Raised bed gardens have some unique advantages compared to traditional gardening which is why they have been used for hundreds of years for cultivating vegetables and ornamentals and lots of other types of plants. Raised bed gardens can help with overcoming unsuitable terrain and soils and offer a means to continue to do gardening for individuals with knee and back problems.
When planning your vegetable garden there are three fundamental needs that a garden has: plentiful water supply, good drainage and soil, and plenty of sunshine. Although you can usually position your garden to receive maximum sunlight every day, you cannot always control the quality if your soil and it can be expensive to replace unsuitable soil and is usually not practical. That is where raised beds are able to provide a solution to solve this problem.
Raised Bed Garden Advantages
- Because the soil is not compact it remains friable and loose.
- Since the soil is above the frost line, in the spring it warms up sooner.
- Areas with poor soil can be made productive quite easily since you can replace the native soil in a soil mix or amend the soil.
- After raised beds are built require much less maintenance compared to regular gardening techniques.
- Raised beds drain a lot better.
- They increase accessibility due to the garden being raised from the ground, preventing or limiting the amount of stooping or bending over to be able to enjoy gardening.
- It has been shown that raised bed gardens can be more productive on a per square foot based compared with regular gardening techniques.
- You don’t walk on your garden soil, so, therefore, it doesn’t get compacted. Many gardeners realize that air is needed by roots. Compacted soil which prevents air from getting below the surface is really detrimental for plant growth.
Easily Fix Poor-Draining Clay Soil Gardens
If the only soil that you have available is clay based and has poor drainage and very firm, using a raised alleviates this problem by having water trickling through a bed and drain away slowly. If a water-soaked, boggy area is the only option for you a shallow excavation full of coarse stones or gravel helps with drainage problems. When raised bed terraces are created on steep slopes is an ideal way to use wasted space. Also, the beds prevent the slope from being eroded by using runoff in order to feed the plants that are in your beds.
Maximize Growing Space & Convenience
Using raised beds enables you to maximize your growing space since the need for having rows in between plants is not necessary and when you make your beds that are a maximum of four feet wide, you will be able to reach your plants that are in the back. That gardening method enables for a higher density of plants that can be grown compared to a conventional garden and this also keeps weeds out due to the shading of good plants.
Materials Are Inexpensive
Raised bed gardens may be built out of railway ties, landscaping blocks or even old lumber. They should be 12 inches minimum and may be built up to waist height when allowed by materials or if you have knee or back problems. For avid gardeners who have bad backs, raised beds allows them to continue doing what they love, which is gardening. Even old floorboards or fence palings may be used if you drive stakes into the ground for support.
Raised Bed Gardens Need Very Little Preparation
Before constructing the bed, very little preparation needs to be done to the ground, a few layers of newspapers helps to control the grass under it and if it will be 12 inches in height at least then the depth of your soil will choke the grass prior to it reaching the surface. Having a tall stake on each of the corners will help to prevent your plants from being damaged when you drag the hose across the bed.
Raised Bed Gardens Warm Faster In Spring
Also, raised bed gardens warm up faster during the spring and will dry out more quickly following heavy rain. This helps optimal growing conditions to be maintained for the plants. Raised beds only have one drawback which is they dry out faster in hot conditions which means they will need to be watered more often. Using shade cloth covers on very hot days can help to reduce this somewhat.
Careful planning will result in the great yields from the crops inside of your raised beds. You will discover raised bed gardening is more efficient and easier compared to traditional gardening.