Basics for Raised Bed Gardening: Simple Growing Tips for Beginners and Experts

If you use topsoil that has lots of clay in it so that it doesn’t drain well, you can add some coarse sand to the mix to get a soil that will drain well. Mix all the soil ingredients well with a shovel before putting it the raised bed. When you make the bed, remove all the existing vegetation and break up the soil layer if it is hard and compacted.  (For Beds that don’t have a bottom in them) Put down a layer of cardboard or several layers of newspaper over the existing soil so you won’t be bothered by deep rooted weeds coming up in the bed. You can even line the bottom with some screen wire to stop digging rodents from getting into the bed.

Good Soil Should be King of Your Gardening Efforts

A store bought organic fertilizer is the safest way to go for the beginning gardener.  Here is a list of the  essential nutrients for your garden to flourish:

Nitrogen is found by legume cover crops, composted manure, fish fertilizer or alfalfa meal. Phosphorus can come from rock phosphate and bone meal. Potassium is found in kelp meal or green sand. Calcium will be supplied by lime or gypsum. Glacial rock dust provides calcium along with other important minerals and will raise the pH of your soil. Epsom salts increase magnesium levels of your soil but doesn’t effect the pH.

There is nothing quite as satisfying as gardening and you won’t be worried about pesticides, GMO’s or any other non-sense with your home grown veggies.  So get your hands dirty and enjoy your beautiful and bountiful garden!

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