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How to get that raised garden bed started

Planting season has arrived, and if you'd like to elevate your garden game, how about a raised bed? They are appealing and bring a few benefits, too. Here's what to consider and how to pull one off.

Why a raised garden bed?
1. You can plant earlier
The soil warms earlier in a raised garden bed, which causes an earlier start to the growing season. The veggies you like most on your plate should be the ones taking up room in your raised garden bed. Go with cilantro, jalapeño, and tomato if you're a skilled salsa maker, for instance.

2. They're more productive
The soil in a raised bed is less compacted than soil in the ground, and it gets better drainage. Being able to start earlier also helps jump-start production.

3. People won't trample the soil
A raised garden bed keeps your plants from falling underfoot. It also gives you control of the health of your soil, to provide plants a deep, wide growing area free of detractors.

4. It's easy to cover
Toss a cotton blanket over your raised garden bed during unexpected freeze warnings or protect from critters. Protect plants with pop-up mesh covers. You have options with a raised garden.

TESTIMONIAL - Eli P. from N.C.
How to set up your raised garden bed
I wanted to build something for our garden that wouldn’t rely on ground soil. Over the years, it’s been too difficult to work the soil, which is mostly red clay and rocks in my area.

1. How much soil does it take?
For a 40-gallon stock tank , it took a bag of pea pebbles, three bags of potting soil, and about 3/4 bag of compost. I put the pebbles down first over a wire mesh to cover the drainage holes I drilled. I combined the soil and compost.

2. What kind of plants work well?
Annuals, such as:

  • Basil
  • Lemongrass
  • Pansies
  • Petunias

Vegetables such as:

  • Tomatoes
  • Onions
  • Peppers
  • Potatoes
  • Squash

We're planning on jalapeños and tomatoes. Remember not to grow annual veggies in the same place each year. Doing so increases the chance for disease and pest destruction.

3. How much sunlight should it get?
Veggies do best in full sun, so we put ours in the corner of the yard, where it will get lots of rays. At least 5-6 hours is recommended, and 8 is perfect.

4. How long does it take to set up?
About an hour. I drilled holes in the bottom for drainage. I'd have finished faster had I used a metal drill bit and not a wood one! You'll need a level spot, bricks underneath for drainage clearance, and a spot where folks can see your work. These Tarter tanks are beautiful!


  • It’s eye-catching. Bright silver with red and blue, and it will look gorgeous with plants in it.
  • It’s easy to work in. We can put down a knee pad and work without straining our backs.
  • It’s built to last. Wooden beds can rot and mold. These stock tanks are tough.

It was a breeze to visit my neighborhood Agri Supply to get all I needed for this project. Kacie helped me pick out the stock tank and took an interest in what I was doing. It’s definitely a great idea to compare and save at Agri Supply.

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