Raised Bed Garden - Additional Information

Posted by Chris Wong on December 08, 2012 0 Comments

Raised Beds Gardens are one of our flagship products and have provided our customers with excellent growing conditions for many years. We've grown everything from arugula to zucchini, tomatoes, herbs, carrots, and everything in between. The most common limitation is running out of space to plant everything that our customers want to grow in just one raised bed.

What's Included

For our GTA customers, all of our raised beds come with everything you need to get started. After identifying a suitable area for the raised bed, our team of urban farmers will come to setup and install the bed, including all the materials, the soil and the seeds and plants for one round of planting.  Add-ons such as our copper trellis, garden accessories, and additional rounds of planting are available for an additional cost.

Raised Bed Materials

We construct all of the raised beds ourselves using western redwood cedar, which is a durable, attractive, rot-resistant, natural material. It has natural oils that protect it from decay and insects and is more durable than eastern cedar varieties. While the soil will have to be amended with extra compost and nutrients each year, the wood in our raised beds will last for many years.

Our Soil Mix

One of the secrets to excellent gardening results is our premium custom soil mix made from a variety of ingredients including worm castings, vegetable compost, vermiculite, and more. It is made locally without animal matter (no composted manure) and if full of bio available nutrients. It has good water retention properties and is loose and easy to work with. Our soil mix can also be purchased individually. For most of our gardening projects, we arrange for the soil to be delivered to the garden location in advance of the setup date. Our soil mix comes in a sturdy tote bag which makes for a no mess delivery.

Our Seeds and Plants

We purchase and use only untreated seeds in our gardens. In addition, many of our varieties are open pollinated, heirloom, and certified organic. Some of our seeds are hybrid varieties  None of the seeds we use are GMO. For our transplants, we start the majority of our plants at our partner greenhouse just outside of Toronto. -see pictures of our greenhouse and started seeds

Raised Bed Sizes

Our raised beds come in a variety of sizes and heights. Custom sizes and height of the raised beds can be ordered by special request. The most common ones are listed below:
  • 4′ x 4′ square
  • 2′ x 8′ narrow
  • 4′ x 8′ wide
  • 8" height
  • 16" height
A common question we get asked is the difference between the different sizes and heights of our raised beds. The simple answer is that the larger the surface area of the raised bed, the more quantity and variety of plants you can grow. If the bed can be accessed on all sides, having a 4' x 4' or 4' x 8' bed provides a small footprint and can be placed in a variety of locations. If the bed is being placed up against a wall or fence and cannot be accessed from all sides, then our 2' x 8' narrow bed will probably be a more suitable option. At 2' wide, reaching all areas of the bed is still manageable for most people. Wider than 3' can make harvesting at the back a little more difficult. In terms of depth, a deeper depth means more soil, more nutrients, and more space for the large plants to grow and expand into. With deeper beds, larger sized carrots can be planted, more moisture is retained in the soil, and there is less of a need to amend the soil with additional compost after the first year. All plants will grow fine whether placed in our 8" or 16" beds. 

Who Raised Beds Are For

There are many reasons why we love gardening with raised beds. The soil warms up faster in the spring; it requires little weeding; produces delicious veg; can be built in a variety of sizes; and makes for an enjoyable experience right from day one. Raised beds are great for people who want an easy way to get started with vegetable gardening and don't want to get overwhelmed with a large project, don't want to dig up their heavy clay soil and want to have an enjoyable experience at the same time.

Who Raised Bed Gardens Are Not For

There are only a few reasons why a raised bed would not be a suitable choice. The first reason is space/location. Raised beds are not a good choice for balconies due to their weight. Many apartment and condo buildings have specific weight restrictions as well as regulations preventing water from dripping water off the balcony as it will due to the built in drainage of the beds. Raised beds are also not the most suited to being placed on a wooden deck as the moisture from the bottom of the raised bed will speed up the decay of the wood on the deck. The third reason a raised bed would not be suitable would be due to a higher initial setup cost. Raised beds take an initial investment in terms of the materials and soil. For people who have a large area they want to grow food in, setting up multiple raised beds can add up quickly in terms of costs. If that is the case, we can suggest going with an in-ground garden or starting with just one or two raised beds and then expanding gradually over several years.

Square Foot Gardening Method

One of our favourite gardening methods is the square foot gardening method. We've made a few slight modifications that we find allow for an easier and more enjoyable gardening experience. Some of the best things we like about the method is that it makes for an attractive garden, produces high yields, prevents people from walking on and compacting the soil, and is easy to weed and water.

Other Features

When we construct our raised beds, there are several things that go into making them functional and durable.
  • We use outdoor deck screws with coarse threads for excellent holding power
    • Deck screws resist corrosion, outperform nails and other fasteners, and allow the bed to be deconstructed if desired
  • We put on a 3/8" plywood bottom board that allows the bed to sit evenly on any flat surface, including decks and patios.
    • Drainage holes are drilled to prevent drowning of the roots
    • Raised beds can also setup without the plywood bottom
  • Along the surface of the raised bed, we put attractive grid boards to divide the bed into neat 1 square foot sections
    • This makes planting, labeling and keeping track of your plants easier
    • Like the plywood bottom, we can also setup our beds without this feature

Purchase a YUF Raised Bed Garden from our Online Store Today.

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