There is nothing like picking fresh vegetables out of your garden and preparing a meal with them. Everything tastes better when it’s fresh and home-grown! Raised bed vegetable gardens are becoming quite popular, for a number of reasons. You may want to consider a raised bed garden if:
- You want easier access to your vegetables with less bending, or if you or a family member are confined to a wheelchair.
- You want greater visibility and a better view of your vegetables and their growing stages.
- You want fewer weeds in your garden, as a raised bed means importing soil and making it less compact than traditional vegetable gardens.
When planning your raised bed vegetable garden, choose a spot that gets lots of sun, and good drainage. You may want to plant away from deep-rooted trees and shrubs as they can compete with your garden for soil and nutrients. You can also view all of our gardening videos on youtube for more tips and information.
You will also have to decide on how much to raise your garden; generally a foot or two is sufficient. Keep in mind that the higher you raise it, the more soil you will have to put down. You need about a foot of soil to get deep-rooted plants.
Next, choose the materials you will need to hold in the soil. Your local garden centre is a good bet for these materials, like faux-wood edging, or plastic edging. If you choose wood edging, stay away from pressure-treated wood, as it is full of chemicals which can seep into your garden and contaminate your vegetables. If you want to really secure your garden, you may even choose to enclose it with chicken wire or a similar product to keep out small animals.
Raised bed vegetable gardens will still need to be fertilized, weeded and watered on a regular basis. If you are planning on going organic, you can buy compost instead of fertilizer, or sprinkle with your own compost: eggshells, peelings and other natural components will replenish the soil with essential nutrients.
As with a regular garden, you can choose any type of vegetable to grow in your raised bed. Good hearty choices are carrots, beans, lettuce, onions and radishes. Of course, you will want to plant according to your tastes as well as your climate. You can blanch and freeze the vegetables so you will have an ample winter’s supply.
Growing a raised bed garden does not mean you won’t have any pests or insects to deal with; you should consider purchasing pesticide or an organic alternative so the insects don’t eat the vegetables before you do!
Growing your own garden is a fun and healthy way to ensure you are getting your recommended daily dose of vegetables.