Has your native soil turned compacted or poor, or just has poor drainage? Don’t worry because in this case, you can give a try to raised bed gardening.The thing to note here is that there will be no bending over to weeds pulling or harvesting vegetables.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a beginner who wants to explore the world of gardening or just a seasoned gardener who wants to maximize the yield, you can expect a multitude of benefits from raised beds. In this blog, we are going to delve into raised bed gardening, which will provide you with the knowledge for creating a flourishing garden space.
What is raised bed gardening?
Raised bed gardening can be described as a horticulture technique that comprises creating elevated planting areas mainly constructed from materials such as metal. Such raised beds are filled with soil and enclosed by borders, which act like contained growing spaces.
Generally, raised bed gardens have gained popularity in urban settings and home gardening. This enables individuals to cultivate flowers, vegetables, and other plants in a productive and controlled manner. With this, you can minimize the challenges linked with traditional in-ground gardening.
Why use a raised garden bed?
1) Longer Growing Season
In spring, the soil in the raised bed can warm up more quickly, which results in the extension of the growing season. This is advantageous mainly in cooler climates in which you’ve to start planting earlier, and growing continues till the fall.
2) Easy Soil Amendment
It’s straightforward to add soil amendments and compost in raised beds. You can easily incorporate or top-dress such materials into the soil of a raised bed to improve structure and fertility.
You can use raised beds for a range of types of gardening, including flower gardening, herb gardening, and vegetable gardening. Also, they are perfect for container gardening, which makes them versatile for distinctive plant varieties.
4) Pest and Weed Control
Due to the height of raised beds, it becomes more challenging for weeds to infiltrate the garden, which reduces the amount of weeding needed. Also, you can install physical barriers such as covers or screens to protect plants from pests.
5) Soil Conservation
Raised beds aid in preventing soil erosion because the soil is contained within the borders of the bed. Generally, this is vital in hilly or sloped areas where soil runoff can turn into a problem.
Pros and Cons of Raised Bed Gardening
Pros of Raised Bed Gardening
1) Better Soil Control
With raised bed gardening, you can have complete control over the composition, structure, and soil quality of raised beds. Regardless of the native soil quality, this allows you to create the perfect growing conditions for plants.
2) Aesthetically Pleasing
Raised beds can boost the visual appeal of your garden, which will add organization and structure to your outdoor space.
3) Improved Drainage
In comparison to in-ground gardens, raised beds come with superior drainage. The excess water drains away effectively, which can reduce the risk of plant diseases and waterlogged roots.
4) Easier Access
You might already know that raised beds are elevated, which simply means less kneeling and bending while gardening. Such kind of accessibility is useful for individuals having mobility issues.
Cons of Raised Bed Gardening
There is a need for occasional maintenance for raised beds, such as replacing rotting wood, repairing damaged frames, and re-filling soil.
Initially, it can be more expensive to build raised beds as there is a need to purchase materials such as stone or wood. But such costs can be offset due to long-term benefits.
3) Limited Growing Space
You can limit the types of plants being grown due to the depth and size of your raised bed. Some deep-rooted crops might fail to thrive in shallow beds.
4) Construction Time
It takes effort and time to build raised beds, especially if you’re looking for a DIY approach. Raised bed gardening can seem like an upfront investment in both materials and labor.
How to make a raised bed garden?
Materials and Tools You’ll Need:
3) Gloves and Safety Gear
5) Screws or Nails
Steps to Build a Raised Bed Garden:
1) Select a Location
Choose a suitable location that will have good level ground and sunlight. Make sure that the area doesn’t have any grass or weeds.
2) Determine the Size
Now, decide on the dimensions for your raised bed. According to your needs and space, you can adjust it. However, the common sizes are 4×8 feet and 4×4 feet.
3) Acquire Materials
Based on your chosen dimensions, it’s time to purchase the necessary lumber or materials.
4) Cut Lumber
According to the bed walls, you can cut the lumber into the desired lengths by using a saw. In case, you’re using corner posts, then it would be better to cut them to the appropriate height.
5) Assemble the Bed
You can form the bed by laying out the cut lumber in rectangular or square shape. Ensure it’s even by using a level. Now, use nails or screws for attaching the corners. In case, you’re using corner posts, then attach them to the inside corners for adding stability.
6) Add a Bottom (Optional):
Do you want to prevent the growing of weeds into the bed? It would be better to add a hardware cloth or weed barrier fabric to the bottom of the bed.
7) Fill with Soil
It’s time to fill your raised bed by using high-quality garden soil and other amendments like compost to create a nutrient-rich growing medium. Try to have a loose and well-draining mix.
After filling your bed with soil, you can plant whatever you want to plant, like herbs, vegetables, and herbs.
On top of the soil, you can apply mulch to aid in suppressing weeds, regulating the soil temperature, and conserving moisture.
10) Water and Maintain
Make sure to water your plants regularly, and offer them appropriate care, and don’t forget to monitor for diseases or pests.
Regardless of your gardening experience, raised bed gardening is a rewarding and versatile approach to cultivating plants. All you have to just elevate the plants above ground level and tend to their specific requirements to enjoy several things. It’s time to roll up your sleeves, gather materials, and embark on a journey to nurture nature from the raised garden beds’ comfort.