Make a place for your garden to flourish this growing season! It’s easy and inexpensive to create a garden bed in your yard. Here are three steps to make one of your own.
Step 1: Decide on Location
Figure out where in your yard you wish to have vegetables and/or flowers. Consider what kinds of plants you want to grow, as the amount of sunlight they require will dictate the location of the garden. Ensure the ground is level, as a slope or impression in the space will make drainage of the garden plot uneven, creating less-than-optimal growing conditions.
A great way to test out a possible site is to use tent pegs or stakes and string. By placing the pegs in the ground at the four corners of your proposed garden and connecting the string to the pegs, you’ll be able to picture the garden. Plus, it will help you make straight lines when you cut into the grass or ground where you’re building your garden bed.
Step 2: Clear the Ground
Once you’ve chosen the best place for your garden to grow, clear out the area where you want the soil to go. This means getting rid of grass, weeds and all other materials covering the ground. You will need to dig up the organic material to reveal the soil underneath.
To make this task easier, stack old newspapers or an old carpet or tarp directly overtop of the area. Make sure it’s right against the ground to keep sunlight out. This will kill the plants and make it easier to dig up the area.
Step 3: Add Soil
To give your garden the best start, add compost and well-aged manure to your soil. Make sure you mix it into the existing soil. About two inches of this organic stuff will help to lighten up the dense soil. The compost will allow air to get to the plants and let water to penetrate all the way down to the roots.
You may want to consider making the plot a raised garden bed. It will require a little bit more work, but it can definitely be worth it.
Just like creating a garden bed, pick the spot and make sure you have compost and soil at the ready. Then, you’ll need to build the garden box. Not only do raised garden boxes create curb appeal for your yard, as it keeps it looking neat and tidy, but it also has other benefits:
- Keeps Weeds Under Control
When you fill the planter boxes with soil, you are omitting any of the pre-existing root and weed systems underground. You can lay down landscaping fabric before pouring your soil mixture in. This will keep nasty weeds at bay.
- Pest Control
When a garden is planted directly into the ground, pests can get direct access to it, from seeds to the plants themselves. It takes all kinds — shrews and voles can ruin your garden, as can cats and gophers and mice. With a raised bed, you can put chicken wire or other barriers between the garden and the outdoors. Check out DIY pest control!
- Higher Yields With Better Drainage
Because you used high-quality soil and fertilizer from the very beginning, your raised garden beds will have superior drainage. This results in higher vegetable and fruit yields than classic rowed gardens.
- Easy to Reach
Garden boxes create a raised growing plot, which makes it easy to water, check flowers and pick produce. It encourages everybody to get their hands dirty and into the soil, regardless of their abilities. It also limits back strain.
- Longer Growing Season
At the beginning of the season, the raised beds’ soil tends to warm up sooner than the ground. This allows gardeners to get planting sooner and lets plants grow longer. You can also create a DIY greenhouse to sustain growing conditions early in spring and late into the autumn. You can accomplish this by placing reclaimed windows on top of the raised bed.
Creating a garden plot, whether it’s ground-level or raised up, will add interest and style to your yard. Not only that, but you’ll get to harvest homegrown fruit, berries and vegetables for the menu and add some colorful flowers to the center of the table.
Megan Wild is a gardening aficionado who appreciates flowers in the summer, and despises weeding in the spring. When she’s not hiking through the woods, you can find her writing about her gardening tips on her blog, Your Wild Home.
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