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Raised Beds

Raised beds are strong design elements in any garden. They are created to surround a sunken garden, to provide changes of level or to grow certain plants where the garden soil is poor or unsuitable. Small groups of raised beds or a series of linked beds are ideal for an area that is mainly paved. A single and distinctive raised bed makes a perfect home for an attractive specimen.
In gardens where the soil is too poor or just unsuitable to grow certain plants and you still want to grow them, then the raised beds system is the perfect choice. They are extremely useful in these situations because they can be filled up with the type of soil that your plants will need in order to develop well, for example they enable acid conditions to be created in a garden with alkaline soil.
An other benefit of raised beds is that plants grown in raised beds have more room to develop and require less attention than those in tubs or other containers, where the soil dries out quickly. Raised beds also have the great advantage that they can be reached without stooping.
Recessed or kneehole beds also known as tabletop beds, make access particularly convenient for wheelchair users. A well-planted series of raised beds, makes gardening a practicable possibility for elderly, disabled or infirm gardeners. In these particular cases the height of the beds need to be tailored made to the requirements of the individual gardener and narrow enough for the whole bed to be within easy reach. The beds should be linked by easily negotiated, wide garden paths.

Make a Raised Bed

Where space is limited, the ideal way for growing herbs or vegetables is to use raised beds. You can use the raised bed system even if you have enough space for a traditional edible garden because this system has numerous benefits. In this way the plants will root deeper into the soil so the less watering will be required, plants can be grown closer together so they cut the light that reaches the soil and in this way the development of weeds is reduced, you can prolong the growing season by covering the beds to warm up the soil earlier in the season and to protect the plants in late autumn and many more advantages.

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Raised Beds Fertilization

The key to success and the fist reason to garden in raised beds is soil that is contained in them. This way you can control the type of soil you are gardening in. For best results prepare a good soil mix for your raised beds using good topsoil, organic matter, lime if needed and the appropriate amount and type of fertilizer. Mix all the ingredients together before placing the mix in the raised beds. Lightly compact the mix to take out excessive air space. You should know that most mixes will settle during the first year, so you will need to add more soil mix in the second season.

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Raised Beds Watering

Even the raised bed system has many advantages it also has some minuses, however they are far better than any container. In raised beds the growing medium will drain more rapidly than the soil in ordinary garden borders but not as fast as in containers. It is important to water plants more frequently and in particular the soil in immediate contract with the retaining walls as this tends to dry out and shrink.

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Raised Beds Materials

Raised beds may be built from a wide range of materials: mortared bricks, concrete walling blocks, un-mortared natural stone, railway sleepers, swan logs. If you are using bricks or concrete blocks to build your raised beds you might wish to finish them off with a coping wide enough to sit on.

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