No matter if you’ve been gardening for ages or have just taken up this hobby, it’s always a good thing to be on the lookout for some tips and techniques that will ensure your crops thrive. One great approach that many people tend to overlook is using raised beds in their gardens.
Benefits of raised garden beds
If you still haven’t implemented them, read on to learn more about the many benefits raised garden beds can provide in your garden design.
They are great for beginners
For example, if you’re a beginner, you’ll be glad to hear that using raised beds can remove various obstacles that often discourage novice gardeners from continuing. While they are a bigger investment upfront, they can guarantee your crops will succeed in the first year. By adding a wooden frame, soil, compost, seeds, and water, growing a number of varieties in your raised beds are all but guaranteed to succeed.
They’re better for the soil
So, what are these barriers that raised beds can help you avoid? For starters, you will not have to till the soil. Instead of turning over soil in order to add fertilizer and amendments every year, you will simply be adding these beneficial materials on top. That means that using a raised bed allows you to place mulch, compost, manure, and other soil conditioners onto the soil without doing what is considered to be the most strenuous task of a gardener. Moreover, this way, you will not be depleting the soil’s structure but helping it build organic components over time.
They avoid soil contamination
If you use row crops, you can also encounter contaminated soil. As many vegetables like roots, greens, and tomatoes can absorb heavy metals including lead, you are at a higher risk of ingesting them if you don’t properly research the land where you are planting. By using a raised bed, you are bringing in fresh soil that hasn’t been exposed to the toxicity that might be present in the ground.
They can help you battle weeds
Another issue that raised beds can help you battle is weeds. When tilling the soil, you’re actually burying weed seeds and helping them spread. Using a raised bed allows you to cover the soil with mulch, plastic, or cardboard in the spring in order to kill all the plants that might have sprouted during winter. Simply raking off the dead weeds will be enough when the time comes to plant your herbs and veggies again.
They can keep critters away
In addition to reducing weeds, raised beds can also keep unwanted critters away. For instance, even though slugs can climb, having a bed with tall sides should give you enough time to catch them on time. Gardeners often claim that slugs won’t go over the copper flashing, which can be added to the sides of the box. Moreover, depending on the type of raised bed design you opt for, it will be too high for dogs to urinate on while you can also add a fence around your beds for that extra peace of mind.
They provide you with better drainage
Raised beds can also provide you with better drainage. If you live in an area prone to flooding or if your yard gets swampy after rainfall, a raised bed is the best way to have a full growing season. They generally tend to drain better, even after heavy rain and will give your plants enough room to breathe.
They allow you to plant earlier in the season
Having better drainage means that you can also start planting earlier in the season, seeing as how the soil will dry out and warm up much faster in the spring. What is more, many gardeners noticed that some plants even survive the winter when planted in a raised bed. This has to do with the kind of soil you have. For example, soil can regulate temperature much better if untilled and amended with compost.
They can be temporary
In case you live in a rental, your landlord might not allow you to add raised beds to the property. Well, if that is the case, don’t fret. You can also build a temporary garden with a removable garden box. That way, you can grow all the food you need and take the box with you when you move.
They look nicer
Besides looking nicer, raised beds can also make your garden more functional. Everything will be organized properly and it will be much easier to approach each plant. Furthermore, if you live in the city and need to place the garden in the front yard due to space, raised beds will keep your neighbors happy as well, as there will be a definitive line between your garden and the pathway.
They’re easier on your body
Finally, implementing raised beds will be good for your back, knees, and joints as you won’t have to spend too much time on your knees or bent over while dealing with weeds (of which there should be less of).
Regardless of whether you’re a novice or expert gardener, raised beds can help you in many ways. With the many benefits listed above, it is the perfect time to take stock of your garden situation and see how you can implement them in yours.