The own cultivation of fruits and vegetables in the garden or on the balcony lies meanwhile also with the younger generation in the trend. The best way to manage your own cultivation in a raised bed. In this you reach a 5-8 degrees higher temperature than in the normal soil, so that the vegetables and fruits can be grown over a longer period and grow faster. In the garden, a raised bed protects your plants from snails and other pests. In this article, you will learn everything about the raised bed and other tips for your own cultivation.
Which requirements should a raised bed fulfill?
A raised bed offers not only the higher temperatures, but also other advantages:
- comfortable working by height
- Mixed cultures provide less pests
- profitable harvest
- Raised beds made of wood are a real eye-catcher
Depending on where you want to set up your raised bed, they are more or less tied to the local conditions. On balconies usually find only smaller space, while you have almost no limits in the garden. What material your raised bed ultimately consists of is a matter of taste. These options offer you the following advantages and disadvantages:
Raised bed made of wood
Wood is one of the most popular materials for raised beds, because it is not only very weather-resistant, it adapts optically as well as any balcony or terrace. Depending on the location, the raised bed should be treated with a glaze every one to two years, which will continue to make the wood weather-resistant.
Raised bed of metal
Another common material for raised beds is metal. They are very robust and cheap because they can be quickly assembled from just a few materials. This allows you to easily adapt the shape and size to your circumstances. A small disadvantage, however, is that it is often visually less appealing and metal conducts heat and cold particularly well.
Raised bed of stone
It is also possible to build a raised bed of stone. This too can look very beautiful, is robust and resistant to decay. However, the structure is not quite so easy, because the stones should reach at least 50 cm into the ground. If you have not masoned in your life before, you should first inform yourself well and if necessary seek tips from the professional.
What can I plant in a raised bed?
In principle, you can plant all plants in a raised bed that have a realistic chance of growing well in our region. A high bed is especially popular for growing various herbs. But also strawberries, lettuce, tomatoes or other fruits and vegetables can be grown in a raised bed. The following points should be considered when planting:
Plant the size
Before planting the plants, observe the course of the sun at the location where your raised bed stands. Plants that need a lot of sun should be planted in those places where you get the most sun throughout the day. In addition, you should sort the plants by size, so the larger plants smaller do not take away the sun. Information on location and size can be found on the packages of plant seeds or on the plant pots.
Plant plants in the pot
Inform yourself beforehand about the respective properties of the plants. Mint, for example, is a plant that can spread rapidly underground with the roots. To prevent this, it is advisable to plant this with the pot in the raised bed immediately. Otherwise, you should always look in your bed to see if any other offshoots have formed in your bed and cut them away. To prevent several mint plantlets from spreading in your bed.
Do not overgrow
There are many beautiful and interesting plants in the hardware store, so the decision is difficult. When buying, you should pay attention to how much space the selected plants need.The planting distances are indicated on the pots and you should also comply with these.
Use trellis aids
Many plants do not grow straight up, but spread out to the side. In order to prevent the individual plants from getting in the way, there are so-called trellises.
Plant mixed cultures
Mixed cultures ensure a natural plant protection in your bed and protect against pest infestation. In advance, therefore, always find out which plants represent a good neighbor to your favorite plants. For example, Kerbel sells ants and lice and the combination of strawberry and parsley does not like piebalds. Herbs between different types of vegetables repel many pests through their scent.
The beginning – How to fill your raised bed properly
The different layers of a raised bed are the reason for the higher yield that you achieve with a raised bed. The layers are built from bottom to top as follows:
- Branches, twigs, shrubbery
- Grass sods, small garden waste
- Foliage, needles
- a mixture of coarse and fine compost
- potting soil
If you set up your raised bed in the garden, you should lay out a wire mesh below to protect the bed from vole. With a raised bed on the balcony, this step is optional and need not be considered. As the layers slowly degrade over time and the plants withdraw their nutrients from the compost, which acts as a natural fertilizer, the layers should be changed approximately every 3 years.
Care – you should pay attention
The care of a raised bed is relatively easy. During the season you just have to make sure that you water the raised bed regularly. A raised bed stores water less well than other beds and can therefore dry out faster. Especially at high temperatures, you should water the raised bed daily. The fertilization of the bed is not necessary thanks to the nutrient-rich compost.
Over the course of the season, you will see that the content of the raised bed is slowly sinking as the rotting process begins. You should top up before the new season starts. To do this, remove the top layer, ie the floral or mother earth, and then sprinkle with new compost and potting soil again. You should not dig up the bed because the layers should remain as possible. About every 3 years, the entire content should be renewed.
Accessories for your raised bed
Many suppliers offer additional useful accessories to the raised beds. A cold frame protects the plants from frost, allowing them to start growing in winter. Especially for salad, which germinates best at a temperature between 10-15 degrees, a Frühbeetaufsatz is useful. Growth films, meshes or fleeces protect the plants from the effects of the weather and pests. Even trellis can be mounted directly on the raised bed afterwards. This is especially useful if you grow plants that are several meters high, such as tomatoes.