Gardens add beauty to anywhere it is made, indoor or outdoor. Usually a garden is made on the ground outside, where the plants are planted directly on the ground. But the lack of space in the urban life has urged for portable garden beds that can be placed in any space available and is easy to shift when moving out. Anything that has a plat growing in it and is able to move anywhere is called the portable garden bed. The portability makes it easy to place the plants anywhere desired and to have a visual effect change without disturbing the plants.
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Gardening pots are the usual portable garden beds, but there are other portable garden beds like the raised garden beds and the hanging garden beds etc. Any planting surface that is raised from the ground even for a few inches are termed raised garden beds. These raised beds are mostly portable. They can be placed anywhere in the garden, patios, apartments situated in the upper floors. These portable garden beds are available in the market that is ready to use. There are DIY portable beds also.
Raised garden beds
The raised garden beds are made to create a designer garden. These garden beds can be of any shape but rectangle beds are more popular. These raised garden beds will be slightly higher elevated by a few inches to a foot or two. They are usually a few feet wide, a maximum of 4. These raised beds can be placed one over the other to increase the height, for higher plants that has deeper roots. The garden beds are filled with nutrient rich soil. The raised sides keep the soil and water inside. These can be used in places where the ground soil is not fit for growing plants. The raised beds use good soil that can hold the water and do not lose it easily. The sides prevent the soil erosion.
The raised beds that have legs are usually called the portable ones. Since the growing soil is not in touch with the ground soil, there will be less risk of weeds and other pests. Higher raised beds will also free of animal litter. These are also accessible for people who have moving difficulty or disability. There are cost effective raised beds made from old beds or other used furniture. The old tables or changing tables used for babies will make excellent raised kitchen garden. There are many ideas to build a raised bed.
How to make a raised garden bed?
Building a raised bed is when there are all the necessities around. The parts are available with necessary connectors and screws. It is cheaper to create a raised bed from old used items as well. Let’s have a look at what to do and how to do it.
- The first and foremost thing to decide is the material with which it is made. Raised beds are made in cedar wood, red wood, Vermont white cedar etc. These wood are easy to maintain and do not rot easily. The durability of the bed depends on the wood used and on the local weather conditions. Normally the cedar wood lasts around 10 yrs and if lucky, for more.
- The height of the raised bed ranges from 6 inches to as high as 36 inches. The lowest height beds allow the roots to grow into the soil below if needed. There are beds that has covered bottom so the roots of the plants stays inside and do not grow into the ground soil. The bed height is increased with stacked beds. The height is decided by the plants growing inside.
- The width should be no longer than 4 foot. Anything wider than 4 ft will be difficult to reach from the sides. The wider ones may need stepping into the bed that can damage the plants. The length does not matter as long as the width is within 4 ft.
- For the sides, 2 inch boards are used and they are usually 2 x 6 in size.
- The bed boards are connected together with braces that may or may not have the water connectors to make it self-watering beds.
- Stainless crews are available to secure the boards together. For the cross support ½ inch aluminum is used.
- Other tools needed are hand saw, a carpenter’s level, mallet, drill, and screwdrivers.
- With everything ready, assemble them from the sides first and moving on to the corners and secure them tightly. Use cross bracing for longer beds that are bigger than 8 inches long or 18 inches high. Now fill the bed with the soil and the garden bed is ready for planting.
Raised bed gardening tips
- Before building a raised garden bed there are a few things that need attention so that the garden beds are secure and safe for new plants to grow. Care must be given to both the ground layout and the soil.
- The ground layout should be clearly drawn out before building, especially of there are more than one bed. The best way is to place them all horizontally or vertically in uniform position for easy access.
- Dig up the planned area well enough and deeper to remove any rocks, stones, unwanted things and any roots of other bigger trees around. Test the soil for its fertility and nutrient level also.
- If the soil contains any pests, then a mesh will be used which can be laid at the bottom of the bed before adding the soil. For root crops this mesh should be placed deeper in the ground.
- Once the tilting of the ground is done, level the ground. Use appropriate tools to make sure that it is in level.
- Add the growing soil and level it. Add necessary nutrients and other pest controlling agents, if necessary. Water the bed with a good amount of spray. This will help settle the bed soil. Let it settle and rake it once again before planting.
- Never step into the soil bed. Remember to leave enough space between the beds for walking in between. It is better to line this pathway with something that will not allow weeds to grow.
- Adding a trellis in the bed will allow the growth of vines and other plants to grow spreading out than into each other.
Raised bed vegetable garden
A vegetable garden can be made on a raised bed. An old table or non used shelf etc can e used for a vegetable garden behind the kitchen. Tomatoes, herbs, and other salad leaves can be planted on them. A baby’s changing table will make a more convenient raised garden bed as there is already a bed like structure at the top and there is space to keep the gardening tools at the bottom. They are portable and can be placed anywhere there is enough sunlight or air available.
Portable garden beds with wheels
There are ready made raised beds that have wheels to make them easily portable. They can be rolled from one place to the other. They are suitable for balconies, patios and even inside the kitchen gardens. Flowering plants planted on these portable raised beds are easy to move and create designs in the garden with the colored flowers growing I them. Even if the portable garden bed does not have wheels, they can be fixed on to them making it wheeled. Wheels can be attached to the raised beds that are with or without legs.
Bluescope raised garden beds
Bluescope raised garden bed is an excellent example of a wheeled raised bed. They are made of durable and long lasting polymer coated steel, named the Aquaplated steel. It is easy to use. They are ready to use and no assembling is required. The height of the raised bed is just right to use. They are light weight and is easily portable. They are available in any attractive colors. Place them at the desired position and fill the soil, it is ready for planting. They are used for vegetable, herb, or flower gardens. They are usually elongated oval shaped. They are not available in the market and is available only online.