A raised bed is a great way to increase water drainage capacity. If you’re planning on growing plants that need great water drainage and your working area hasn’t got it. You should consider creating a raised bed. With some plants, it isn’t a problem and in a few rare cases, they may even bloom better this way. But there are plants that can’t cope with it and a bad water drainage can cause them to die of the excess water. To make sure this doesn’t happen you’ll need to find it out ahead of time and check if your soil has a good water drainage or not.
How Can You Test That?
Well, that’s pretty easy. Head over to the place you want to test, dig a hole in the ground. About 10 inches deep will do just fine. Fill that hole up with water and return the next day when all of the water has disappeared. You fill it up once again and if the water is gone within 10 hours time, your soil has good drainage. If not, it means that your soil has a low saturation point. Meaning that the water which soaks into the soil will stay around too long before disappearing. No plant desires this and therefore you’ll have to do something about it to improve the water drainage of your soil.
You Can Improve The Drainage With Raised Bed Gardening
A Raised Bed is just a patch of land that you raised. You build a border and add soil and compost so that it is at least 5 inches higher than the rest of your lawn. This little trick alone can dramatically improve the water drainage of your garden. Building a raised bed is rather straightforward but you still have to keep in mind that there are a few differences between creating a raised bed on grass or on dirt.
When you want to create a raised bed in an area that’s not a grassy one, you won’t run into a lot of trouble. You’ll need to find something to use as a border. Take for example a couple of 2×4’s. After you build up the wall, you’ll need to put in the right amount of soil and some steer manure. According to the time, it will take you to grow on this raised bed, you can adjust the ratio so that some sort of deteriorating can occur without a problem.
Creating A Raised Bed Where Sod Already Exists
It will make it somewhat more difficult for you. You’ll need to cut the sod all the way around the raised bed and you’ll need to flip the cut-out section over. Sounds simple enough, but you’ll need something really sharp to get cut through the sod and get under it. After you’ve flipped it over, you’ll want to add a layer of straw in order to discourage the grass. So that it won’t grow up anymore. When the layer of straw is placed, just add the soil and steer manure as you normally would.
When the raised bed is made, you’ll want to plant the plants you’ve chosen. It’s pretty much the same as normal. Only keep in mind that the roots shouldn’t be too long. They should stay in the raised, new piece of ground. If they go too far they reach the original soil which was saturated. Long roots would completely ruin the point of the raised bed.
Adding the new soil makes it easier for the roots to develop and at the same time it discourages decomposition and prevents evaporation. You’ll see an improvement almost immediately.
Put all of these things together and you’ve got an ideal home for any plant to live in.
Raised Bed Gardening Isn’t As Hard As It First Sounded, Right?
But now that you know how to do it, you shouldn’t feel intimidated by it. It’s simple and raising a piece or your entire garden makes for some great long-term results and it’s worth every hour you invest in creating a raised bed.