How do I start a raised vegetable garden?
First you have to build the raised garden bed. You can either buy a raised box garden kit or build it from scratch. The kits make it much easier and faster. The most popular sizes are 2′ x 4′ and 4′ x 4′.
You can make a raised vegetable garden with cedar, cypress or redwood 2 x 6 or 2 x 10 boards. You need to use these types of woods because they are rot and insect resistant. Other wood will rot quickly and/or get infested with termites. You can buy the lumber at a home improvement store like Lowes or Home Depot. They will cut the wood to length if you want.
Raised vegetable garden kit are readily available online and very inexpensive. I bought a 4′ x 4′ cedar raised box garden kit for $40. The sides slide in place. There are no screws, bolts or nails.
You can also use bricks to build your raised garden bed. Just cement the bricks together in any design or shape you want. Make the height about 6-12″.
Once the raised garden bed is complete, you need to turn or till the soil underneath the garden. This will increase drainage and allow the vegetable roots to grow and spread out easily. If the soil is too hard and compacted to dig up, water the area several times and let it soak. The water will loosen the soil and make it easy to dig up and turn.
Now it’s time to fill the raised vegetable garden. The best soil mix for vegetables is compost, coconut coir, native soil and worm castings. I mix these at the following percentages; 50% compost, 25% coconut coir, 25% native soil. At the bottom of the garden, mix the coconut coir and the native soil together. Then add the compost on top. Then spread a thin layer of worm castings over the top as fertilizer. Let this mixture sit for a week and then start planting.