How do I create a raised bed? - Instructions for filling the layers

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How do I create a raised bed? - Instructions for filling the layers: raised

Practical, modern and back-friendly - raised beds are trendy. If you are in possession of such a facility, you can be happy in the spring as one of the first over crisp salad. And in the course of a long gardening life, the waist-high bed becomes increasingly indispensable, if the constant stooping causes problems and hurts the back after a long day at work. In order to succeed in gardening with the raised bed, however, it is important to fill the construction according to certain criteria.

Filling the raised bed - optimal time

For the construction and filling of the raised bed, it is important to set the optimum time; For example, both spring and autumn are particularly suitable for applying the bedding and then filling it. During this time, the garden typically produces deciduous or pruned wood, which can be optimally used for filling. If you use natural materials from your own garden, you ensure that no impurities or harmful substances enter the system.

Construction of a raised bed

A raised bed consists of three main layers:
  • drainage
  • compost
  • substratum
No matter what type of raised bed is to be created: In any case, the filling material used from the bottom layer to the top layer is getting finer. For example, near the bottom there are branches and twigs, in the middle area compost and at the upper edge potting soil.
Tip: In order to protect the raised bed from voles, it has proven useful to lay out the floor with a mouse grille.

Various raised beds for different purposes

Today, the raised bed is used for many different needs. Hobby gardeners particularly often use the plant for the following purposes:
  • as a vegetable patch
  • for salad
  • as a herb garden
  • for flowers

raised bed

Depending on what applications are possible for the raised bed, the composition of the content may vary; a classic flowerbed comes with a simple layering of air-permeable layer close to the ground, compost as a middle layer and potting soil as the final layer; Plants used for vegetables typically require additional layers. Who wants to use his raised bed as a small herb garden, has to additionally consider the different needs of each herb; while Mediterranean plants such as rosemary and thyme prefer dry and sandy soil, for example, domestic herbs (chives or parsley) require fresh soil. If in doubt, the top layers of earth must be divided into different areas.

Filling a classic vegetable raised bed

Each bed is individual and has certain requirements and different structural conditions. Here we show you the filling of a sample bed.

First layer: drainage layer

The first layer used to fill the raised bed is the drainage layer; this has the following properties:
  • is up to 30cm thick
  • should be at least 10cm
  • ensures that no water accumulates in the raised bed
  • consists of stones, clay or branches
Who cuts the trees in his garden in the fall, should carefully store the clippings; it can be used as the first layer of the raised bed. Branches to arm thickness are roughly crushed for this purpose and then laid out on the floor of the raised bed. Then follow thinner layers with brushwood and twigs. Alternatively, rhizomes that are covered with some soil, can serve as a filling for the bottom layer. In addition, cardboard or cardboard boxes are suitable, but they must not be printed.
As an alternative filling for the first layer stones and potsherds can be used. As with layering with plant material, the same applies here: from bottom to top, the individual components are getting finer and finer. So you can find on the bottom thick pieces of clay or larger stones, which are then covered with clay granules or gravel.

Second layer: soil mixture

The first layer of substrate is distributed over the drainage layer. This layer has the following properties:
  • Thickness about 15cm
  • serves to support the decomposition process of the wood core
  • Garden soil or finished substrate can be used
The drainage is followed by a layer of sods or semi-decomposed compost covered with a layer of foliage or straw or a mixture of both components. The conclusion is a mixture of soil and sieved compost.
Tip: If Mediterranean plants are to be cultivated, the substrate as a whole must not be too nutritious. For ornamental plants, which generally stay longer in the bed, you can always incorporate lava or expanded clay.In addition, a pH test with which the soil can be checked for acidic or alkaline properties is suitable; this is crucial for the choice of vegetables.

raised bed

As an alternative to the substrate mixture from the own garden quality earth from the specialized market offers itself. Again, different varieties for the individual plant species are available.

Third layer: wood core

Waste from the garden can be used optimally for the wood core. For example:
  • Remains of the shrub
  • thin branches and branches
  • chaff
  • Plant remains (fruits, vegetables)
  • Remains of shrubbery pruning
Tip: The individual parts that are used to fill this layer must not exceed a total length of about 40cm!

raised bed

The wood core may be generous in its thickness; a total of 40cm should be budgeted for this location. If the layer is thick enough, it ensures that the rotting process provides sufficient nutrients and heat that are important to the plants.
Foliage can be used to cover the wood core; the leaves should be three inches high.

Fourth layer: center core

The middle core forms the fourth layer of a raised bed. When creating the following applies:
  • Thickness about 15cm
  • Material: manure such as horse manure or
  • coarsely rotted compost
Tip: If you want to use compost from your own garden for your raised bed, you should never have disposed of meat or fish waste there. When composting is also to be noted that no plastic parts get lost in the mixture; the compost should be 100% biodegradable and must therefore contain only food that rots.
The layer of the wood core may contain in addition to the compost beneficial organisms that are targeted. They ensure that the compost is crushed and act on a faster rotting process. For the plants in this way important nutrients are released. If plants are grown in the raised bed, which have an increased need for nutrients, is also the use of a long-term fertilizer, with which the bed is enriched. Horn chips are used for this purpose.

Fifth layer: finely sieved compost

The last layer of the raised bed is finely sieved compost, which ensures the nutrient supply of the plants; In this way they can grow optimally. After harvesting, this layer can be refreshed if necessary before inserting new plantlets. If neither compost nor garden soil is available from the own green area, suitable substrates can be purchased in the specialist market, for example:
  • Garden soil (for salad)
  • potting soil
  • Mother earth (ideal for crops)

Renewal of the raised bed

The contents of the raised bed do not remain stable throughout the year; Over the months, the entire contents of the system collapses, so that the filling height is reduced by up to 20cm. Then fresh earth must be refilled. Spring is best suited for this measure, as the entire plant will undergo a thorough inspection during this time. However, the earth can not be refilled as often as you like.
Usually after five, but at the latest after seven years, the raised bed is in need of renewal. Then the following measures apply:
  • Repair the construction, repair damaged areas
  • Replace contents completely
  • Create layering from scratch
Background of these measures: After a few years, the nutrients that are in the filling are completely used up. This not only applies to constructions that serve as a vegetable patch, but also to flowerbeds. Anyone who cares for his raised bed well over the years, regularly renews the filling and also takes care of the overall construction, will enjoy many years of his plant. Then the raised bed remains a popular highlight in the local green area. For back-friendly gardening - into old age!

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