Raised Bed Tips
The winter months are a great time to get ready for the summer growing season. A project every gardener will benefit from is building a raised bed. Today Southern Gardening is at the Coastal Research and Extension Center in the demonstration People’s Garden. A raised bed is exactly as the name suggests: a landscape or garden bed that is higher than the surrounding grade. A raised bed should be no wider than 4 feet, so the longest reach is only 2 feet. This allows easy access to the bed from either side. The size can be whatever suits the site or gardener’s needs, like these 2-foot square rosemary beds, or these longer display beds. Hardscape materials, like lumber, galvanized metal, stones, and bricks are used to build sides that will keep the growing mix where it belongs and keeps your garden looking tidy. The choice of materials is the gardener’s decision. We’ve used the newer treated lumber which has become very garden friendly. Once the sides are built, fill the garden with a mix designed for raised beds. Don’t use regular ground soil. A raised bed is really just a very large container, so we need to use a mix that drains well and remains light and fluffy. This makes your raised bed easy to work in, and the plants really respond well to these mixes. For more information see the Mississippi State University Extension publication Constructing Raised Beds for the Mississippi Gardener. I’m horticulturist Gary Bachman and I’ll see you next time on Southern Gardening.