Beautiful Home Garden

Useful tips on gardening 1

Raised Bed Vegetable Gardening, Productive Gardening for Retirees


More and more seniors who are turning to gardening as a way to productively while away time in their retirement are favoring raised bed vegetable gardening for very specific reasons.

Raise beds can be built at least 12 inches high or even higher that allows the tending gardeners to sit on the edge of the garden beds if working for long hours in the garden.  This can significantly reduce the strain on the back because they do not need to bend over at all to reach the plants.

Elevating garden beds is said to be every gardener’s dream because of the benefits it offers and it’s not just seniors that want to have raised bed gardens. My wife and I have a few raised beds in our yard and we do find them easier to work.

No Need To Fight Dense Clay

Having raised beds is useful for gardens where the soil is of poor quality and which would take to much time and energy to work, especially for seniors.

Looking at the picture on the right you can see that our first attempt at creating a vegetable garden showed us just how heavy dense clay caused us major problems draining. It took a couple of days for this water to drain.

The fact we live in a colder climate here in New Brunswick Canada it takes longer for the soil to heat up in the spring but our raised beds are already doing great by the time the ground is thawed.

Using raised bed gardens for our strawberries allowed us to have fresh strawberries about two weeks sooner than the strawberry patch we have in the ground next to our vegetable garden. It’s only 10 inches above ground and was green long before the rest of the yard.

Before you start building your first raised garden bed, it would be best to know a few things so I have made a list below that should help you get the most from your labours.

Do You Have Digging Pests

We have lived in our home for just over seven years and haven’t seen any signs of burrowing animals in our yard or garden. However we live in the center of Moncton.

If you do have digging rodents you might want to lay down some chicken wire or mesh plant roots can go through but which will deter those digging critters from your raised bed garden.

Keep Things On The Level

The hardest part of building our first raised bed was getting it level so that it looked right in the backyard. If it’s too far off level you may find the soil in the raised bed migrating to the low end of the raised bed and can even cause drainage problems.

What Materials To Build With

I have seen raised beds made from a variety of materials although wood is the most common I see around Moncton. I do see some which are made from slabs of stone which can be quite costly as well as time consuming to build.

I have seen them made from rocks and concrete which again is time consuming but can look really awesome if done correctly. Then there are many older brick homes that have raised beds built around their house using bricks as well.

But for us it was wood we used for our first raised bed which was pretty straight forward. I had the store I purchased the materials from cut the 2×10 lumber to size so all I had to do was screw it all together where I wanted it.

I would suggest you find materials that will not degrade into the ground and cause problems for the soil so take the time to learn what materials you can use that will last longer without any negative issues.

Location, Location, Location

Just like planning the location of an in-ground vegetable garden in order to gain the most direct sunlight it’s important to think about the location you’ll be doing your raised bed gardening  for the same reasons.

Changing the location of a raised bed garden after the fact isn’t such an easy task so it’s better to get it placed correctly on the first attempt.

The Distance Between Raised Beds

You may want to build multiple raised beds but be careful you don’t place them too close together as it may make it harder to maintain them. By this I am referring to being able to mow between them and even walk between them. Give them elbow room.

Our raised beds are far apart but we are thinking about converting our in ground vegetable garden into raised beds. If we do this we will give a little more distance than the width of our lawn mower or wheelbarrow, which every is wider, so we can keep the area around them clean as well as being able to move between them easily.

Watering Your Raised Bed Garden

I didn’t think about watering issues when we put in our vegetable garden and I a tougher time getting water to my vegetables. Now we have to buy either a second garden hose or a longer one to reach the garden.

Our raised beds however are well within reach although I have to watch that I don’t water when it’s too hot or too late in the day for the water to evaporate from the leaves.

Our fix for both these issues is to install a drip irrigation system that will not get water on the leaves at all so we don’t get fungal growth problems. It will also help us conserve water as it doesn’t require nearly as much water as it does just using the garden hose.

Rotate Crops Each Year

Finally I would suggest you rotate the vegetable crops so that you don’t deplete the same nutrients from the soil year after year. Plants will return certain nutrients to the soil while using up other nutrients so rotating crops will help to keep those nutrient levels balanced for better crop production.

We use home made compost, made from yard waste each year, to feed our raised beds and in ground gardens to help keep our garden soil healthy.

Without home gardening I think I might spend a lot more time parked in my arm chair watching TV instead of getting exercise and fresh air in our home vegetable gardens. Through the long cold winter months I like to plan where I’ll be doing more raised bed gardening.


Vegetable Gardening Has Been Saving Us Money



We started our first vegetable garden in containers. That was before we had a home with a yard big enough to have a vegetable garden in the ground. Since that time we have noticed that people all over the country are starting their own vegetable gardens. Probably for the same reasons we started gardening, to save even a little on the grocery bills.

Back when we first started gardening was not a hobby, that came later when I realized it wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be.

Gardening has been around since, well forever so I don’t think people decided to start gardening just on a whim. There is obviously more to it than that. People are gardening vegetables these days to combat rising costs knowing that they aren’t getting any pay raises to compensate for cost of living increases. Plain and simple.

Another huge factor is lack of job security and households where only one individual is working outside the home.

Like I said at the beginning our first veggie garden was a container garden. We wanted to grow some vegetables so we could save a little and eventually we bought a home with a big yard and now have an ever growing garden. However that little container garden produces piles of tomatoes, potatoes and strawberries.

Surprise, Surprise We Grew Veggies

We weren’t really certain we could grow anything outdoors. I like house plants and have no trouble growing them indoors but in here they don’t have to survive the elements, but we did fine, even though I made a few mistakes.

Mistakes Are Part of  The Learn Process

I have always seem to learn things the hard way but that’s me. It’s mostly self inflicted of course as I tend not to read instructions and try things without learning how first. I’m still alive and doing fine. Container gardening wasn’t really that hard to learn. My biggest mistake was not using containers big enough for the task. That mistake was easily rectified by getting larger containers and re-potting. Lesson learned.

After a few years of gardening vegetables in containers we found the home of our dreams, it even has two lots, one we turned into a small garden which seems to get a bit bigger each passing year.

But summer is gone all too soon and then a winter that’s way too long, so…

We Started A Herb Gardening In The Kitchen

We had already been container gardening so starting a container garden in the kitchen wasn’t a big step but it had huge results. Now we have fresh herbs all year long and love them in most every thing we eat. The only issue we had with our kitchen herb garden was that our kitchen windows don’t get enough sunlight during the winter so we moved the herb garden to the living room window and all is well again.

It’s Organic Vegetable Gardening Or Nothing

From the time I was 8 years old I suffered migraine headaches that would make me so sick and cause such pain. That was the same year I moved to live on a farm. It took me almost 40 years to find out the cause of my migraines, it was pesticides. My dad used pesticides on everything in our huge vegetable garden and it nearly killed me. Needless to say we don’t use pesticides in our garden and we wash all the produce we purchase very thoroughly.

Gardening has become such a great hobby now and it’s a hobby that feeds us healthy and tasty garden produce.


Using Home Gardening Magazines To Learn More


Are you aware of the fact that know matter how much you know about home gardening there are still more of the secrets of home gardening you still have things you can learn?

I am still basically a gardening newbie, even though I’ve been gardening for seven years. So I can still remember a lot of the home gardening beginners questions I had. I suggest you get a few home gardening magazines.

Getting your own home gardening magazine subscription will help you learn tips and tricks you didn’t even know you should know. They are great for learning how to do specific garden tasks and the gardening tools you need for the job.

Get A Home Gardening Magazine Subscription

I like to go to magazine stores or book store and sit there for a while going through gardening magazines for beginners and then subscribing to those I like.

I get to learn at my own speed, especially when it comes to learning more about vegetable gardening because the more I learn the more money I can save on grocery bills.

Home gardening beginners like Jenny and I like to keep learning and sharing with our friends and readers. We use gardening magazines to find products we need for our flower and vegetable gardens. Once I know what I’m looking for I search the net for affiliate products I can make money promoting.

Gardening Magazines First Hand Information

I’ve found it quite frustrating to go to a store with a garden center but without employees that know what they are doing or what products they carry. That’s a big reason I usually go to our local nursery whenever possible.

Now that I have a few home gardening tips for beginners magazines I can learn about the products I want for our garden and don’t need to rely on others.

I like gardening magazines that are filled with gardening tips and tricks that help us be better gardeners. When you think about it people wouldn’t be buying the magazine if it wasn’t helpful as people would just stop buying it. The same with those ads that are in magazines. They wouldn’t keep advertising if they didn’t get results.

Garden Magazines For Birthdays And Christmas

Any time a family member of a friend asks me what I want for my birthday or Christmas I tell ask for magazine subscripts as they are the gifts that keep on giving. I have a few hobbies other than home gardening and love getting magazines I can enjoy and learn more about my hobbies.

Home gardening magazines usually have great stories along with instructions on how to accomplish many things gardening related.

Teach Children About Home Gardening

As a kid I wanted to do what dad and mom did. That included helping out in our vegetable garden.

The thing is all I ever got to do was crawl around on my hands and knees pulling weeds. So I didn’t learn much about home gardening, but I should have, they just couldn’t be bothered taking the time.

Don’t do that to your kids. If they want to learn about gardening take the time to teach them so they will have gardening in their soul.

My buddy and son Steve started helping with gardening way back when he was just a little guy. That’s him in the red McDonalds hat above. He and his mother were picking berries and he thought he should come and share some with me.

Last year before he moved out west for work he helped me to dig up more of our yard so we could have a bigger vegetable garden. It would have taken me a week to get done what he did in a day and a half. So get your kids involved in home gardening and they may just teach their kids as well.