Do you find yourself envious of your neighbor’s vegetable garden? Are you tired of having to go to the store every time you need fresh herbs for a recipe? Good news! It’s not too late to put raised beds to work in your yard! The first step is planning and designing your raised beds. Do they need to be off the ground to protect the plants from animals? Where in your yard has the best sun? How big does your raised bed need to be? All of this will depend on your own needs, but there are some helpful guidelines when it comes to design.
You’ll want to place your raised bed where it can get a lot of direct sunlight. If you are planning on growing large plants like tomatoes your raised beds will need to be at least 18 inches deep. Draw out the dimensions, this will help when choosing materials and soil. When selecting wood it may be tempting to use inexpensive options like scraps or wood that’s already been treated. We recommend using cedar planks. Cedar is naturally resistant to pests and rot, and can last up to 20 years in a raised bed. For soil, there are many raised bed mixes on the market that a wide range of vegetables will thrive in. Before purchasing soil, you’ll need to calculate how many cubic feet of soil the bed will need, keep in mind the soil level in the bed will lower the first few times you water your plants so it won’t hurt to have a little extra on hand.
Water your vegetables after transplanting, and once a day through the growing season. When temps start to cool down in September you can start to plant cold weather crops like lettuce and kale! By making your raised beds this summer you can provide your kitchen with fresh veggies and herbs, and you’ll be all set up for next year!