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Grow Like a Pro: Gardening Tips for Raised Flower Beds


four raised garden beds on a grassy lawn outside filled with green foliage

Spring is in full bloom, as is the urge to cultivate your own piece of paradise in your backyard. If you’re a novice gardener or simply starting from scratch, raised garden beds will be the secret ingredient to your gardening success. While planting directly in the ground has its perks, raised garden beds provide better drainage, improved soil quality, and easier access for planting and maintenance. They also offer greater control over soil conditions, so you can more effectively tailor the environment to suit the needs of your plants. 


If the thought of building a raised garden bed from scratch feels daunting in and of itself, a DIY solution like our Grow Your Own Raised Garden Kit can help you achieve it in record time! This 4’ x 4’ x 11” garden bed is available for only $109.95 at a Doug Ashy near you and offers the following: 


  • Quick assembly 

  • No tools required 

  • 100% natural, rot-resistant cedar 

  • No treatment required 

  • Expand/stack with additional kits 

  • Includes 8 extra-thick side boards, 4 posts, 4 top caps, 4 dowels


Prepping the Ground for a Raised Garden Bed


Before you dig into building your raised garden bed, it's essential to prep the ground properly. Start by choosing a sunny, level spot in your yard, as most flowers thrive in full sun. Once you've found the perfect location, remove any grass, weeds, or debris so you have a nice flat patch of soil. This ensures that your plants have the best possible start and minimizes competition for nutrients. Next, lay down a layer of landscaping fabric to help prevent more weeds from infiltrating your garden over time. Using the packaging instructions provided in your Grow a Raised Garden Kit, assemble your garden bed directly over the landscaping fabric and securely anchor it in the ground.


Filling and Layering Your Garden Bed


With your raised garden bed assembled, it's time to fill it so you can create the perfect growing environment for your plants. Start by adding a layer of gravel or small rocks at the bottom of the bed to improve drainage. Next, we recommend filling the bed with a mixture of topsoil and compost, ensuring it's loose and well-aerated followed by a top layer of premium potting soil specifically formulated to feed your plants over time. Water the soil to naturally pack it down and add any additional potting soil as needed before planting.


Best Plants for South Louisiana


Whether you’re planting florals, fruits and vegetables, or both—there are plenty of hearty varieties that thrive in South Louisiana’s assigned USDA Zone 9a, characterized for its hot summers and mild winters. Here are some of our favorites that are suitable for raised flower beds and perfect for novice gardeners:


Florals 

  • Lantana: This vibrant flowering plant is a favorite among gardeners for its ability to attract butterflies and hummingbirds, as well as resist drought.

  • Salvia: With its striking spikes of colorful flowers, salvia adds a touch of drama to any garden and its herbal aroma helps deter rabbits and deer.

  • Zinnias: Zinnias’ cheerful blooms come in a rainbow of colors and are incredibly easy to grow. They offer a long blooming period and are perfect for planting in rows between your edibles to ensure a fruitful growing season.

  • Coneflowers: Known for its wispy blooms, coneflowers are a low-maintenance plant that attracts pollinators and thrives in warm climates and well-drained soil.


Fruits & Vegetables 

  • Tomatoes: With proper care and support, tomatoes flourish in raised flower beds and offer vertical depth to balance out any low-lying plants.

  • Peppers: Whether you prefer sweet bell peppers or spicy chili peppers, they love the heat of the south and can be prolific producers.

  • Cucumbers: With plenty of sunlight and regular watering, cucumbers are an easy starter plant to add to your mix and are great for keeping garden pests away. 

  • Basil, Rosemary & Thyme: Every gardener can benefit from planting herbs, and these varieties hold up well in high heat so long as their soil stays moist.


Grow Like a Pro with Doug Ashy


Doug Ashy offers a wide range of building materials and tools to help you create the perfect outdoor retreat for relaxing and entertaining that you’ll never want to leave. From durable decking materials to must-have staples for your shed, we've got everything you need to cultivate a backyard of charm—fit for a magazine. Our seasoned staff are experts in all things home improvement and are ready to help you with project advice and product recommendations from start to finish.


Stop into your local Doug Ashy today to pick up your Grow a Garden Kit and any other tools you may need to plant down roots. Happy gardening!

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