Many rookie gardeners believe that making their own raised garden bed is a difficult task. In reality, a DIY solution is easier than you might think.
If your backyard is more of a concrete jungle than a lush green wonderland, making a raised garden bed is a viable way to still flex a budding green thumb. As the name would suggest, raised garden beds essentially go up instead of down, but still allow all the same benefits of growing plants just like one traditionally would in the soil found directly in the ground.
Apart from being a great space saving solution, a raised garden bed offers a wide variety of benefits such as having better drainage, less exposure to weeds and pests, no tilling, and ultimately reduces the chances of a sore back linked to a gardening hobby. They’re also an extremely popular option for beginners, as the semi controlled environment helps to eliminate the many variables linked to your yard’s soil.
However, instead of making a trip to your nearest hardware store and opting for the expensive kits, making your own raised garden bed might actually be the cheaper and more fun alternative.
Mastering A DIY Raised Garden Bed At Home
For the unfamiliar, the aim of the raised garden bed game is to build a structure that is enclosed to hold soil and plants. The bottom of the raised garden bed doesn’t have any covering, particularly if you are positioning the bed on a surface that’s already exposed to the earth. In fact, it’s this portability that’s made them a hit in many Australian backyards, particularly for people who rent and need a temporary option.
Raised garden beds can either be constructed onsite from recycled timber, sleepers, or corrugated iron. Stone and brick are popular choices too, but are permanent structures that will require construction and long-term commitment. If you do go down the timber path, ensure that the type of wood you select hasn’t been treated with any toxic chemicals that may endanger both you and your plants, particularly if your raised garden bed is for a new veggie patch.
Once you’ve settled on a structural material, you’ll need to decide whether you want to add a weeding mat to your raised garden bed or not. While some gardeners argue that this stops the roots of your plants reaching the natural soil level, others find that preventing weeds is the more beneficial option. To line the bed, it’s simply a matter of placing a thick layer of newspaper or cardboard directly on the ground inside the bed’s “walls”.
Although the most expensive part of making your own raised garden bed is purchasing enough soil for it, the process means that your key ingredient is entirely customisable. To ensure the conditions are at their best, many opt for lasagne style soil layering, and combine organic materials such as hay, compost and manure with your soil of choice to create the ultimate plant breeding ground. An example of this getting this soil recipe right can include the following –
Layer One: Bark chip mulch, to retain moisture and regulate soil temperature.
Layer Two: Soil, although the perfect variety will depend on your climate.
Layer Three: Hay, which acts as mulch for plant growth.
Layer Four: Large tree clippings, which help with soil aeration.
Layer Five: Soil, refer to Layer Two.
Layer Six: Hay and grass cuttings, to encourage water retention.
Layer Seven: Organic fertiliser like horse manure, to deliver nutrients.
Layer Eight: Compost, to suppress diseases and pests.
Layer Nine: Hay, to protect plants against birds and sun damage.
Ultimately, the more you’re able to encourage a self-sufficient and sustainable ecosystem in your raised garden bed, the happier your new plants will be. However, sometimes your flora friends may need a little extra help in fending off unwanted invaders, but that doesn’t mean resorting to pesticides that may have negative consequences on the health of your soil, plants, and even local wildlife – so what’s the alternative?
Embrace The Safer Way To Spray
Spending time outside and in the garden is not only good for our overall well being, but it’s also an easy way to start educating yourself on the importance of sustainability.
If you’re noticing foreign invaders popping up in your garden, a naturally produced weed killer like Bioweed is a safe way to keep them under control. As a non-residual solution, it will break down into the soil in as little as 72 hours and can combat over 200 invasive weed species, making it safe for you, your family, your pets, and your local native wildlife to navigate.
Bioweed is the brainchild of well established agricultural leader Greenpro, and is backed by over twenty years of research and development. Owned and manufactured in Australia, the primary ingredient of Bioweed is actually sustainably sourced pine oil, and is even approved by NASAA, ACO and APVMA for use around organic farms and food production.
If you’re on the hunt for a natural weed killer, more organic gardening solutions, or simply want to know more about eliminating weeds safely, check out other tips and tricks in our online advice forum, or contact us for any further queries.