Previously DIY Doctor has mentioned what it took to create a raised bed; but that’s not the end of it. The next step is to prepare your raised bed for planting? There are many different things that you should keep in mind before you begin to sow your seeds – here are some of the best tips and tricks in preparing your raised bed before the beginning of the sowing season.
Pulling Muscles and Weeds
One of the biggest problems that you could face before you even begin to plant is pests – one of these being common garden weeds. Weeding is a back breaking, muscle cramping task but it has to be completed before you can even begin to consider the process of planting; if you plant before you have completed the task of weeding, your plants could fail due to the competition that pests present.
Some common garden weeds to look out for include dandelions, thistles, mallow and worst of all, the creeping buttercup. Do not be fooled by the appearance of any of these plants – remember that not all that flowers is friendly.
Removing Debris From Your Dirt
It isn’t just weeds that can choke your soil and make it difficult for plants to grow; garden debris such as large stones and pieces of twig or other nondegradable materials can restrict the growth of your seedlings.
To prevent your future plants from encountering difficulty whilst developing their roots it’s recommended that you briefly sift through the soil and remove the larger objects that could become resistant to the roots of your plants – gloves should be worn due to the risk of sharp objects lurking within your soil; in the event that you do come across a sharp item and it penetrates the skin, rinse and wash the affected area thoroughly and apply a plaster before proceeding any further.
Selecting The Right Soil
Depending upon the type of plant, vegetable or fruit that you are attempting to grow, you should select your soil carefully – if you are planting flowers such as rhododendrons or a form of heather you should use an acidic soil as they grow poorly in a neutral or alkaline pH.
The soil that you choose should also be full of the various nutrients and minerals that your plants need; if you’re unsure as to whether your plant has everything it needs you can mix some well-rotted manure into your soil (use gloves for this task); the manure will fertilise your soil and allow your plants to remain healthy.
Drainage is also a key aspect of determining the right soil for your plants. If your soil drains poorly, even in a raised bed you can add grit or gravel to your soil to improve this. However, too much of this could pose a threat for your plants in drier weather, as the water will still drain quickly but will not be replaced.
Planting in a Raised Bed
Planting in a raised bed is a relatively simple task compared to preparing your raised bed: but what can be planted? There are a large number of plants that would be suitable for your raised bed, but some of them fair better than others; vegetables, herbs, soft fruits and even smaller shrubs are ideal for raised plants.
Vegetables are particularly hardy and will develop in most climates; due to this they can be perfect for raised beds and will root quickly if cared for properly.
Soft fruits also grow exceptionally well in raised beds; soft fruits include strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, currants and gooseberries. However, due to the nature of these soft fruits they are often attacked by pests – consider companion planting or organic insecticides and repellents when growing soft fruits.
Lavender, thyme, rosemary, basil and other herbs can be grown within raised beds and are much easier to cut and utilise when grown in this way.
By following these simple tips and tricks you should have created the ultimate raised bed; for more information on planting or maintaining your flora you can enquire at a garden centre near you. Remember that not all plants require exactly the same type of care, for instance some require more water or sunlight than others.