated, further protection is not necessary.

5. Fill the bed layer by layer. Cut the branches and twigs with pruning shears, then they can be compacted better.

A raised bed made of gabions is a robust and easy-care eye-catcher.

Raised beds made of stone

Stone is robust and fits in any garden. In order for a raised bed made of stone to stand securely, a foundation is required that extends as far as possible to a depth of 80 cm and is therefore frost-proof.

Even if stone is absolutely weather-resistant, the bed should still be lined with foil on the inside, so that the stones do not become damp and neither algae nor moss build up and become unsightly over time.

Fill the raised bed

The material becomes ever finer towards the top, the individual layers are 20 to 30 cm thick, depending on the bed height, but this does not have to be followed slavishly if there is not enough material. Coarse shrub clippings, branches or small rhizomes come directly onto the mouse grate, followed by thin branches. Cover with inverted turf so that the earth does not immediately trickle through. If you have no sods, take a thin blanket or a fleece.
Spread leftovers, leaves, grass clippings and raw compost on top and cover with garden soil and fine compost. Fill to the brim with potting soil.

Planting raised beds

Although flowers such as balcony plants also grow well in raised beds, you will usually plant them with vegetables. Tomatoes or runner beans are always recommended, they also grow well – but only smaller varieties are possible. Otherwise the plants will be so high that a ladder is needed to harvest them. Spatial species such as zucchini or pumpkin, which would simply scare other plants out of the bed, also do not fit.

You can sow directly into the bed or plant purchased young plants. Tall plants come to the middle, low plants to the edge, so that everyone gets light. Newly created beds are full to the brim with nutrients, so that only very hungry plants such as leeks, carrots, onions, celery or red cabbage come into the bed in the first year. The next year, the less hungry plants such as Herbs.

This raised bed with an attachment competes with the greenhouse.

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