How to Build an Intensive Garden Bed

Make the most of the space you have and yield more plants with an intensive planting bed.

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Do you have a limited amount of space in your yard? Intensive gardening is a strategic way to plan your garden beds to maximize the number of plants produced. It's so easy—all you need are a few materials and a vision for your future garden.

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What You Need:

  • String
  • Small sticks or dowels
  • Trowel or dibble
  • Seedlings
  • Water

Step 1: Establish Grid

Before planting the bed, prepare the soil by digging at least 8-12 inches and turning over shovelfuls to loosen and aerate it. Add in organic matter, such as compost or manure. The more organic matter you mix in, the better.

Then run lines of string to establish a grid. The grid will help you position young plants at the proper distance from one another.

Step 2: Plant Seedlings

Use a trowel or dibble to dig holes for transplant-sized plants. Gently remove the seedling from its container, then grasp the leaves to guide it while supporting the root ball.

Set the plant in the hole at the same depth at which it was growing in its container. Firm the soil gently over the roots around the stem. This will help put the roots in contact with the soil.

Make evenly spaced depressions in the soil with your finger if you are planting seeds. Be sure to follow the recommendations on the seed packet to know how deep to make the depressions.

Step 3: Water

Water well. For transplants, apply a gentle shower using a watering can or hose-end sprayer. For seeds, use the lightest setting on a hose-end sprayer to avoid disturbing the soil.

Materials for Raised Garden Beds

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