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What materials do you need to make vegetable & flower beds?

i needed tips on how to make beds to grow flowers and vegetables, what are the materials needed and how to maintain them.



Hello Pranathi, this is going to be a bit of an essay i'm afraid, but there is not quick answer to your question! the tools you will need are what i would call a 'bed edger' - don't know the technical term, but it is a flat semi circle on the end of a long stick, - i use this to cut out the bed from the lawn - gives a nice neat finish. depending on the size and shape of your bed, you may also need tape measure, sand or spray paint to mark where you want to put your bed before you cut up the lawn, so that you can see if you like the size and shape of it before you start. if you want to make a circle it is best to do this with a peice of string and a stick with spray paint attached to the end of it, to get a nice even shape. and for straight edges a plank of wood is good. once you have worked out where you want it to go, size shape ect, you will then need a garden folk and a spade and a lot of brute strength! lol you remove any turf/weeds from the area and give it a good dig over on new beds it is best to dig down at least 2 spades deep. and as you are going along add in some organic matter, such as compost, soil improver ect. you give it a good dig, breaking up all of the big lumps and mixing up until you have what is known as a fine tith - all little bits. get rid of any big stones, and you can level it out with a rake. you are then ready to plant. a couple of things to remeber, you want to be able to reach every part of the bed from the sides so that you don't need to tread on the soil to weed plant ect. if you are making a very large bed and this will be unavoidable, then you will need a way of getting into the bed without treading on the soil as this compacts it and is not good for plants to grow. you can lay your plank of wood across if you like and walk on that or add stepping stones that you can later cover with pots in the summer. when planting check the size and shape of things before deciding where to plant them as some things look very small when you buy them but will then grow massive and look all wrong at the front of the bed! also different plants need different conditions sometimes different soil - so it is best to do your research before buying the plants that you want and make sure that you have the conditions right for them. you can buy soil testing kits quite cheaply from any garden centre if you are going to be growing anthing that is a bit fussy. before planting anthing lay them out in the pots on your bed to see if you like it before you start planting, if you arrange plants in groups of 3 of the same plant they will give you more impact. and leave plenty of room for them to grow - i always end up having to move things cos i have planted them too close together! you should plant your shrubs/trees first as they are the back bone of your garden, next perennials to fill gaps and lastly any bulbs and bedding plants.- which can be very useful while you are waiting for everything else to reach it's prober size. veggies are usaully done from seed or young plant, which is a bit different - i don't have huge amounts of experience with them, but the prep is the same, quite a lot are sown in drills, some will need support, it is best again to do the research before you buy and decide which ones you grow, good ones to start on would be things like carrott, radish, peas ect they are all faily easy. once you have done all of this you can give it a good mulch with bark or other organic matter, this helps the soil hold moisture and helps keep weeds at bay, - if you are sowing seeds would be best to hold off on the muclch until the seeds come up as they also will stuggle to get through it. and most importantly lots of water! the aftercare for your bed will very much depend on what you decide to grow in it, and wether you are starting with large plants, small plants or seeds. good luck hope this helps, look forward to seeing the pic's of your project!

20 Feb, 2008


Good answer majeekahead and very comprehensive.
I would suggest leaving the area for about a week after digging it to allow the soil to settle before planting. It will look bare to start with especially if you are going to grow shrubs that will get quite big in time. You can eiither fill in the gaps with short-lived shrubs or grow annuals for a good splash of colour.
If you're not sure what will grow well in your area, look in your neighbours' gardens and see what is thriving. Or ask at a good local Garden Centre - Hilliers or Notcutts give good advice if you have one nearby but I wouldn't bother with Wyevale's

20 Feb, 2008


<p>Hi Pranathi - majeekahead and Andrewr advice all solid (I wish I had seen this). I can only really comment on my experience on veggies. One comment from majeekahead I would re-enforce is digging two spades deep. It's oftern refered to 'double digging' and depening on your soil type (Clay, Loam etc.) you may need to incorporate some other organic material. He is a link for you too read</p><p>if you have poor soil a natural way to get some nutirents and straucture is to grow a green manure, you can buy it online/in some seed shops. If you have large area you may find it cheaper online. There are different type depending on the time of year and speed of growth. I just bought some Tares to prep my brassicas in a few months. </p><p>If you trying to get the max growing space the keyhole method is useful. I just found this links which explains it..</p><p>Don't forget is you plan to grow veggies, brassicas in particular over the years you will need to have a crop rotation plan to avoid soil born desises.

22 Feb, 2008


Oh majeekahead - the tool you refered to is a lawn edger :)

22 Feb, 2008

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