Since raised beds have so many advantages over planting on level ground, you might want to consider building your own. Here are some tips to keep in mind for people who want to create a do-it-yourself raised garden bed.
Unless you are specifically planning on planting shade-loving plants, choose a location that gets plenty of sun. For growing edibles, this is a must. And if you are growing fruits and vegetables or herbs, site your garden where it will be easily accessible from the kitchen. Building a raised vegetable bed is a very practical way of growing edibles.
If you have gophers, moles or voles in your area, line the bottom of your raised bed with ½” gauge hardware cloth so the sides of the material extend to the outside of the garden bed walls. In other words, lay the bottom liner and build your walls on top of it, effectively sealing off entry points. This way, pests cannot enter your raised garden bed from below.
For edible gardens do not use green wood, railroad ties or any other treated wood unless you line the garden bed with a durable plastic as you do not want toxins leaching into the soil. Not all processed woods have been proven to be dangerous, but it’s best to err on the safe side.
Make your construction into something attractive. Echo the design from the rest of your landscape in the materials you choose. A brick-walled raised bed with a decorative miniature white picket fence on top might look perfect in a cottage garden. Or a rustic, stacked stone raised garden may be just the thing for a woodland styled landscape. Have fun designing your elevated planting area. Not only will it resist pests and allow you to fill the interior with the exact kind of soil you want to use, but caring for the garden will be easier on your back since you won’t have to bend so much. Plus, with a little imagination, you can make it look decorative.
You can even construct a raised garden bed on a patio or balcony by stacking up artistically placed ready-made containers. Just make sure that however you build it. you factor in drainage and watering. Hopefully, these tips will help you design and build your own garden bed more successfully.