How to Create a Garden Bed: Flat or Raised

Just like any other garden, the first step is to choose a site. The site you choose should get at least six hours of exposure to warm sunlight every day unless you want only those plants that grow in shaded areas. Make sure that the area is flat and lends well to moving around without having to step on the plants.

The site you have chosen to create a bed will probably have grass and/or least weeds. Before you plant anything, these must be removed. If you do not want to remove them, tilling is best done in the fall so that the grass can decompose during winter. Or you may choose to make a raised bed.

In gardening, raised bed refers to a garden built over the existing soil at the site. It depends entirely on you whether you want to combine the existing soil in the raised bed or not.

If the soil is not good and you know that you will need to make amendments, it is a good idea to remove the sod. This way you will be able to add organic matter or artificial fertilizers (not recommended though).

It is also possible to leave the grass (and weeds) and build a bed over it if the soil is good. Place newspapers over the entire area of the bed and sprinkle little water. Put a thick layer of soil, four to six inches of good soil over it. The newspaper will eventually decompose and smother the grass and weeds. If at all some defiant weeds do poke through, you will be able to take them out manually.

If you have decided to make a raised bed, choose wood planks that are sturdy enough to hold the soil and water. Make sure that the frames are level in all directions. Now, fill the raised bed with good top soil, organic matter and manure. Rake the bed flat evenly before you start planting.



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