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Build a Raised Bed for Fall Gardeing

This fall, raise your spirits and get that garden off the ground! Raised garden beds, or garden boxes, can be a great addition to your backyard, school, or community garden. Constructed from non-treated, naturally rot-resistant, long-lasting wood, these beds can offer gardeners a variety of benefits while taking the strain off of your back or knees. They're also accessible for kids in school or family backyard gardens. Read on for six reasons to build one yourself!

Inspired, but afraid of power tools? Don't be! Register for our Deep Roots: Raised Bed Constructionclass in the SFC Teaching Garden on Saturday, September 13th. Participants will try out building different types of raised beds with the help of the SFC Teaching Garden Coordinator, and will also discuss raised garden bed care and which materials to use, including reusing household items for bed borders.

  • Keep it accessibile – Raised garden beds can built only a couple inches off of the ground, but they can also be built as high as 3 or 4 feet for increased accessibility for the disabled, elderly, or any other gardener needing a break from bending over. Also, with certain designs, the gardener can sit on the side of the bed and plant and harvest with even more ease!
  • Block those weeds! – When constructed correctly, raised beds can act as a weed barrier and decrease the amount of time needed to weed around vegetables.
  • Keep it loose – Stepping in and around a garden bed in the ground can cause soil compaction and make it hard for growing plants’ roots to form fully and for soil insects to thrive. Having a raised bed will decrease soil compaction by making it obvious where not to step.
  • Good drainage – By raising your garden up, you will be increasing your drainage, especially when compared to a clay soil that you may find in your backyard in Austin. It will at the same time decrease soil erosion by creating a natural barrier during rainstorms.
  • Control critters– Tall raised garden beds, at least 4 feet tall, can discourage critter such as rabbits and any underground rodents from invading your garden.
  • Looking good! – Raised garden beds can look tidier and more visually appealing that a sprawling in-ground garden.