This year I’m building more raised beds in my landscape. Raised beds are often easier to care for and don’t require a lot of bending over to care for your plants. Save your back and build a few raised beds this year in 5 steps!

Step 1: Decide what you are going to grow in your raised bed. Almost any garden plant will thrive in a raised bed. I’m planning on planting at least one of my beds with strawberries.

Step 2: Decide on a location and shape for your bed. Where you build your bed will be determined by the needs of the plants that will be in the bed. You can build your bed in any shape you like: square, circle, triangle, and more. A square or rectangular bed is the easiest to build by yourself. Raised beds are usually 4 feet tall.

Step 3: Decide on the materials that you will use for the beds and assemble. Some of the materials that are commonly used are redwood lumber, cedar lumber, natural stones and rocks, and manufactured retaining wall stones. The material you use to build your beds is solely based on your personal preference and budget.

Step 4: Fill the bed with organic material and soil. The kind and amount of organic material you use depends on what you are growing. I have lots of success using Cotton Burr Compost or Peat Moss. If you have a compost pile you can also use your own compost instead. Be careful not to put in too much material that is high in nitrogen because this could burn the plants. Once you have decided what you are planting in the beds, come by the Nursery and I’ll give you a suggestion on what organic material would be best.

Step 5: Plant your plants or seeds just as you would if you were planting them in the ground. Just like anything you plant, proper watering and fertilizing is a must. Watering requirements for raised beds may differ from plants in the ground because of differences in drainage and exposure to wind so monitor the soil moisture carefully.