Advantages of Raised Bed Gardening
You may have heard and seen a lot about raised bed gardening and are keen to learn more. Firstly we will cover the advantages of raised bed gardening, as well as some of the not so obvious downsides that you may want to be aware of before deciding if raised bed gardening is right for you.
Advantages Of Raised Bed Gardening
Benefits of raised bed gardening: –
1.) You can develop a bed to grow plants in, in any area, from a traditional garden to a block paved courtyard garden. As you create the bed on its own separate from the rest of your garden or yard, then soil conditions are no more an issue e.g. poor soil doesn’t matter as you can simply fill the raised beds with good soil or fertilizer.
2.) Compaction of soil is no longer a problem and hence raised beds are less demanding to work as they can be planted out more easily and dug up more easily.
3.) The Soil has a tendency to drain away better and thus not get water logged and ‘drown’ plants.
3.) Raised beds are proven to warm up a fair bit quicker than the normal ‘ground’ in your garden come spring permitting you to get a slight head start on the season, enabling you to plant crops earlier than if you planted directly in to the ground. Thus a raised bed extends the growing season.
4.) It is easy to add in extra plants to extend the growing season if necessary.
5.) Weeds are far less of an issue and simpler and easier to remove, particularly in above ground beds (2ft + high)
6.) A key benefit of raised beds is that the virtually wipe out problems with gophers, moles etc. etc, and do so completely if they are raised beds that are off of the ground such as ones designed for use in courtyards.
7.) You can concentrate watering in far more specific areas.
8.) They deliver far more gainfulness for every square foot of vegetable garden that they offer you.
9.) Bad back? Well the high raised beds can mean less bending over (Then again rather, simply not bending over as far.) This also makes them great for people gardening in Wheelchairs as knee high beds can be easily accessed.
10.) You can build your own beds very easily or buy them in just about any size you want. You can have them on the ground or raised off of the ground for easier access
1.) Buying beds can be expensive if you don’t want to make your own, particularly ones that are off the ground like ones that are designed for use in courtyard gardens. Yet four planks is all you really need to build one!
2.) The soil can need more nutrients adding over the course of a season, however it is easy to dig in manure etc.
3.) They can need more frequent watering in very hot climates as they drain easier.
4.) Once in place and filled with soil they are not easily moved.
5.) You can’t easily use a rotivator to turn over the soil.
Overall though the advantages of raised bed gardening far outweigh the disadvantages and they can give you a vegetable plot in just about any area, even a rooftop garden. They give you a higher crop output per square foot than a normal garden and you can plant just about anything in them. They come in all shapes and sizes and if you don’t want to build one, you can buy raised bed garden kits online in a multitude of different sizes, they are a sound investment as the wooden ones will last for decades and the plastic ones will outlive you and me!
They really are ideal if your soil is bad as you can fill them with good soil/compost/manure to turbocharge your crop growing. They are easy to maintain and ideal for first time gardeners seeking good results in year one and beyond.
What can you plant in them? Well just about anything from artichokes to spring onions and everything in the A to Z in-between. Take care though as planting them needs thought or one plant could dominate all others, such as potatoes that can start small but grow in to tiny bushes that will steal the light from other crops.
All comments on this article are most welcome