Raised beds are trendy. Not least because they also make gardening possible in urban areas. In addition, weeding is hardly necessary – snails and mice are less likely to tamper with berries or vegetables.
Even on the balcony of a rented apartment, it is possible to create a raised bed and harvest fresh vegetables or herbs from your own cultivation. The maintenance effort is relatively low. Apart from regular watering and occasional fertilizing, hardly any work is necessary. Provided that a few important points are taken into account in advance.
Choose a suitable location
The location of a raised bed on the terrace or balcony is an important point that you should think about in advance before buying a raised bed or creating it yourself.
It is also important to note that weight restrictions sometimes have to be taken into account on terraces and balconies.
Choose the right material
Raised beds in various sizes and materials are available from specialist retailers and hardware stores. But you can also create them yourself with manual skill. Instructions for this can be found on the Internet. Whether it should be a raised bed made of metal, wood or stone is primarily a matter of taste. Nevertheless, there are other factors with regard to the material that need to be considered in advance in addition to the optical aspects. Raised beds made of wood, for example, are less weather-resistant and need more care depending on the location and type of wood.
“Quality is therefore an important keyword when it comes to wood,” says Claudio Frisenda, from Sager Gartengalerie AG. The specialist for raised beds recommends using real larch wood. “This wood is perfect as a material for a raised bed thanks to its longevity, dimensional stability, resilience and the still reasonable price compared to other hardwoods.”
Frisenda advises against using softwood alternatives, even if they attract with cheap purchase prices: “These woods are very susceptible to vermin and other environmental influences. Wet and cold spruce and similar woods quickly deteriorate. The wood begins to become modern and later even to rot. It has to be looked after more intensively and is nowhere near as weather-resistant and durable as real hardwood. ”
Trendy raised beds as eye-catchers
Raised beds made of stone or granite are almost indestructible. They last for decades. Frisenda recommends using a high-pressure jet for maintenance every two years. Frisenda mentions another advantage: “No other raised bed variant stores heat as well as this one. At the same time, it insulates very well compared to metal, for example, and protects the roots from extreme temperatures. “
Raised beds made of metal are also durable. According to Frisenda, the modern look is popular, especially since it can be made to measure in almost all shapes and, thanks to its thin wall thickness, will allow a larger usable area. “Raw metal raised beds are particularly beautiful, as they rust on the surface over time. This modern look makes the raised bed a real eye-catcher. ”
Correct filling prevents waterlogging
Correct filling is important for raised beds, because waterlogging must be prevented. For this reason, water-permeable garden fleece or a drainage mat is first placed on the ground in the raised bed on the terrace or balcony.
Then the lower half is filled with filling material and the upper half with good potting soil. Another layer of water-permeable fleece is placed in between. Then, depending on the size and location, your own raised bed can be planted seasonally.
Tips from the gardener
Now is still a good time to plant a raised bed, as Othmar Ziswiler, Head of Trade and End Consumption at Jardin Suisse, explains. Before planting, the area in the raised bed is loosened and supplied with fertilizer. “During the next few weeks, for example, various salads, kohlrabi, fennel, cauliflower and leeks can be planted.” From July 20th to mid-August it will be the turn of the winter vegetables. These included endive, sugar loaf, kale, and winter cauliflower, ”explains Ziswiler.
Then in August it is time to sow or plant the nut lettuce. If the autumn is mild, you can still harvest the nut lettuce this autumn. Mid-July to early August is also the best time to plant strawberries. Othmar Ziswiler: “In this way, the young plants develop into stately plants in autumn and you will have strawberries with beautiful fruit drapes as early as next May or June.”
Even if a planted raised bed requires little effort and, for example, far fewer weeds grow – there is nothing to harvest on the balcony without regular care. This also includes regular watering, especially with the seedlings. “Because the sun can shine very intensely in summer, newly planted seedlings can dry out quickly. It must therefore be well cast and checked daily to see whether it has to be refilled. ”