The amount of water a plant receives is often hard to control in a regular garden. Some plants require lots of water to grow healthy and strong, while others require very little water. Many plants are susceptible to root rot if they’re left standing in water for too long. Too much water is one of the main causes of dead plants.
There is an easy way to test your soil to see how well it drains. Dig a hole in any area of the garden that measures ten inches deep. Fill the hole up with water and wait for all of the water to soak into the ground. Then, fill the hole back up with water again. If that water isn’t gone within approximately ten hours, the soil has very poor drainage and is not suitable for most plants.
The most common way to provide the proper drainage for plants is to create a raised bed garden. A raised bed is simply a structure that holds soil and keeps the plant off the ground underneath. You can create a raised bed with various types of materials such as blocks, brick, or wood. The key is to make sure that the plant will sit at least five inches above the ground.
You can place a raised bed garden almost anywhere and it can be either on a grassy area or on dirt. However, it’s much easier to use an area that isn’t covered with grass. If the structure is going to be placed on dirt you simply need to build the walls and fill it with soil. Add some compost or manure and start planting.
Grassy areas create more of a problem. You will actually need to cut the grass loose and flip it upside down. It might sound easy, but you will need to use a really sharp tool to cut through the grass and loosen a layer from the dirt. After you have it turned upside down, it’s a really good idea to cover the area with a layer of straw. The straw will help prevent the grass from growing back up through the dirt and into your garden bed.
Planting plants in a raised bed garden is done in the exact same way that it’s done in a regular garden. Decide how far apart you need to space the plants, make a hole that will accommodate the entire plant root and cover the roots with soil. Just make sure that you don’t plant them to deeply and defeat the purpose of a raised bed.
Within days you’ll notice a big improvement in the health of your plants. The soft soil will allow the roots to grow freely and the drainage will prevent them from rotting. After you’ve watered your plants a few times you might need to add more soil to compensate for settling. A raised bed garden does take a little work, but the results make it all worthwhile.