Get ready, Austinites – spring is almost here! If you’re looking for new landscaping ideas for the new season, consider adding a raised bed to your garden. Not only can it improve soil fertility and drainage. It can also help you grow larger, healthier plants.
Step 1: Find a level area in your garden
Once you’ve found a spot for your raised bed, carefully measure the area. Divide the total area into rows three to five feet wide. Adjust the width of your rows based on the mature size of the plants you intend to grow in each row. Mark the outer edges of each row using wooden stakes.
Step 2: Begin digging
Excavate the soil inside the area you marked off using your shovel to a depth of one foot. Pile the dirt nearby on the plastic sheet or tarp. If your soil has a heavy clay or sand content, mix it with compost to improve fertility and drainage.
Step 3: Multiply and mix
Multiply the length, width and height of your raised bed (above ground) to determine the volume of topsoil needed to add to your raised bed. Mix the topsoil into the dirt you removed from the bed. Use a shovel to loosen and aerate pit soil to a depth of one foot.
Step 4: Begin building
Begin placing masonry blocks around the pit perimeter to create a wall around the edge. Stack blocks in horizontal layers and stagger the blocks in each layer so that the ends of each block are above the middle of the blocks underneath them. When the wall reaches two feet in height, stop adding blocks.
Step 5: Fill in the bed
Shovel the new mixture of topsoil back into the area inside the wall. Apply the soil evenly over the excavated area, but avoid walking on or compacting it. Scan the soil for any large rocks or trash and remove them.
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