A garden is a grand teacher. It teaches patience and careful watchfulness; it teaches industry and thrift; above all it teaches entire trust. — Gertrude Jekyll
Welcome to Part 2 of my Raised Bed blog posts. If you missed Part 1, just click the link! In part 1 I gave an easy how-to build a raised bed, today I’m going to discuss the benefits of raised bed gardening.
Again, as you all know I am an advocate for raised bed gardening for many reasons, and today I’m going to share those reasons with you. If you are an experienced gardener who has always worked in a tillable garden plot, then I am going to show you how to work smarter, not harder as well as showing how much time & effort you can save with raised beds.
If you are a novice or someone who is thinking about starting a garden but just don’t know where to begin, then I am confident that you will be opting for a raised bed garden over a tillable plot.
I know some of you who may be reading this don’t have a space for either a raised bed or tillable garden. Don’t worry, I’ll be touching on how you can grow a nice variety of vegetables in containers. Stay tuned for my YouTube video on How to grow in containers coming next week! Be sure to sign up for my emails so you don’t miss a post, podcast, or video!
So, you may be asking, “What exactly is raised bed gardening?” Here’s a simple answer.
Raised bed gardening is a method of growing plants in soil that is elevated above the surrounding ground level.
Let’s look at the many benefits of raised bed gardening!
1. Raised beds improve drainage and soil quality!
Having better drainage allows plants to develop better root growth which equals healthier plants. This ultimately produces healthier soil for the plants you want to grow!
2. Secondly, raised beds are a great option for gardeners with limited space or mobility issues!
Raised beds can be built to any height desired, therefore allowing for a comfortable height providing easy access. This benefit can provide the opportunity to make gardening more accessible for those with physical limitations. The raised beds themselves can be designed to be wheelchair accessible, and the soil is typically at a more comfortable height for those who have difficulty bending over. This makes raised bed gardening a great option for older gardeners or those with mobility issues.
This photo was taken from Facebook page Happy Gardens
3. Amending your soil is so much easier!
Raised beds allow for better control over the soil, and the ability to add organic matter, which leads to healthier plants. Because the soil in a raised bed is not compacted by foot traffic or heavy machinery, it is able to retain more moisture and nutrients, leading to healthier plants and better yields. Additionally, the soil in a raised bed can be easily amended with compost or other organic matter, providing plants with the ideal growing conditions.
4. Raised bed gardening also allows for better control of pests and weeds.
Because the soil in a raised bed is not in direct contact with the surrounding ground, it is less likely to be overrun with weeds, and pests are easier to spot and remove. Additionally, raised beds can be enclosed with a barrier, such as chicken wire, to keep out larger pests, such as rabbits or deer. They also help to control pests and diseases by keeping them out of the soil, and they make it easier to control the pH and nutrient levels of the soil.
5. Raised beds can be easily customized to fit any space, so even small gardens can have raised beds.
Raised bed gardening also provides a more efficient use of space. Because the soil in a raised bed is concentrated in a smaller area, more plants can be grown in a denser space. This makes raised bed gardening a great option for those with limited outdoor space, such as those living in urban areas or those with small yards.
6. You can design beds for your specific plants!
Raised beds can be designed to suit specific needs or preferences. For example, raised beds can be designed for specific types of plants, such as vegetables or flowers, and can be tailored to suit the specific growing conditions required for those plants. This allows for a more customized and successful gardening experience.
7. Lastly, you can ditch the tiller and many other expensive garden tools!
Raised beds eliminate so much of the hard work that a tillable plot requires. There is no tilling, minimal wedding, and much less space needed with raised beds. You can even ditch the hoe! Many of the larger and ultimately more expensive garden tools are not needed with raised beds.
Well, I could go on and on, but these are the primary benefits I believe raised bed gardening offers in comparison to standard gardening methods. The improved soil quality and accessibility make it a great option for a wide range of gardeners, while the pest and weed control and space efficiency make it a practical choice for those with limited outdoor space. The ability to design raised beds for specific plants and conditions also allows for a more successful and personalized gardening experience.
I certainly hope you are encouraged to grow your own food. Even if you start with only two or three of these things, that’s a great start!
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