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There are so many reasons to consider gardening in raised beds. Let’s consider a few of them, and see if gardening above the ground might make sense for you!
You can pick your location
Gardening in beds is great… as long as the location of the beds gives your plants what they need, like proper sun and good soil. That’s not always easy, and that’s when a raised bed can come to the rescue!
Tagawa’s carries a variety of raised bed kits. Some are designed to sit right on the ground. Others are elevated. All of them can make gardening easier and more productive.
You can set raised beds exactly where you want them, as long as the site is level. Want full sun? Part sun? A location away from drying winds? You can customize the site to your preferences.
And as for the soil…
Colorado isn’t known for its five-star soil. With the exception of folks who have been improving their soil for years, (yes, years!), most of the soil in this area is heavy clay, or occasionally, a sandy mix. Using our native soil in a large “container,” including a raised bed, is a bad idea. So choose bagged or bulk soil specially formulated for the task at hand.
Tagawa’s carries large bags of raised bed mix that will make you wonder why you waited so long to explore this type of gardening. This soil is rich and well-draining, and your plants will love it!
If your tired of bending and kneeling…
Raised garden beds can bring your plants closer to you, where you want them: knee-high, hip-high…. there’s a raised bed design that can make it work!
Raised beds can also make gardening more interesting and fun for the kids in your world. Having the plants at eye level is a great way to inspire them to dig in!
Kits or D.I.Y.?
Whether you buy one of the many kits available at Tagawa’s, or build your raised bed “from the ground up,” here are some tips and tricks to help make your flowers or veggies be their best.
Never compress the soil! One of the main goals of raised bed gardening is to keep this special soil loose and root-friendly. Raised beds are rarely more than four feet across. That makes it easy to work your garden by standing outside the bed and reaching over to plant or harvest. never walking on or pressing down hard on the soil. Your plants will love you for it!
Think about what you want to plant. When they’re properly cared for, most vegetables and annual flowers will thrive in raised beds. You just have to consider how big their roots will be.
Root crops like beets, carrots and radishes will do fine is the more shallow raised beds which are usually about a foot deep. Some of the deep-rooted plants like tomatoes need more soil depth. For those, choose or build a bed that is at least two feet deep.
Tomatoes, peppers and eggplant are actually some of the most popular crops for raised beds. They’re heavy feeders, and the premium soil and full sun that you can provide in raised beds should give you a bumper crop!
Consider growing up, not out!
Growing in raised beds doesn’t mean you have to grow flat.
Depending on how your raised bed in constructed, it’s fairly easy to add trellises and additional support to help vining plants to grow up. That will save you a lot of precious room and let you grow even more wonderful plants!
Some thoughts about maintenance
One of the advantages with raised beds is that the soil will dry out and be ready to plant earlier in the spring than beds in the ground. That’s a good thing.
But they’ll also dry out a bit faster in hot summer weather, when the beds are full of plants. Just keep your watering routine in mind when you decide where to place your beds.
Drip systems can be especially effective in raised beds. They’re just one more way to make your gardening duties a bit easier.
What about pests?
Getting your plants up off the ground can make a real difference with certain kinds of pests. It’s easy to use the sides of raised beds to support hoops and create fabric tunnels to deter flying insects.
Tagawa’s carries floating-row-type fabrics that let in plenty of light and keep pesky flying insects at bay. You’ll want to pull away the fabric when plants are flowering and need help from honey bees.
Even when it’s too early to plant…
Most of us are itching to get out into the gardens and start planting. But until the weather warms up a bit, you can scratch that spring fever itch by assembling or building a raised bed. And then, sit back and daydream about all the beautiful flowers and tasty vegetables that are just weeks away.
Come see us at Tagawa’s. Our Garden Supplies staff is ready to help with a raised bed plan that’s just right for you!