Tips For Square Foot Gardening With Raised Beds
There are umpteen of advantages of adopting raised bed gardening technique. It provides fertile soil from day one since you’re not depending on the quality of your ground soil. No one walks in the raised bed, only around it so you never compact the soil. Plus raised beds are more user friendly – it’s nice to sit on an overturned bucket to garden instead of bending down to reach the ground.
You might be interested to include square foot gardening into the raised beds in your garden. With square foot gardening you plant according to the space in one square foot, not in traditional rows. Plants are closer together, so yield is higher and weeding time is less. Vegetable plant spacing is dependent upon the size of your plant.
Just for instance, plants like broccoli, cabbage, and tomato plants only have 1 plant per square-foot. Large plants like leaf lettuce, Swiss chard, snap bush beans and cucumbers have 4 plants per square foot. Spinach, beets and peas are planted with nine plants per square foot and small plants such as onion, radish and carrots can be planted up to 16 plants per square foot. This is really tight planting, but that’s the basis of square foot gardening. Square foot gardening also lends itself well to staggering plantings so you have successive harvests.
With this specific method of gardening you need a grid on your raised bed. You may try using a wood lath grid built. In case you wanna go less expensive and do not like using power tools you might use a grid using twine, which will wrap around screws placed 12 inches apart on the perimeter of the raised bed.
You could prefer try building a protective cage to cover all the raised beds. With smaller beds, a chicken wire cover is easy to make with a wood base . If the raised bed is large you can use flexible PVC piping to make a structure over the top to hold protective fabric in place to ward against spring frosts and pests.
You may also like adding the vertical frames for vine crops in your raised beds garden. Build these on the north side of your raised bed so you don’t shade other plants. Choose materials with strength that can hold up quite a bit of weight, such as steel reinforcing rods with steel tubular pipe used for electrical conduit.
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