Let's face it - eating healthy can be a challenge. From waking early to
make it to the farmers' market to managing the grocery budget, finding
fresh, affordable organic produce can make you want to throw up your
hands and head for the nearest drive-through. But with a small, sunny
space, just a little bit of effort, and a little creativity, you can
design a garden-to-table space in your own backyard with a raised bed.
Why Raised Bed Gardening? Well, for many of us, growing space is
limited. Whether you're lucky enough to have good-sized yard or only
have a little sunny square, you can put in a raised bed. There are lots
of other benefits, too:
They look really nice. A raised bed garden, especially one with edible
flowers and beautiful pollinator plants, is as nice to look at as it is
It doesn't matter if you've got awful soil. Raised beds let you take
charge when it comes to soil, since you add it in instead of relying on
what you've already got. Lots of nutrients? Check. Drains well? Check.
Just fill the frame with Nature's Care® Organic Raised Bed Soil and your
plants will want to give you a high-five.
You can stretch out the season. In the spring, raised bed soil tends to
warm more quickly than the ground, so you can plant earlier. Plus,
they're easy to cover in case of frost.
Build Your Own Raised Bed
A quick online search will reveal tons of
different raised bed styles, many made with materials like bricks,
fallen logs, straw bales, even concrete blocks. The most common style,
though (and one of the easiest to make) is made of a simple wood
Before you begin, though, choose a good spot. It should be relatively
level, get at least 6 to 8 hours of sunlight, and be close enough to a
water source that you won't have to schlep a hose or watering can too
far. It's also a good idea to put the raised bed somewhere you'll see
it, so you don't totally blank on the fact that you even have a garden!
You'll also want to decide what size bed you want. It shouldn't be more
than 3 or 4 feet wide, so you easily reach across. A 4 - by 4-foot bed is
a good starter size, or take the plunge and go for a 4- by 8-foot
Here's how to make a 4- by 8-foot bed (for a 4- by 4-foot bed, just cut
the pair of boards in half):
Grab a shovel and remove the grass (weeds too!) Or, skip the heavy labor
and just lay down a thick blanket of cardboard or newspaper, which will
kill both grass and weeds.
Get three 8-foot long wooden boards, 2 inches wide and 8 to 10 inches
high. Cut one board in half. (No saw? Most home improvement stores will
do that for you if you ask nicely.) Cedar is a great choice, since it
lasts a long time and weathers to a beautiful gray.
Create a rectangle with the boards, then fasten them together with wood
screws. Put the frame in place.
Fill the bed with Nature's Care® Organic Raised Bed Soil
, then water it
well to help the soil settle.
Plant your favorite vegetables, herbs, and edible flowers! For best
results, begin feeding them with Nature's Care® Organic and Natural
Vegetable, Fruit, and Flower Food
a month after planting. (Don't guess
about it-check the label.)
So bam! In the amount of time it takes to stream a couple of episodes,
you've created a really cool-looking way to grow delicious organic food.
(Yes, YOU did that!)