Planning a garden can be overwhelming with many things to consider; sometimes we tend to pile our ideas in one place leaving us flustered. If you’re like me your ideas can change from season to season and if you decide to implement a raised bed setting things can feel permanent where change might not always feel welcome. I love my raised beds and I found them to be a very smart way to garden in Texas. Mostly to help keep the soil moist during the really hot months; I also like that it allows the garden space to look a little more organized. It took me a while to embrace the idea of using raised beds because I like to change things up. This is when I realized how I finished the ground cover around my beds was really important.
My garden has a grass finish allowing many benefits to my lifestyle. I raise Jacob sheep and during the winter months I let them graze in my garden while I’m working; the sheep love it and I enjoy their company. Having a grass finish also detours the bugs during the spring and summer months from my vegetable plants, this is another benefit because I live in the country and we have a large assortment of insects. The grass also allows me to walk through the garden after a heavy rain without sinking in mud. This is important because sliding in the mud at my age isn’t as fun as when I was a kid. Finally the grass allows me change things up, if I decide I want to move something or add a new raised bed I can – this involves getting out the tiller to break up the ground and move forward with my new addition. The only drawback would be the up keep might; it may take a little more because you do have to cut grass on a regular basis but I just look at it as good exercise.
Mulch would be another option offering a natural presentation; it would allow you to move things around if you decide to change your plans. I would recommend laying your mulch down with at least a six inch base to keep weeds from appearing. Depending on the size of your garden this could be an expensive project; many times you can purchase mulch by the yard. Check with your local nursery they may have a referral and most are happy to share information. Another way to get natural mulch is if you have your own wood chipper. This is what I want, living in the country you always have tree limbs and heavy branches falling and normally we burn them. I often think if we had a chipper I could do so many things. I keep telling myself some day.
Gravel or Rock Flooring
This is a more permanent option and it doesn’t really allowing you to change things up without additional labor and planning. You would want to purchase your rock by the yard from a reliable source and some will deliver for a small fee. Many of these services have a waiting list for delivery so plan ahead so you can meet your project deadline. I don’t like the rock option because for me it means creativity ends and everything stays the same. I would be more open to adding in little rock paths here and there for some creative interest.
These options would be the safest way to finish your garden floor keeping you from slipping and falling during the cold and wet months. Planning doesn’t have to be stressful and if you like to change things up it’s important to remember what finish would allow you to do that. If I can help answer any questions I’d like to invite you to my blog, I’m always happy to share helpful tips with my readers and answer questions.
Carole West is the founder and writer of GardenUp Green. She’s been gardening since she was a small child, learning from her Italian grandmother. Carole shares her all natural gardening techniques and projects on GardenUp Green so that readers can learn, discover, and be inspired. Carole has been putting together patio gardens and backyard escapes and has even ventured into small scale farming. She’s the co-founder and a farmer for North Texas Luffa. Her greatest reward comes from her family. Their love and understanding has helped her build an amazing and creative life! Check out GardenUp Green on Facebook, Hometalk, and Pinterest.