Have you ever had a garden? How about a raised bed garden? I have had both kinds of gardens, but today I’m sharing simple tips for starting a raised bed garden.
My youngest son just bought a home and it came with five raised beds, in his backyard. He was so generous to open it up to the whole family. Together we are planting, maintaining and eventually we will be harvesting it. I hope you follow along this growing season and see what we plant and how it does!
“Gardeners are good at nurturing, and they have a great quality of patience, they’re tender. They have to be persistent.” — Ralph Fiennes
What is a Raised Bed Garden?
I don’t like to assume everyone is a gardener. Therefore, some of you may be asking what is a raised bed garden? Creating a raised bed garden is a form of gardening where the soil is raised above ground level and most often the garden is enclosed in some way. The framework for a raised bed can be made out of wood, rock, concrete or other materials.
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“There are no gardening mistakes, only experiments.” – Janet Kilburn Phillips
Why I Started a Raised Bed Garden
Like a bizillion other people in America, I was searching for ways to fill my quarantine time during the pandemic. I decided I wanted to try and grow a small garden. Here at the cottage, we don’t have an ideal spot for a large garden but I thought I could nuture a raised bed garden. So I ordered two raised beds online and Big Al put them together for me.
It wasn’t a large garden but was big enough to plant and grow a small quantity of vegetables. The best part, we had something to devote a little of our excess time to and it gave us some yummy veggies to look forward to.
3 Beginner’s Steps to Raised Bed Gardening
If you are a beginner, want to grow a raised bed garden but are unsure where you should start, I’m going to give you all the tips that I have used!
Choosing the right location is key to a successful garden. You want a location that receives at least 6-8 hours of sunlight per day. It’s important to note that the sun should reach both sides of your garden bed. The area should also be level and well-drained.
Our family garden has three beds in direct sunlight and two that get afternoon shade. Because the beds were already there, full of soil, and not wanting to move them, we will be very mindful of what we plant in the back two beds.
“Why try to explain miracles to your kids when you can just have them plant a garden.” – Robert Brault
What size should you make your raised beds? If you are attempting to make your own, the typical size is 3 to 4 feet wide and the length depends on the space available in your garden location.
If you plan on building your garden beds and are going to use wood, make sure it is untreated. Also, your beds should be square and level. Once complete, fill your raised beds with a mixture of garden soil and compost.
The beds at my son’s house are home made and are quite large. Three of the beds are 4 x 8 and two of the beds are 2 x 8. We recently had to spend a day cleaning out the beds and replacing some of the soil. Grateful that the beds are prepped and there is plenty of room to plant a variety of veggies!
Now that your raised beds are ready for planting, the fun part begins! The goal of a raised bed garden is to grow your own fresh produce, so chose plants that you and your family love. Growing items you enjoy eating will make the process that much more fun and exciting!
Below are some things to consider when selecting your plants.
- Think about your climate: Before choosing your plants, it’s important to understand the climate in your area. Different plants thrive in different climates, so make sure to choose plants that are suited for your region. You can refer to the Farmer’s Almanac to find out what your planting zone is.
- Choose easy-to-grow plants: As a beginner, it’s best to choose plants that are easy to grow and require minimal maintenance. Some good options for a raised bed garden include tomatoes, bell peppers, lettuce, spinach, radishes, and green beans.
- Look for plants with a short growing season: Since you’re just starting out, you may want to choose plants that have a short growing season. This will allow you to see the fruits of your labor sooner and give you the confidence to continue gardening. Who doesn’t like feeling accomplished and a little more confidence can go a long way! Am I right?
- Consider the size of your raised bed: Make sure to choose plants that will fit comfortably in your raised bed. If you have a small raised bed, you may want to choose plants that don’t take up too much space, such as herbs or cherry tomatoes. Unknowingly, the first year we put zucchini in a bed with some bell peppers and let me just tell you, it didn’t work out so good. Zucchini grows like crazy and will take over a large space. Needless to say, we didn’t have much luck with the bell peppers that year. Lesson learned!
Simple Tips for Starting a Raised Bed Garden
I hope you have enjoyed my simple tips for starting a raised bed garden. With these easy beginner steps, you will be able to create your own raised bed garden!
It’s so important to remember, you are never too young or old to learn the basics of gardening. With the right soil, a little love and hopefully the perfect amount of rain and sunshine, everyone can learn to grow a garden!
I will definitely be sharing more of our family gardening adventure, so stayed tuned for more gardening tips!
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Such great tips, Kim! I don’t have room in our room for raised beds but my daughter is just about ready to take the plunge. I am definitely sharing this article with her. Thanks so much for a great post!
Thanks so much, Missy! So glad you can pass this along to your daughter! Have a great weekend!
Jennifer Howard says
Love the family pics! This is going to be a good project this Summer. Not that getting the garden gloves of Brookey will get any easier…
Hey! Let’s hope it gets easier! LOL
Mary K Blaine says
Love my raised bed. Thanks for the new tips. Love the photos of the family getting involved!
They are fun! Thanks Kay!
Love the family doing this garden together. My daughter just made a few raised gardens. The grandkiddos are all excited about it. I love it when gardening involves the family. Great tips here, Kim.
Oh, that will be so fun for the kids! Thanks so much, Tammy!
Kelly Radcliff says
Kim I loved seeing these pictures and your tips! I can’t wait to see how they turn out. Love!!!
I appreciate that, Kelly!! Thanks so much!
Love the idea of a family garden! How fun for all of you. We do not have raised beds but are planning a few in the future. Our biggest problem…deer. I am bookmarking this post and all of your tips! Happy Weekend.
We also have deer! However, we recently fenced in our yard, so we will be all good this year! Thanks for saving my post. Have a wonderful day and week ahead, Elizabeth!