Elevate your garden to new heights with these tips for raised beds, raised gardens – St George News
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ST. GEORGE – Raised beds and raised gardens provide easy access to gardens and can increase the space available for growing vegetables and flowers. You’ll enjoy the convenience and easy access when you include one or more in your landscape or on your patio, deck or balcony.
Providing proper care for these raised planting spaces will ensure the largest possible harvest and a growing season filled with beautiful flowers. Tailoring planting strategies and care to meet the needs of these unique grow spaces can help reduce maintenance.
It starts with creating and maintaining a healthy growth base. Fill your flower beds with a quality planting mixture made mostly of topsoil and compost. Or create your own plantation mix with lasagna and techniques from Hugelkultur. These methods allow you to convert plant trimmings, compost, and a minimal amount of soil into a quality planting mix.
Raised gardens are basically containers on legs and usually filled with a quality planting mix without soil. The lighter weight makes it much more suitable for this type of gardening. Look for a product that provides drainage while retaining moisture. Both characteristics are important when gardening in smaller volumes of soil.
Make sure you have easy access to the water, and your gardens have ways for excess water to drain off. The limited mass of the soil and the increased exposure to wind, heat and sunlight cause planting mixes to dry faster than buried beds. Always water abundantly to promote deeper, more drought tolerant roots.
Extend the time between waterings by up to 25% using a sustainable organic product like this from Wild Valley Farms wool pellets (wildvalleyfarms.com). Made from wool waste, these granules absorb and hold moisture, releasing it when plants need it.
Buy a raised garden with wheels or add casters to the legs if you need to move your garden around for entertainment. Take advantage of the added mobility to move your planter in the sun or shade as needed throughout the season.
Use space saving techniques to maximize the productivity of your gardens. Space the plants just enough to reach their adult size. Plant fast-ripening vegetables like radishes, lettuce, and beets between tomatoes, peppers, and other vegetables that take longer to reach full size and start producing. You will harvest short-season vegetables just as larger plants need space.
Look for compact flower and vegetable varieties that allow you to get the most out of every square inch of these gardens. The All-America Selections winner Patio Choice Yellow Cherry Tomato produces up to 100 tomatoes on an 18-inch plant. Mascotte Compact Bush Bean and Patio Pride Peas are great growers suitable for these gardens and small spaces.
Extend your pleasure and your harvests with successive plantings. Fill in any empty spaces left after a row or block of vegetables is harvested. Freshen up ornamental plantings by replacing weather-worn flowers with new, healthy selections. Add more planting mix with wool pellets if needed.
Train vines on trellises or other supports to save space and reduce the risk of disease. Dress them up leaving the herbs and flowers cascading over the edge of these flower beds.
Increasing growing success and reducing maintenance will make raised beds and raised gardens a practical and productive addition to your gardening efforts.
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