(I’ve included affiliate links for your convenience. I earn a small percentage from a purchase using these links. There is no additional cost to you, and I appreciate any support. You can read more about affiliate links here)
Building a raised bed garden using the method in the Emilia Hazelip raised beds. These raised beds are easy to make as long as you don’t mind a little bit of digging!
Before You Get Started
If the area for your beds is presently covered with vegetation and you still have a few months before it’s time to plant, then cover the ground with a sheet mulch to kill of all of the grasses and weeds.
If you don’t have the time to wait for a sheet mulch to clear the site for you, then hire a rototiller for a couple of hours.
Trying to dig through grass and weeds will really slow you down, so take my advice and start with a cleared site.
Keep in mind that the quality of the soil is very important for healthy plant growth. Check what sort of soil you have and add what ever it may need to improve it. Here is a helpful article for those of you who have clay: How to improve clay soils
How To Build Easy Raised Beds For Growing Vegetables
When your site is clear, take a marking stake and place it into the ground where you want your first bed to start. Continue placing stakes along the line of the bed until you have the length that you desire marked out.
Then take a measuring tape – or long stick cut or marked to length – and measure across from the first line of stakes to find the correct width for the bed. Place stakes along this side, the same way you did for the first side.
Your beds should be four feet wide. This width allows you to comfortably reach to the center of the growing bed without needing to step onto the soil.
Now you have the area for your first bed marked out.
Next you need to mark out the pathway. Measure across from the second line of stakes and once again mark out a line. Your pathways should be twenty inches wide. Giving you plenty of room to maneuver between beds without hindrance. You can make it wider if you want to.
Continue to mark out beds and pathways in this manner until you have the number of beds that you need.
Now, it’s just a matter of digging out the soil from the pathway areas and heaping it onto the bed areas. Aim for a total bed height of between ten and thirty inches. The deeper the bed, the more room there will be for plant roots.
But don’t use poor quality sub soil just to get another couple of inches of height for your raised bed.
It’s better to start with a slightly lower bed and build height over time with compost and organic materials, than it is to pile subsoil on top.
Once you’ve finished adding soil to a bed. Take a garden rake and level out the top.
If you are going to install drip irrigation, then now is the right time to do it.
Completely cover the bed with mulch and leave it for a few days to allow the soil to settle.
Plant it out when you are ready.
The space in your raised garden beds can be further utilized with trellising for vining vegetables. It is also advisable to install netting and row covers to protect your plants from insects and bad weather.
Video – Emilia Hazelip How To Create A Synergistic Garden
Author: This article was written for Self Sufficiency HQ by Caroline Taylor of Klamath Falls, Oregon.