Getting out in the garden doesn’t always have to be about what you sow and grow; building outdoor constructions can also be incredibly rewarding. Your new creation will likely enhance your outside space greatly, whether that’s through providing you a handy space to keep tools, a new area to grow prize veggies or a place where you can shelter from the elements with a cup of tea.
One project that’s definitely worth pencilling in before the weather gets too warm, is building a raised bed. If you can, build it in late winter or early spring. That way you can get plotting and planting straight away and see the benefits of your work for the rest of the year.
What are the benefits of building a raised bed?
There are a lot of reasons why a raised bed might be a great addition to your garden. For starters, if you’ve only got a small garden, the addition of a raised bed gives you a new area of your garden to experiment with growing plants or vegetables that you may not have space for in your regular borders. Raised beds are also handy for anyone who finds bending down to tend to their plants a struggle. Watering your bed is also much quicker and easier than doing the whole garden.
One of the great things about a raised bed, is you can choose the soil you fill it with, which means you might also be able to grow plants you wouldn’t usually have success with in your borders. Adding an ericaceous soil will give you the opportunity to grow acid-loving plants such as rhododendrons, heather or blueberries. Drainage is another benefit of a raised bed - because the bed is above the regular ground level, the soil drains much more easily. It also means the soil warms more quickly - great for getting things growing!
How do you build a raised bed?
There are several ways you can create a raised bed, whether that’s making it from bricks, wood, stone or even paving slabs. However, our preferred method is by using one of our raised bed kits, which contains everything you need to create your own 2.4m raised bed.
Each kit contains premium quality softwood sleepers cut to size, screws, a drill bit and our quality growing media for filling the bed.
Before you start building your raised bed, you’ll need to choose where it’ll go.Choose somewhere that gets a decent amount of daily sunlight, ideally five to six hours. Dig over the area so that it’s level, and remove any weeds, then plot the bed using string.
Our raised bed kits come with assembly instructions so you can ensure you’re fitting the sleepers correctly. Once you’ve put them together, you can add the growing media, and then start planting.
What can I grow in my raised bed?
Raised beds are suitable for growing a wide variety of plants, but are especially popular for growing fruits and vegetables. Soft fruits such as strawberries and raspberries do well in raised beds, and most vegetables will also work well.
You could also use your bed to create a cutting garden, growing herbaceous perennial plants and flowers.
Plants that require good drainage, such as alpines will do well in a raised bed, and this may give you the opportunity to grow new plants that hadn't performed well in your regular beds and borders.
If your regular soil makes it tricky to grow certain plants, then creating a raised bed will give you the opportunity to experiment with other soils and grow items you've previously struggled with, such as ericaceous shrubs which typically struggle in alkaline soil.
Where can I buy a raised bed kit?
If you’d like to try creating your own raised bed, you can purchase one of our raised bed kits here.
For more ideas for what to do in your garden this month, see our blog. You can also get lots more tips over on our social media pages, including seeing what our brand ambassador Tom Strowlger (@garden_with_tom) is creating with our Gardenscape product.