Learn how to build and use raised growing beds.
Raised Bedsgrow your own
One sure fire way to damage the structure of your soil is to walk on it - therefore raised beds
or slightly elevated beds of soil can be built which can be walked around, and planted and harvested with ease. Raising the level of the soil keeps away some weeds, and promotes good drainage. The can also act as a barrier to snails and slugs.
Pictured above is an example of how you can make a raised vegetable growing bed
out of planks of 6" x 1" wood and some 18" lengths of 4" x 4". The picture is pretty self explanatory and construction very simple. The area which is to become the vegetable plot
should then be double dug over and the soil heaped in the centre away from the sides. The completed wooden structure is then turned upside down and the corners hammered one by one and inch by inch into the earth. If the raised plot is more then 6 feet long then additional 4" x 4" stakes should be added at 3 feet intervals to prevent the soil leaking out from bowed and twisted wood.
Use a spirit level to ensure that the raised area is level in all directions. As soon as it is level mix any soil improvement material (manure, compost, fertilizer etc) with the soil and spread it all out. Water the bed evenly with a fine spray and leave the soil to settle for a few days after which another inch or two of soil will need to be added.
It is very important that treated wood is not used. It contains preservative chemicals which will leach into the soil over time and therefore into the vegetables you grow
. Instead use naturally rot resistant wood.
Article Published: 17:13, 15th Apr 2006
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