Your home’s landscaping sets the tone for how your house looks throughout the year. While built-in features and professionally designed garden beds are a great way to improve property value, they’re not always enough to let you flex your green thumb. But instead of expanding them, many homeowners choose to install raised garden beds in their yards. When done correctly, raised beds help you maximize your gardening space and give you flexibility in the types of plants you incorporate into your garden. And your Denver sprinkler service wants to help. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when installing raised garden beds.
Make Note of Where Sprinkler Heads Are
Before installing any type of garden bed, raised or otherwise, walk around your yard. Check the ground for sprinkler heads and drainage areas. Grab a piece of paper and make a note of where each head is located. Use this information to keep track of where you can install the garden beds. If you’re planning on building them close to a sprinkler head, make sure the structure won’t interfere with the sprinkler system’s spray. Otherwise, the rest of your yard may not get the water it needs to thrive. Worse, you could do damage to the sprinkler system itself.
Pick a Place with Adequate Light
All plants need adequate light, but some need more light than others. Take a look at the plants you’re wanting to use in the garden. Are they mostly full-sun or do they prefer shade? This information will help you find the best location for your garden beds. Remember, you can use the existing landscaping as a guide. Plants that need full sun can be placed near permanent landscaping with similar lighting needs. If the plants need full shade, consider installing the beds where the shade from your trees will cover the plants. Make use of what you have but always keep the plants needs in mind.
Choose the Right Size
How many plants are you going to install in your yard? Knowing this will help you decide on the right size for your garden bed. Remember, raised beds don’t have to be huge. You’ll want to have room to walk around them to tend the plants. Keep the beds small enough to be manageable but large enough to accommodate the roots of the plants you want to incorporate into your yard. Remember, installing more raised beds can be more effective than installing a single large bed. But ultimately, the best size for your needs is a matter of personal preference.
Cover the Grass with Landscape Cloth or Newspaper
Before you install any raised bed, you need to prepare the ground. Spread landscape cloth over the area where the bed will go. This helps reduce the risk of weeds and unwanted plant growth crowding the plants in the bed. If you don’t want to pay for landscape cloth, grab a few pieces of newspaper and spray them down with a hose. Then lay the damp pieces over the soil and grass. Newspaper will break down on its own, but it won’t do so until the rest of your plants are already established. Any weeds or unwanted plants growing beneath the bed will have died by the time the newspaper biodegrades.
Get the Right Soil
Every garden bed needs the right type of soil. Instead of using the dirt around your yard, invest in quality gardening soil. This dirt is specially formulated to keep garden bed plants happy and healthy. Spread the soil loosely. You want to avoid compacting the soil as it can suffocate the roots and keep new growth from forming. Once you spread the soil and plant the seedlings, mulch the dirt to keep it from eroding away in the wind. Any type of mulch
will help improve the nutrients in the soil and protect your plants for weathering.
Stake Out the Sides
Every raised bed needs to be as structurally sound as possible. Even when the sides are rigid, the weight of the soil can cause the walls of the bed to shift. Consider adding extra supports by placing stakes every few feet along the length of the bed. This will help keep the walls intact and reduces the risk of shifting once the bed is in place.
Decide How You’ll Irrigate the Beds
When it comes to watering the plants in your raised garden beds, you’ll have a few choices. You can hand water with the hose or a watering can. This is the best choice if you want absolute control over how much water each plant gets. But it’s also incredibly time-consuming. You can install drip irrigation systems into each box. But this can get expensive and confusing if you’ve never installed an irrigation system before. Or you could let your sprinkler system water the boxes for you.
To make use of your sprinkler system, you’ll need to strategically place each garden bed. Look at where the sprinkler’s spray falls as it moves over your yard. You’ll want to place the beds in areas where the spray hits them fully. This ensures that each plant gets the water it needs to thrive. Remember, sprinkler systems deliver a rain-like spray so most plants in raised beds will be able to get the water they need without losing petals, leaves, or fruit. If you need extra heads installed, contact your sprinkler service to discuss your options.
Raised garden beds are the perfect way to add functional gardening space to your existing landscape design. You just need to plan out where each bed will be installed. Take the time to plan your layout thoroughly and you’ll be able to see your garden thrive for years to come. If you’re worried about the condition of your sprinkler system or want an experienced opinion on how to improve your sprinkler system’s programming with the addition of new garden beds, schedule an appointment
as soon as possible. We’ll make sure your system can adequately water your plants throughout your yard.