Raised Planter Beds
Raised planter beds offer incredible convenience to people with limited space who also want something that's visually appealing. Raised bed planters comes in nearly every size imaginable while keeping the overall "footprint" in your yard to a minimum.
For those who love gardening but hate constant bending or kneeling, a well-placed raised planter provides a comfortable solution. Since it's up off the ground you can weed and water with ease.
The raised planter helps keep soil from compacting. Your soil also stays warmer than it would in a normal garden, extending your growing season. The warmth factor also helps protect more sensitive plants come the colder months. Since you fill these planters with potting soil, you can also control insects far more readily.
There is really no plant unsuitable for raised planter beds. From fresh herbs and healthy vegetables to beautiful annuals and bushes, provided you choose the right size container - you can grow it! One hint: a bed can be as long as you want but keep the width so it matches a comfortable reach. This makes weeding and harvesting a breeze.
Choosing the Best Raised Planter
Before you buy a planter consider whether you want it to be a permanent fixture or something more mobile. Look at your space, where the sun hits your yard throughout the day, and what type of wind shelter exists.
If the light in your yard changes a lot throughout the day, then consider a portable bed over a permanent one. This allows you to move the plants in and out of sunlight according to their growing requirements.
It also gives you design flexibility. Any time you want you can move the planters around for a different look and feel. For those living in four-season environments, you can move your planter to a garage or other protected location come winter too.
If you opt for permanent beds, don't put them in the ground or fill them with dirt until you've checked the spacing. You want to get your lawn mower in-between the rows with ease.
Types of Materials
Raised planter beds come in a wide variety of materials. By far the most commonly seen is cedar or redwood. This wood acts as a natural insect repellent. You can use pressure treated lumber, but not if you're growing edibles. The chemicals in the wood easily leach into your soil and the surrounding plants. Recycled plastic is also an excellent option that brings color and water-resistance into the garden.
Beds come in nearly every shape imaginable. When space is really an issue, look to vertical systems. These planter towers have holes all along the sides where you can insert various seedlings. Another nice construction option is edging. This bed has trim all around it, like a mantle, providing an ideal location for your tools when you're not using them. Finally for portable beds, definitely go for ones that have casters. You won't regret it!
Types of Raised Bed Planters
Let's take a look at a few raised beds to give you an idea of what you might want for your landscape design.
Here's a 3' x 6' cedar bed . This is a value-added piece because it has aluminum corners, making it very sturdy no matter the weather. The cedar itself is rot-resistant. The straightforward design works exceptionally well whether you want to create more defined areas in your current garden or if you're setting up a new space.
In terms of appearance, cedar makes a classic, almost rustic look that stands out against a wide variety of backdrops – giving your landscape more visual appeal. This planter will hold 9 cubic feet of soil.
Or, you could go to a two tier system. A bed of this nature goes together quickly and provides more growing space, decreasing your garden's overall "footprint". The upper level has a 12" deep base for plants that need more root room like tomatoes and carrots. The lower level holds 6" of soil which is ideal for herbs.
If you like using protective netting or garden fabric, there are cover hoops that can support either. When you can't expand outward with your gardening efforts, going upward just makes sense. The layers here also make the whole arrangement feel clean, compact, and efficient. You'll find this design shows off both levels beautifully.
Grow beds work great for people doing square foot gardening. In this case they're made out of recycled plastic, making them environmentally friendly. The black color keeps heat in the container during early spring and late fall, extending your season. Better still it doesn't show the dirt during muddy seasons.
Finally if you're looking for less maintenance, what about self watering raised planter beds? Instead of watering daily, now it's down to once a week thanks to a four gallon reservoir that even has an indicator telling you when more water's required!
This particular bed offers 9 square feet of growing room and a full foot of space for roots. You can get this particular bed with a wood grain texture in bronze or white. HINT: If you go this route, definitely consider getting the casters - that way you can move your bed wherever you wish.
Raised bed gardens take up very little space, and are easy to weed and tend. If you run into trouble with any disease, simply change out the soil and you're back in business. Remember to add some fertilizer to your soil once a month and you'll be amazed at how healthy and lush your garden grows.
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