How to prepare a raised garden bed

Happy Father’s Day to all the Dads out there. In Adelaide we were so lucky with the weather, a fine 23C. Before Father’s Day I began preparing my new raised garden bed for planting. There is a special formula I have used over the past few years that I find works really well, I have detailed it below for those setting up a new raised garden bed ready for Spring planting.

  • Choose a spot that gets the right amount of sunlight for the plants you want to put in the raised bed. In my case 6-8 hours is needed for most of the plants.
  • Layout cardboard to cover the size of the raised bed with a bit sticking out the sides to prevent grass and weeds as much as is possible from growing up through the bed.
  • Next lay newspaper over the cardboard about 3-4 sheets thick ( I didn’t have any newspaper so I used the brown paper packaging from an item I had delivered. Never use glossy paper from magazines as this does not breakdown as easily or as quickly and who knows what products are in that type of paper. The cardboard and newspaper helps with weed suppression and also breaks down quickly adding compost to the soil.
  • Wet the newspaper and cardboard well.
  • Following on from the newspaper you can add any sticks, bark, leaves and the contents of your compost bucket. I only had my compost bucket this time.
  • Now comes the layering of soil, cows manure and compost with a mix of perlite in with the soil. Just mix half a bag of perlite with 2-3 bags of soil in the wheelbarrow then spread over the sticks and compost that is in the raised bed. Next spread 2-3 bags of cows manure over the bed and follow up with 2-3 bags of compost. Keep this layering up until the garden bed is full. Remember there will be settling over time so it is best to fill to approximately 5-7 cm from the top. These amounts are based on the size of my raised garden bed and you will need to adjust according to the size of your bed. If you haven’t heard of perlite before it helps aerate the soil so it doesn’t become water logged.
  • The raised garden bed is ready for planting!

There you have it, how to prepare a raised garden bed for planting! Do you have a different method for preparing a raised garden bed? Why not comment below so we can all try a different way. Can’t wait for planting day. What will you be planting soon? I have tomatoes, capsicum, zucchini and lettuce and I will be interspersing marigolds and petunias for their companion planting benefits. I’m so excited because my own capsicum seed that I planted 5 weeks ago has finally sprouted and will eventually go in the garden later than the seedling I bought from the garden shop. I think it took so long because it wasn’t warm enough even inside. Until next time, you will probably find me in my happy place, happy gardening. 🙂

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