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Installing a raised flowerbed is something that can easily be tackled in a weekend, and is an inexpensive project that adds great aesthetic value to your home. The first thing you need to do is decide what type of border material you want for your flowerbed. Landscape timbers, bricks and stone are all common. These, a shovel, and some clean fill dirt and you are ready to begin.
Begin by deciding where you want your flower bed, what shape, etc. You may not want to put the flowerbed directly against you house, particularly if your house has wood siding or is made of logs. The back of the bed may hold to much moisture into your house, causing premature rotting. Leave just an inch or so of space, and put a back on your bed, rather than using the house as it’s back, and you can really save yourself a potential headache down the road. You can sprinkle flour or lime on the ground or use a string or the garden hose to lay out your shape. Once you decide on a shape, start digging. You need to turn the soil over to a depth of about 12 inches to really get good results. Just dig your spade in, dump the dirt out, move over and repeat. If you live in an area with exceptionally poor or rocky soil, you may want to skip this step and go directly to putting up your raised bed. Lay out your timbers, stone or other material and stack to about 8 to 10inches. Landscape timbers can be attached with specially designed nails, while brick and stone should be mortared in. If you prefer you can also dry stack your stone, for a more “country” look.
If you used mortar, be sure to allow it to set before moving to the next step, which is filling in your bed. The dirt should come right up to the top of your raised bed, as you can expect some settling. After you get your dirt in your flowerbed, you can plant. The main thing to remember when you plant is to pay particular attention to run off from the house or other buildings. If your flowerbed is directly against a building, you want to make sure not to plant something directly in a spillway from a gutter. Even if the plant can tolerate all the water without developing a fungus, it will beat down the leaves to where it is not attractive at all.
An interesting fact to note is that if your raised bed is in a protected area, beside the house, or a solid wall, you can grow flowers that are usually not as tolerant as what you would normally grow. For example, if you live in Zone 6, you may be able to grow plants that normally only grow in Zone 7 or warmer in a raised bed that is somewhat protected from winds. So, put in your raised beds, and experiment, the wonderful thing about gardening is that you are always starting fresh.