Top 10 Raised Garden Bed Mistakes
Raised garden beds are a great addition to any back yard, but making the right decisions before you start can save you from frustration later. Learning from your mistakes might help you grow, but we’ve put together ten mistakes that others commonly make to help you out a touch.
1 – Making the wrong sized garden bed
One of the most significant advantages is being able to access all of the area in your garden beds with ease.
If you make a garden bed where the middle of the bed is farther than you can reach from either side, it will make it difficult for you to use your garden bed when planting, weeding and picking.
If you make your garden beds too long, you will have to walk further to access the other side of the garden.
Having a taller bed means that you can comfortably work on your knees with minimal bending over, for example, a garden bed two sleepers high will suit the scenario for most. If you have mobility issues, you can raise the garden bed even higher.
If you make the garden bed one sleeper high, you will be bending over constantly while tending to your garden, this may not be an issue for some, but if you have a lot of garden beds or spend a lot of time gardening, this could be an issue.
Minimising aisle footprint
If you are going to have a lot of garden beds, something you need to consider is how much area will be taken up by aisles. By making your garden beds so that you can reach the middle from each side rather than being able to access the full width of the garden from one side you will improve the garden bed capacity and reduce the area taken up by garden aisles
2 – Putting the garden bed in the wrong location
Plants have specific needs like sun and water. Raised beds need to provide plants with these needs. If you put a raised bed in full shade and your plants don’t grow well, you may find that your bed is in the wrong location for the plants that you are trying to grow, likewise with a full sun garden bed.
3 – Having the wrong aisle spacing between the garden beds
You need to think about how your garden and how you are going to garden with raised beds.
Start with filling the beds with soil, with the aisle sizes will you have enough space to move your wheelbarrow or other material handling equipment? Can you kneel or sit easily in the space?
Having them to far apart, on the other hand, could mean that you have to move yourself or your materials around a lot more while working in the garden. Having them too far apart will also increase the footprint taken up by aisles and could decrease the number of garden beds that you can install.
4 – Filling the garden bed wit hthe wrong type of soil
One of the great benefits is being able to choose the type of soil that will fill your garden bed. Better quality garden soil will give you better plants that lead to better results.
Using soil from your yard
Most people will find that the soil from their property lacks nutrients, and if you use the dirt from your yard, you probably won’t have the results that you want. If you do want to use the soil from your yard, you should consider adding organic material like compost and building up the quality of the soil over time. Building up the quality of your soil by composting does work, but it is a lengthy process and will delay your garden bed project.
Choose the best soil
If you don’t have the time to build up the quality of the soil in your garden by composting, choosing a premium garden soil from a reputable supplier is your best option. Wellers Hill Hardware and Landscape Supplies offer high-quality garden soil options with local delivery available in Brisbane. Call (07) 3848 1682
5 – Using the wrong construction material
Garden beds are often made of timber sleepers which is great for dryer areas like in Brisbane. However, these beds will decompose over time. The length of time varies based on the weather in your area. If you live in a very wet area, you may want to consider a longer-lasting material like galvanised steel or brick.
6 – Not mulching the garden bed
Mulch has a lot of great benefits so there are very few reasons why you wouldn’t want to use it. Some of the reason that you want to use mulch include:
- Stops the top of the soil drying out
- Keeps the soil moist and can reduce watering by up to 60%
- Helps to prevent weeds and weed seed germination
- Keeps the soil temperature constant
- Using an organic mulch means that you are adding organic matter to the garden bed.
7 – Not adding to the soil through the life of the garden bed
If you start with great soil, that’s fantastic, but it’s essential to keep adding organic matter like compost or fertiliser to keep your soil a quality that will continue to get you the results that you want.
8 – Not planning for irrigation
Irrigation is a step that you will need to consider in the layout planning of your garden bed.
Hand watering is excellent, but you need to consider how you are going to move your hose around the aisles.
Another option is drip irrigation for this you will need to consider the path of the irrigation system before you install your beds.
If you plan to use an over-head or a general sprinkler system, this can make your conditions very similar to wet areas and increase the decomposition rate of your garden bed timber structure.
9 – Ignoring your pathways
It’s very common for people to focus purely on their garden beds and not consider stopping weed growth in the pathways. It’s essential to think about how you will prevent weeds growing in your path. A couple of things you can consider are mulch or river rock. You can even use a combination of mulch and a weed mat product.
10 – Not factoring in shading options
In QLD, we often have unexpected heat waves in summer, which can be devastating for young plants that haven’t had enough time to build a sound root system. Take advantage of framing and shade products to create environments that you can grow younger or different varieties of plants that don’t like full sun.
Wellers Hill Hardware and Landscape Supplies Brisbane is the trusted name on the Brisbane southside for your home landscape supply and renovation needs.