Build a bed for acid-loving plants

Increase the variety of planting in your garden with a special plot just for them

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Raised beds are a fantastic garden tool, offering segmented gardening at waist height, which is easier on the back and less work in general. Tall raised beds also make a design statement as a focal feature. They offer a long root run for those plants that need it such as carrots, provide a warmer soil temperature if needed, as well as add good drainage to an otherwise wet garden. But perhaps its most versatile and useful merit is the fact that you can dedicate a special raised bed to those plants that prefer a certain type of soil, which otherwise you might not have been able to grow.

It means you can grow a wider range of plants; there are so many beautiful acidic soil-loving plants that deserve a place to thrive in your garden, so why not build them their own little plot? If you only have room for a smaller bed, invest in a ready-made kit, which will be cheaper. Larger, bespoke ones may need to be hand made.

Decide on your material – consider paving slabs, brick, stone and classic timber, which is cheap and versatile. Old pallets broken up and nailed together will work splendidly. Decide on its aspect, siting, how high you want the bed, and whether you put it on top of soil or independent of your borders.

Once constructed and placed, ensure you’ve created a longish root run for your plants, and considered any lime that may be present in bricks or stones. If you’ve used these materials, line the bed with plastic sheeting. The soil consistency and content is important. Half of your compost content should be ericaceous compost, while the other half of the content should be divided between a bark compost and topsoil. Plus, as with any acidic areas of your garden, composted pine needles or leaf mould makes for the perfect mulch.