The soil where I was going to grow the tomatoes was poor and not suitable for the plants I wanted to grow, so I needed to prepare 4 raised beds full of gritty compost to solve this problem. Similarly, in raised beds you can add suitable compost to change the soil conditions, pH etc and grow a range of suitable plants making them ideal for sowing and growing vegetables, flowers.
Raised beds can be made from a variety of materials including iron or wood panels and can be built as big, small, high or low as we need them to be. There are many important things to consider in order to make the most of them. Below is a collection of gardening tips we've put together in raised beds that we hope will be useful to you.
The location of your raised bed will affect the plants you can grow in it. Consider how much sunlight the bed will receive and grow your plants accordingly. Most of our herbs, vegetables and annual flowers like full sun, especially tomatoes, so choose a raised bed location that receives about 8 hours of sunlight per day. The more sun the better. Many plants can grow in both sun and shade, but deeply shaded areas can limit your growth.
If the light intensity isn't enough? Don't worry! There are many plants that thrive in partial shade, including arugula, parsley, lingonberries, fine parsnips and corydalis.
Don't install raised beds in wet areas. Raised beds need to be well-drained so that your garden soil is not continually wet. Avoid those low-lying, wet areas on your grounds.
Size and shapeAvoid stepping on the soil in raised beds when weeding or harvesting, the maximum width is around 150cm. The depth of the scaffolding boards is suitable for growing vegetables. Leafy greens and herbs need at least 15cm of growing depth, while tomatoes, pumpkins and other deep-rooted crops need at least 40-50cm inches of nutrient-rich soil, but shrubs, perennials and bulbs need more depth, which needs to be designed separately.
Beds do not have to be square or rectangular, but can be L-shaped or curved. In order to make it easier for me to care for and harvest tomatoes at a later stage, my raised beds are rectangular, with dimensions: 60cm(W) x 120cm(L) x 50cm(H), which can be given as a reference.
DrainageIf your raised beds are located on top of an existing boundary or lawn, there is no need to worry about drainage as excess water will seep away. If your beds are located on concrete or pavement, drainage should be added at the bottom in the form of gravel, stones or tiles.
Unfortunately, my raised bed is located on a concrete floor and in finding the gravel for the pavers takes me a little longer .
For most plants, fill raised beds with a well-mixed combination of organic matter (i.e., decomposed manure), sand, and topsoil in a ratio of 3:2:7. If the beds are being used to grow plants that are water-phobic, a more gravelly mixture will be needed for additional drainage.
Composting for tomatoes is covered in this article.
Don't skimp on the soil! Quality, nutrient-rich soil is a must for any garden. Raised beds have an immediate advantage over underground gardens because when you fill a raised bed, you can fill it with a soil mix that is superior to the native soil in your yard. Familiarize yourself with some common soil and fertilizer terms and make any necessary modifications to soil texture, pH or drainage.
WateringRaised beds dry out faster than topsoil in a garden, so be sure to keep them watered. Or, you can install a drip irrigation system as a low-maintenance alternative. Consider the proximity of your water source! Since your garden needs to be watered during the growing season, you'll need to have relatively easy access to a hose. Soaker hoses and drip irrigation systems drip water slowly into the ground in the soil and are a very efficient way of providing water.
This is where RainPoint is strong, and you can find the right timer to install a drip irrigation system on our website. Going on vacation in August? Strongly recommend purchasing a RainPoint wifi watering timer that automatically turns on sprinklers or soaker hoses so you don't come home to a bombed-out garden of crops.
Hope this info helps!