Raised bed garden maintenance includes adding more soil and replacing broken or rotten wood.
Raised Bed Garden Maintenance Tasks
Raised bed garden maintenance took precedence this past weekend. We had one glorious day of 50-degree warmth, and we took advantage of it to do some much needed raised bed gardening maintenance.
While my flower garden is planted directly into the hillside next to the driveway, the vegetable garden consists of 12 raised beds. Ten of the beds are 4 feet x 10 feet, and two beds are 10 x 8 feet. Each is filled with 100% compost we had trucked in; it’s the by-product of the local paper mills. We fenced the whole garden area off and put an underground water line from the house spigot down to the garden area for emergency irrigation.
A List of Raised Bed Maintenance Chores
So what kind of chores do you do with raised garden beds?
- Refill the beds with soil: I’m not sure whether it’s the composition of the soil itself – nearly 100% organic compost – or just the action of hungry plants breaking it down for food, but each bed was down to about half of its soil level since we build the raised bed garden in 2008. We moved about a dozen wheelbarrows of compost from the pile where the truck driver left it on the lawn before we were too tired to move anymore. It’s a surprisingly long distance, and although downhill from the compost pile – you still have to walk uphill to return to the pile and start again! We also add new soil to enhance and fill the beds.
- Repair broken wood: The next raised bed garden maintenance chore was to repair the wooden sides of the bed. Several of the longer pieces of wood split where we had nailed or drilled screws in to hold the pieces together. Several of the boards split, and require a few nails to hold them together.
- Weeding: Weeding regularly keeps the weeds from spreading. Weeds aren’t just unsightly – they can use up many of the nutrients and water in the soil.
- Rake the beds: We rake the top of the soil smooth to make an even surface.
- Mow: Mowing the pathways in the raised bed garden also helps keep the weeds down.
These are some of our regular chores in the vegetable garden. Raised bed garden maintenance is an ongoing project and one that we stagger throughout the year so it doesn’t overwhelm us.
I wrote the book – literally – on raised bed gardens. Maintenance is only one part. Learn more – get the book on Amazon (Affiliate link, below).