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12 November

 The Why and the How: Building a Raised Bed for the Garden

To novice or aspiring gardeners, the winter months hardly seem like the ideal time to cultivate crops or plant seeds. Experienced gardeners know better, however, as gardening is in fact more of a full-time hobby that can be practiced all year round. November is an excellent time to move any deciduous shrubs, for example, and by digging up the root and replanting them in a new position you can optimise their growth. This little known fact underlines the complexity of gardening and the challenges facing enthusiasts all year round.

Exotic planting approaching the new Koi Pond
The raised beds by the pond

Building a Raised Bed for the Garden Why is it a Beneficial Move
Novices may also have heard of building raised beds in their garden, as this is another relatively simple tasks that can help individuals to avoid a host of outdoor challenges. As a starting point, it is important to note that raised beds are filled with a customised soil and compost blend, rather than standard soil that can require replacing all too often. This reduces the labour associated with maintaining your garden space, as does the fact that drainage is built into the bed walls to negate the risk or erosion. In the summer months, raised beds also provide plants with greater exposure to the sun and helps to extend the traditional growing season.

On the issue of labour, raising the soil level and planting an elevated bed by even a relatively small amount reduces the hard work required to place seeds, weed and harvest crops. Even sensible and proactive gardeners who use multipurpose tools from a reputable supplier such as Anglia Tools can struggle with the physical intensity of outdoor chores, and having a slightly raised bed can help to ease this burden.

How to Create a Raised Bed in your Garden
Exotic planting approaching the new Koi Pond
When it comes to building your raised bed, it is important to identify the necessary construction materials. As it is essentially a bottomless frame that is set into a shallow trench, you will need to focus on building up the sides with various materials including rock, brick concrete or even interlocking blocks. Timber is the most popular construction material for raised beds, however, although you will need to avoid using wood that is preserved with toxins if you intend to grow edibles.

On a similar note, you should also avoid placing creosote treated railroad ties to reinforce your raised bed. This is also unsafe for crops or edibles, as toxins can escape into the soil and place your family and friends at risk.


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