What are some raised garden bed hacks?

I'm looking for ideas to create simple, effective raised garden beds for vegetables and herbs. I'm also looking to create richer soil, keep Japanese beetles and slugs at bay, and produce more veggies from my garden. The last three years have been utter failure.

  5 answers
  • Holly Kinchlea-Brown Holly Kinchlea-Brown on Dec 17, 2017
    Simple boxes made from pallet wood to keep the soil contained would work...if you do an internet search on square foot gardening you will get a ton of ideas on size, soil (and soiless soil mixtures), how to maximize space and minimize weeding

  • Janet Pizaro Janet Pizaro on Dec 17, 2017
    https://www.hometalk.com/categories/gardening-landscaping/container-gardening/raised-garden-beds...for the slugs and insects try food grade diatomaceous earth,crushed egg shells,and try a organic systemic insect control for the japanese bettles.For the soil add composted manure,peat moss,and a garden soil and work into your existing soil

  • Dfm Dfm on Dec 17, 2017
    oh dear, that "hack" word again....no hacks, just plain old hard work. your garden beds need a min of 8 hours sun...if you plant tomatoes,you might want a portion of the beds at least a foot deep. that's about how deep 'maters go. when you build your beds make sure the wood you use is safe for growing veggies. there are some wood preservatives that will leach into the soil, not good.
    janet p. shared a growing medium for containers- a raised bed is a container..1 part top soil, 1 part compost, 1 part peat moss, 1 part vermiculite or pearlite. mix well. i mix mine in a compost tumbler.. but you can use a tarp and fold the 4 parts together. oh- just because you have a raised bed, it doesn't deter the weeds. do put landscape fabric in the bottom of the beds.

    as for the beetles, phernome traps, be generous and give the slugs a beer- served in a shallow dish.

    if you want a more traditional herb bed, plant a sun dial in the middle, plant the taller herbs at 11 oclock, 12 oclock, 1 oclock. and stagger the other herbs according to the dial, smaller plants at 6 oclock.

  • 2dogal 2dogal on Dec 17, 2017
    Please, before you do anything - go to your County Agricultural Extension Cooperative. They are there to give you advice specific to your area, and have a lot of handouts. They will do soil tests so you don't spend money adding things your soil doesn't need. They can tell you what grows best, how to build raised beds cheaply, control insects - anything you want to know.

  • Russbow Russbow on Dec 17, 2017
    I make mine 3' wide, just enough for two rows of most veggies. Then, run them side by side, with enough room between to turn your foot completely around AND be sure your flat bottom shovel will fit in the space. That way, I use a piece of board across the top, feet in the bottom and sit to do almost all the weeding, harvesting etc. I pick one bed each year, deepen the end closest to the house , and use it for all the veggies scraps all year long as compost and roto till it in in the spring.

    Rotate your crops between beds. I use a totally unique way of planting lettuce. At the end of the season, I let a bunch of the plants go to seed. After the first few frosts,, I pull and shake them so all the seeds go in the bed. Then I rototill. The next spring, you get the very earliest lettuce, and its in a field like situration, not rows. as soon as it is up just an inch or so, start thinning and EAT what you pull out. Keep thinning all summer long, then repeat in the fall. I never buy lettuce seeds. I learned this totally by accident.