Raised Bed Gardening is a type of gardening wherein the soil is raised above the ground by using a wide bed that can take the form of any length or shape that you may fancy. What’s makes raised bed gardening different from other gardening techniques is that the soil gets a certain degree of height, sometimes even reaching waist level. The frame used can be made of rock, concrete or wood and compost can also be added for more nutrition.
Vegetables and flowers are commonly utilized when it comes to raised bed gardens. Compared to the usual gardening methods, plants in raised bed gardens are spaced accordingly in patterns and are made to be closer together. This spacing method allows the leaves of vegetables to barely even touch each other once they reach the age of maturity. This creates a form of microclimate, preventing the growth of weeds which take away the water and nutrients in the soil and also preserving the moisture in the soil.
There are a lot of benefits that raised bed gardening can do. First of all, they reduce the growth of weeds when executed properly. It also allows you to avoid using the low quality native soil since you can utilize a different kind of soil or mix in compost which adds to the total nutritive nature of the soil in the raised bed gardens. It can extend planting seasons which makes more opportunity to nurture your plants. With the structure of raised bed gardens, you won’t have to worry about stepping on the soil, preventing the soil to be compacted and allowing the roots to grow easier. Incorporating compost together with the soil in the raised bed allows more nutrition for your plants which leads to more production compared to the standard row gardening that most of us are familiar of. The height of the garden bed also allows the elderly and those with back problems to tend to their plants without having to bend over, minimizing effort and pain.
Raised bed gardening serves as one of the most important aspects of gardening since it can save a lot of time, money and hard work when tending to your plants. Instead of having to deal with poor soil that contains little nutrition or moisture, you build above it where you can make a controlled environment for your plants. By doing this, you achieve control over the kind of soil your plants grow in and also the factors that hinder the optimum growth of your plants.
With raised bed gardens, you can also prevent certain pests that can damage your vegetables or flowers. A few examples are slugs and snails. You can also protect your plants since you put them out of their reach. During rainy seasons, the frame of the garden bed also serves as support to prevent the soil from washing away with the heavy rains. Raised bed gardening allows gardeners to plant earlier in the seasons since the soil’s quality is much different – it’s warmer, more nutritive and contains more moisture than regular soil.
Raised bed gardens shouldn’t be confused with garden planters or pot planting. Planters and pots are container in which you can elevate, similar to raised bed gardens. However, the similarities end there. Planters and pots contain a bottom to prevent soil from spilling. For planters, they can have a porous characteristic which allows better drainage for the plants. For pots, small holes can be found for the same reason as well. But this bottom part of planters and pots actually limit the space for the roots to expand, preventing optimum growth. Raised bed gardens don’t have this bottom since they are open below, allowing plant roots to grow freely and absorb the necessary moisture and nutrients.
When space is an issue, raised bed gardening is commonly used. With raised beds, the productivity of plants is raised significantly without demanding much space. It also allows you to grow a garden despite having a generally difficult soil to work with like clay. With the efficient spacing and the high production of vegetables, raised bed gardens serve as a great solution to a number of gardening problems. Furthermore, the frames of raised bed gardens are fully customizable, allowing you to tweak it and improve the looks of your garden and provide you with more convenience.
Keyhole gardens are a type of raised bed gardens that use circular beds with waist-level height and a clear path to the center. This unique design allows a better look to the garden while promoting convenience since you can tend to your plants easily.
Constructing a raised bed garden for your vegetables should be taken seriously. The materials used in making the garden should be scrutinized thoroughly as there are issues on using pressure-treated timber. Pine wood with the application of chromate copper arsenate (CCA) proved to be toxic since its chemical substances seeped into the soil and then absorbed by the plants. This means that vegetables grown in these garden beds would become toxic as well, unfit for consumption and wasting resources in the process. To ensure safety, use natural and untreated wood. Concrete block can also be used in building the raised bed gardens’ frame, proving to be inexpensive, readily available and easy to use. Manufactured garden boxes are also available in the market if you prefer.
Raised bed gardens are convenient and help in increasing productivity and saving space for your garden. Building a raised bed garden is a great alternative when you want to have control over the factors that relate to your plants. Though it’s mostly used to raise vegetables, flowers and spices, you can also use raised bed gardens for other kinds of plants as well. It brings a wise option when you have to deal with soil that’s difficult to manage, especially those in regions that have hard soil. Raised bed gardens also give you the freedom on how to design them in regards to shape, the materials used and the overall aesthetic feature.
Published: February 6, 2017