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Covering A Raised Bed
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Covering A Raised Bed

If you recently have built or installed a raised garden bed, you are probably pretty chuffed with yourself and are probably seeing the fruits of your labour - especially if your bed is producing home grown vegetables. Let’s move on to the next step which is covering the raised bed. This is carrying gardening to another level and is a recently popular phenomenon with gardening enthusiasts. The advantages of this we will look at later. There are two methods by which this can be undertaken. One could cover the bed with a polythene/tough plastic cover or we could use a material called micromesh/fleece. Either of the two methods will suffice depending on how particular or exact we are as a gardener.

Let’s look at the first method that is the polythene/plastic system. This material can be bought at any reputable garden center, or it can also be purchased online. Putting together this cover is very simple and no great skills are required. Depending on the size of your raised bed – assemble 3 or 4 plastic pipes ( 1” ) in a semi-circle shape approx 2-3ft apart over the frame of your bed. This will give a smooth surface for the plastic covering, meaning you have no jagged edges or corners to perforate or damage the cover lining. Attach the ends of covering to the sides of frame using a length of 2x1 wood.

The second method is to use the micro mesh/fleece material which again can be obtained at your local garden center or can be bought online. Assemble in a similar fashion to above, using the same methods. Essentially we would use either or both of these methods to cover our salad patch, our herb or vegetable garden. Flower, shrub or rose gardens do not need that same type of protection.

With the poly-tunnel cover one has acquired the greenhouse effect, meaning that your covered raised bed now resembles a glasshouse – and all for little or no expense. The many advantages of the above systems are importantly your plants and vegetables are covered from harsh conditions. The soil is considerably warmer in springtime and augers well for earlier planting and sewing, thus giving far earlier produce than conventional gardening methods. The poly tunnel retains warmth and moisture and this enhances better growth. The covered raised bed protects against animal pets, pests and birds. The sides of this enclosure can be opened by day letting air through and can be closed at night. The one distinct advantage of the micro-mesh is that it lets air and sunlight to penetrate, but more importantly rain can filter through to crops, plants and to the soil.


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