Learn and Grow
Raised Bed Organic Gardening
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 useful.
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 frame.
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 version.
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.
Now, plant your favorite vegetables, herbs, and edible flowers! To get a jump on growing, skip seeds in favor of Bonnie Plants® Organics, which are already well on their way to harvest greatness. 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!)