If you are new to gardening, then you may be wondering whether planting in raised garden beds is worth all the time and effort required to create and maintain the beds.
While there are a lot of gardeners who do not choose to use raised garden beds, there are certain conditions that require making raised garden beds to ensure good gardening.
In this post, I’ll provide a brief overview about raised gardening beds and enumerate some situations in which raised garden beds make your plants grow better.
Raised garden beds are pretty much just garden soil heaped high and held in place by borders made from any available material such as stone, wood, or brick.
While it is up to you how high you would like your raised garden beds to be, keep in mind that the higher a raised garden beds is, the more frequently you will have to water.
Ideally, a raised garden bed should be no more than four feet across, so that you don’t have to bend over too far when tending to your plants.
Raised garden beds are best used in the following gardening scenarios:
Your garden soil is low-quality in terms of nutrients and texture
If the ground-level soil in your gardening area is not sufficiently rich in nutrients, you will need to amend it by adding compost and other organic matter such as peat. If your garden covers a large area, it can get pretty costly to maintain good soil quality.
By using raised garden beds, you can simply amend the soil in the beds instead of having to amend the entire garden ground. This is obviously more efficient and cost-effective.
Your crop needs good soil drainage
Certain plants, such as roses, tend to develop root fungi and rot when exposed to excessive soil moisture. These type of plants will benefit from raised bed gardening.
Because of the elevated planting area, water tends to drain faster from a raised bed. Garden soil that is composed mostly of clay would have better drainage.
You live in an area with short growing periods
Raised bed gardening can lengthen the gardening season by a few precious weeks. This is important if you live in an area where frost continues pretty much well into spring. Because a raised garden bed is exposed (albeit bordered sides) there is more surface area accessible to sunlight, so heat can get into the plant roots easily.
You are planting a crop that thrives in warm weather conditions
Certain plants such as the bell pepper need lots of sunlight and heat in order to produce robust and sweet-tasting fruit. As stated before, a raised garden beds traps heat better.
Additional Words of Praise for Raised Garden Beds
Environment-friendly raised garden beds are the popular items this summer for spring planting. Raised bed gardens and plantations of multi-functional greenery can be used to grow flowers, plants, or bushes, landscape edges, borders that are splint-free and is guaranteed to be safe for kids to play.
Modular raised bed gardens can be stacked on top of each other, to adjust the height to grow in your garden. Typically, raised garden beds are sold in increments of 6 “tall, and can be purchased at a height of 6″, 12 “and 24″. The width of seedbed should be limited to 2 ‘and 4′ wide, making it easy to maintain.
Some of the best raised bed gardens are made of durable plastic or fiber that looks real, but is made of wood recycled earth-friendly, plastic. They are tough and long lasting, non-toxic (such as those containing arsenic, pressure-treated wood), termite free, and will not rot, warp, split or lose their finish wood grain of traditional wood.
Benefits of Raised Garden Beds
There are many benefits to increase plantings or raised bed gardens, including:
1. It provides a unique setting for your garden
2. The length can be used as a landscape edge or boundary playground
3. It can be used as a sand box
4. It improves drainage and overall water flow.
5. It improves poor soil conditions and provide soil with the proper air and moisture.
6. It is adjustable in height, size and shape to accommodate plant growth
7. A lawnmower edger and testing plant and flower beds
8. It is easy to install
Once you’ve built a raised bed garden or purchased one and have it locked into place, put the gardening liner made of plastic or weed mat under the bed, which greatly reduces weed growth.
Then fill the bucket 1/3 to the nutrient-rich compost (we’ll talk about that soon enough) and then fill the rest of the pot soil (purchased in stores or anywhere else you see) and some dry organic fertilizer.
Finally, you are ready to make your garden by sowing seeds or planting flowers, vegetables and begin.
Making Nutrient-Rich Compost
For starters, choose a preferable site that is out of plain view. Choosing an area that is handy to ones kitchen and garden, yet out of sight creates an aura of hygiene.
Compost piles are known to reek of foul gases, while breaking down that is, which can be quite unpleasant especially to a kitchen surrounding. Hence it is advisable to choose a site that is away from the kitchen and out of sight.
Get a composting bin. Whereas piles of grass clippings, leaves and other yard wastes can suffice to make compost, bins make the entire process neater and presentable.
Bins simply contain compost in one place thus effectively aiding the making of a compost pile. Then again, one can use simple wire columns to corral compost for easy stiffening. However, this is not really necessary.
With a composting bin, it is easier to turn the compost pile. And by leaving it open, one can add more compost materials as and when they are available. But covering the top during wanting weather—read rainy climate—is necessary.
It is advisable though to have a three bin system that allows one to turn compost from one bin to another; later storing finished compost to the last one when it is ready for use.
Elements that make compost are dry leaves and green garden debris; it is imperative thus to balance one part green to two parts of dry leaves materials. This helps the compost breakdown much faster.
Throw in a shovelful of finished compost to help kick-start the microbial activity, then mix and turn to generate considerable heat that will create an equal balance to the pile.
From then on, turn the compost once a week—for two months—to increase airflow and the decomposition rate. And that’s it!