Raised bed gardens are growing in popularity every year. From simple, sustainable structures to elaborate and elegant works of art in the garden, raised beds to come in a wide range of styles, sizes and budgets.
While farmers have grown their vegetables on the ground for hundreds of years, why are these raised beds so attractive for gardening?
Whether you’re struggling with clay soils or experiencing a soil-borne disease, raised beds to provide perfect soil conditions. Within the bed frames, you can control the content and structure of the soil, ensuring a nutrient-rich environment for your crops. It is convenient to do soil tests each season, adding any necessary elements, compost or nutrients that keep the soil healthy and productive.
With multiple raised beds dedicated to your kitchen garden, you can easily plan and practice crop rotation. Rotating crops helps maintain healthy soil and prevent pests from overwintering the soil. Fortunately, most pests will die en route, victimized by birds and other predators.
Raised beds allow the soil to have good drainage, thus avoiding problems with excess water, common challenges in many “traditional” gardens. Irrigation is also easier and more efficient in the confined spaces within a bed. A properly installed drip irrigation system targets plant roots, ensuring healthier plants and saving money on water bills.
In spring, the soil in the beds tends to warm-up earlier than the soil at ground level, allowing you to plant certain varieties earlier. Also, with the inclusion of simple support, you can create tunnels over your beds, extending the gardening season until late in the fall and winter, always depending on the climate zone in which you are. If you get recycled windows in addition to poly-tunnels, you can create drawers or cold beds to expand through winter or get ahead of spring, using your raised beds as a base.
Protection against pests
Raised beds can protect crops from becoming snacks for wildlife. By reinforcing the bottom with a protective barrier, moles or ground squirrels will not access to taste your delicious root crops, while row protection can keep cabbage worms out.
By including vertical supports, you can plant much more intensively on your raised bed, maximizing your grow space. Peas growing on vertical supports can be paired with lettuce and at the same time have a barrier of turnips growing at the edge of the bed.
Raised beds provide a pleasant and aesthetic structure to your garden. Many homeowners want to grow their produce, but many of them frown on cluttered orchards and gardens. By creating raised beds more artistically, crops are “contained”, edible flowers and pollinators can add to the visual interest, and the bed becomes an attractive feature in the garden. Build several beds, place them in equal intervals or under any design of your inspiration, include paths with stones and vines, and you will have a beautiful edible garden worthy of a magazine cover.
From sheltering a bit of back pain to controlling the composition of the soil, raised beds to provide many benefits in the garden.