Ibiza has an amazing climate for growing your own vegetables and herbs. One of the best ways to start growing is to build a raised garden bed or garden box, which is a structure designed to make it easier to cultivate vegetables and other plants. They are great if you are starting a garden for the first time as they give you a small space to work in, and provide extra protection for your plants. Here’s what you need to know to build a raised garden bed.
- They are easier to keep free of grass and weeds than ground-level beds.
- The elevated soil gets warm earlier in spring and drains more quickly after rain.
- Soil doesn’t get compacted because you don’t walk on the growing area.
- Raised beds offer easier access for planting, thinning, weeding, and harvest.
You can use a range of materials to build the sides of your garden bed, including breeze blocks, bricks, sand bags, or wood planks with rebar stakes. Choose the material that works best for your home and landscape. If you happen to have spare boards lying around that’s a good option!
You can build raised garden beds to almost any size, as long as it fits your space and is comfortable to maintain. The important thing to remember is you need to be able to comfortably reach the middle to care for plants, so try to build them no more than 1 to 1.5 metres across — less if it’s a project for your kids.
Before you start the bed, dig up up the ground beneath the allotted space. You want to do this in order to remove rocks, roots, weeds, and anything else that might interfere with your plants. Much of the soil in Ibiza is thick clay so this step is important to help break it up, aerate it, and prepare it for cultivation.
The main thing is to ensure you have enough material to complete your bed. You don’t want to get three-quarters of the wall built then find you’ve run out of breeze blocks or wood! Construction should be simple. If using brick or blocks, make sure they fit snugly. If using rebar or stakes to support wood planks, drive them deep into the ground to ensure everything fits together. Gardening websites such as Earth Easy have detailed instructions.
Once your raised bed is built add the soil, along with any compost, peat or lime, if needed. Spread an even layer of soil then water it with a fine spray to settle the soil. Add more soil as needed to top it off. Before you plant, rake the soil to prepare it for seeds.
Once you’ve prepared your raised garden beds you are all set to start raising produce, flowers or herbs. Keep an eye out for future posts on what to plant each season!