No-Fail Raised Gardening Tips!

May 22, 2018

Raised gardens are often built in response to a particular gardening challenge—space, pests, or soil type. But that doesn’t mean they can’t be appealing to look at—even charming—and work for everyone! Take a look at some common challenges and successful solutions to find the perfect raised garden for your Southshore backyard!

Why build a raised garden? The benefits of a raised garden are many, and the drawbacks are few. Better soil makes for a more productive garden, the limited size puts all of your plants within arm’s reach, and the options for neat and clever designs provide an aesthetic bonus!

Any type of gardening done above the normal height of the ground is considered a raised garden. A minimum depth of 12 inches is needed for adequate root growth, but  beyond that, raised garden design ideas know no bounds!

Where to Place It

HGTV suggests placing your raised bed on a concrete patio or directly on the ground in your yard. Don’t put your raised bed on a wooden deck; it could cause structural damage. And, choose a location that gets at least six hours of direct sunlight each day.

Building supplies to construct a basic wooden frame raised bed can be found at Southlands Home Depot Garden Center, a six-minute drive from Southshore.

One of the benefits of raised bed gardening is that you are bringing in excellent soil to put on top of whatever is there naturally. Jake from Nick’s Gardening Center in Aurora says you should use a mix of 30 percent compost to 70 percent soil. Put one-inch of compost on top of the soil and use a hoe or rototiller to mix it into the soil. For your 8-foot x 4-foot raised bed, you will need approximately 24 cubic feet of soil and 8 cubic feet of compost.

Don’t Forget to Irrigate!

While the superior soil will produce bountiful crops, it also requires more water. suggests the best way to monitor the moisture of your garden is by using your hands. When you stick a finger down into the soil, it should feel lightly damp, like a wrung-out sponge. Given our dry Colorado summers, you will likely need to supplement rainfall, so try using a watering wand—it will get the water exactly where you need it.

Design Options – Both Practical and Pretty!

The basic wooden-frame construction is only the beginning! Get creative with the look of your raised-bed garden! Morning Chores suggests using stacked timber for a Lincoln Logs look or you can add seats to a high-sided box!

Pest-Free Garden

In Colorado, sometimes you have to think like a Kentuckian—that is, build a Fort Knox of a garden! Hungry animals will want to enter your garden from above and below, so before putting your frame in place, add a barrier to burrowing animals by placing 1/4-inch-mesh hardware cloth on the ground before you place your frame. You may use netting to cover the top or even build a chicken wire-framed topper.  

While many raised gardens are only inches above the ground, why not consider raising your containers quite a bit higher so you don’t have to bend over to tend them? The Spruce suggests taking raised gardens to new heights with these three weathered troughs repurposed as planters! Easier on the gardener and harder for small animals to get to!

Gardening at Southshore

Tending your own garden is one of the perks of living in Colorado, and Southshore provides the perfect space to do it! Check out the lakeside living at this amazing master-planned community! Stop in and tour the spectacular model homes, built by three of the region’s top builders Toll Brothers, Century Communities and Richmond American Homes. The new designs are available in ranch and two-story models, priced from the upper $300s to the $700s.