Saturday, December 17, 2011

Landscaping for Elevated Vegetable Planters

Print this articleRaised bed gardens give a tidy appearance to your landscaping when properly planted and maintained. An elevated bed gives you the opportunity to bring in quality soil, which is especially important if your native soil is of poor quality. Wood, stone or brick edging further adds to the decorative look of the bed while also cleanly demarcating the edges of the garden. Proper landscaping both in and around your raised beds ensures they are a beautiful and productive addition to your garden.

Related Searches:Difficulty:Moderately EasyInstructions Things You'll NeedTrellisesMulchString trimmerPavers or brickSuggest Edits1

Choose plants for the bed that benefit most from the location. Select plants that tolerate shade, such as lettuce, for beds that receive less than six hours of direct sunlight and pick sun-loving plants for beds that receive more than six hours of sun daily.

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Determine which side of the bed is the front. The front is typically the south side of the bed. Plant lower growing plants near the front of the bed and taller plants or those that require trellising, like peas, near the back.

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Train tall or vining plants, including tomatoes, squash and gourds, on a trellis. A trellis makes the plants more accessible, uses less space per plant and adds interest to the raised bed landscaping.

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Cover the soil between the plants with an attractive organic mulch, such as pine straw or wood nuggets. A 2-inch layer of mulch improves the appearance of the bed while also preventing weeds and conserving soil moisture.

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Use a string trimmer around the outside base of the elevated bed weekly during the growing season to keep the outside of the bed looking neat and to prevent weed and grass seed from blowing into the bed. Trim the grass near the raised bed sides to the same level of the surrounding lawn.

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Install brick, cement paver or cement walkways between close-setting raised beds. If you use pavers, weed between the pavers or plant a groundcover in the cracks so weeds do not push up between the paving stones.

Tips & Warnings

Replace plants as soon as they quit producing with a new crop. Rotating in new crops as soon as the old ones decline keeps the beds producing all season.

Space raised beds at least 3 feet apart so you have enough room to walk between and work in the bed. Keep in mind some vegetables will protrude beyond the sides of the bed, effectively reducing the size of the aisles.

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ReferencesUniversity of Missouri: Raised Bed GardeningIowa State University Extension: Creating Raised Bed PlantersRead Next:

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