Image via Country Living
Do you have veg plot envy?At this time of year you may be peering over the neighbours wall and feeling a little more green eyed than green fingered when met with a beautifully laid out veg plot, complete with raised beds and perfect gravel paths between them.
Growing veg is certainly not all about being neat and tidy, but making a few raised beds can have a really positive effect on your crops success as well as looking good and being practical to manage. So why not use the (hopefully good weather to come) and spend a weekend making up some raised beds, there's still lots of salad and veg you can plant to harvest this year.
We've discovered a fantastic tutorial to make your own raised beds from scratch, which we have shared at the end of this post - but first we thought you should understand why raised beds can really improve your crops.
An amazingly neat and tidy veg garden, see more of it over at blog 'Marks Veg Plot'
Why are raised beds great for growing vegetables?
- Easy crop rotation - If you have space for more than one raised bed you can rotate crops yearly. Crop rotation helps with the condition of the soil and can eradicate pests and diseases from particular families of plants. (in theory)
- Warms the soil - because it's raised up it warms much quicker in spring allowing for earlier planting
- Easy to improve and change the soil type - for specific plant families as you can add whatever you need to improve just that raised bed.
- Focused watering - some plants are much thirstier than others
- You wont stand on and compact the soil - your beds should be of a size so you can reach the centre without having to walk on the earth. Also the added bonus is clean shoes :)
- Good drainage - because the soil is not compacted
- Soil will not wash away - in torrential rain you don't need to worry about all the nutrients running away.
- Easy to garden - If you build them fairly high it can help with bad backs, less leaning means more enjoyable gardening.
- Can be covered - They can be made to take a cover, cloche or netting, which can be rotated or removed seasonally.
Raised Bed Tutorial
The instructions are step by step and the images are really clear to follow, so if you have the tools (or could borrow some) you can save yourself a lot of unnecessary expense from the ready made or kit raised beds that are sold in garden centres and diy shops.
We have lots of gifts for gardeners available at Not Mass Produced, for example this essential gardeners handcream and a traditional trug for gathering up your salad and veg, both perfect for green fingered fanatics :)
We've been having fun searching Pinterest for our 'Veg Plot Envy' board - some absolutely stunning gardens as well as some ideas for growing veg in constricted spaces. Are you a keen gardener we'd love to hear your tips for success!?