Putting in raised garden beds doesn't just make your landscape more attractive, it also makes the garden itself healthier and easier to tend. This is because raised beds can be filled with better soil than what is naturally in your yard. The following tips can help you avoid problems with your raised beds.
Tip #1: Choose rot resistant edging wood
When it comes to building the frame of the raised bed, rot is the main concern. There are many chemically treated options available, but these can leach harmful toxins into the soil. This is a major concern if your are growing edibles, or if you have children or pets that may "help" in the garden.
Cedar wood is a good option because it is naturally rot and insect resistant, so you don't have to worry about toxins. This also makes it a long lasting option. When selecting your boards, add 6 inches onto the height of your desired raised bed frame. This way you can bury the bottom of the frame in the soil to prevent weeds from growing in beneath the frame. Since cedar is rot resistant, it can withstand being buried.
Tip #2: Line the beds before filling
A weedy raised bed is a common problem. Although some weed seeds may blow in to the box and root in the top of the soil, these are usually easily pulled and not a major problem. The problem weeds tend to be the deep rooted ones that grow in from below.
Lining the bottom of the raised bed frame before adding in new soil prevents this issue. First, remove the turf completely from within the cedar frame so there are as few weed seeds present as possible. Then, lay a sheet of weed-blocking fabric over the soil inside the frame. Tuck the edges of the fabric under the frame so weeds don't penetrate at the margins.
Tip #3: Use a mulch
Finally, mulch is the finishing touch to a healthy raised bed. Once your soil is in place, you can plant. Yet, you may notice that some weeds blow in. Another issue is the soil may dry quickly because the raised bed tends to drain fast.
A 2 inch layer of mulch on top of the soil can slow water loss by evaporation while also keeping the weeds out. In edible gardens, straw mulch is preferred, while wood chips are often used in ornamental beds.
Talk to a supplier, such as Liese Lumber Co Inc, to locate the cedar wood and other items you need to create your raised beds.