Raised Garden Beds


raised garden beds

If you want a great vegetable garden you need to use raised garden beds. Raised beds are great for growing healthy, productive vegetables and flowers and they’re easy to make.

Making a raised bed is a simple bit of carpentry that anyone should be able to do. The easiest way to buy some 2×12 lumber and screw them together in the shape of a rectangle. You can make them as long as you like but you should limit the width to 3 or 4 feet so you can easily reach in the bed to plant seeds, pull weeds or to harvest crops.

The first step in building a raised garden beds is to make a frame. Be sure not to choose pressure treated wood which contains arsenic and other toxic chemicals. Set the frame on the ground on the site you have chosen for your raised beds. The sod must be removed and the soil leveled without digging deeply enough to disturb the compacted earth that will be under the frame.

When gardening in these beds only means you are growing your flowers and vegetables above the ground. You can create your own by building a wooden structure with drainage holes in the bottom and fill it with your favorite organic soil mixture. Concrete blocks, bricks, or just about any material strong enough to hold the garden beds and raise it above the ground can be used. Your limitations will go as far as your imagination takes you and the area of space you have to work the garden. There are raised garden bed kits available for purchase at some nurseries, home and garden centers, or on-line.

The next question you’re probably asking is what kind of wood do I use to build raised beds. The whole pressure treated vs. non issue is a complicated one. Does pressure treated wood leach chemicals into the soil? Well the answers are yes and maybe.

The old pressure treated lumber (CCA) is preserved with a process that uses arsenic. Obviously you don’t want arsenic anywhere near something you’re going to eat even in the small amounts that might be present in a raised bed vegetable garden. CCA wood isn’t too readily available anymore so you probably don’t have to worry about coming across it. The new improved pressure treated wood (ACQ) replace CCA pressure treated wood a few years ago. The lumber industry says it safer to handle and use but guess what? It eats through normal galvanized screws and fasteners. You have to use stainless steel screws with CCA wood. I’m not an expert with lumber or chemicals but that sounds like something that shouldn’t be near my vegetables. I think I’ll avoid all pressure treated wood until some long term studies are done.

Naturally rot resistant woods like cedar and redwood are great for building raised beds. But cedar and redwood are expensive. You could also use regular non-pressure treated lumber but just be aware that the wood will probably rot in a few years. It’s inexpensive enough that it shouldn’t be an issue.

If you plan on growing vegetables or flowers in your yard this year, why not try growing them in raised garden beds.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Anthony_Tripp

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