Gardener’s Guide to the Raised Bed Garden
Chapter title – Introduction to Raised Bed Gardens
Introduction to Raised Bed Gardens
What Are Raised Garden Beds?
A raised bed is any elevated growing area used to grow plants in soil. You can grow vegetables, flowers, herbs or small fruits like strawberries in a raised garden. The bed’s construction can be from a variety of materials and be of just about any size and shape that suits the whim of the gardener or space available.
Advantages of Raised Garden Beds
Gardening in a raised bed presents many advantages over standard row gardening. These advantages include:
Planting, weeding and maintaining the elevated beds is easier.
Closer spacing of plants increases yields and decreases weeds.
Reduced soil compaction allows the plant’s roots to grow unimpeded.
Irrigation is easier.
Since you hand cultivate the garden beds, or use mulches, expensive, heavy garden equipment is not needed.
Soil amendments and mulches go further in a raised bed since you do not apply them to the paths as if you would in a row garden.
Raised beds confine the soil to the bed. The beds are more attractive, especially if the garden is symmetrically designed.
If you mulch, pebble or pave the paths they will stay neat and attractive and provide an all-weather surface in the garden.
Weeds are easier to control in a raised bed and grass cannot easily invade from neighboring lawn areas.
Raised beds can also be easier to insert into odd-shaped yards, as all the beds do not necessarily have to be in one spot.
The gardener cultivates with hand tools. Since heavy equipment, like tractors and garden tillers are not used soil compaction is not a problem.
The soil stays loose as a result and plant roots are free to grow better in the looser, richer soil.
The beds can be constructed to a height that makes tending them easier.
Beds can be spaced and raised so wheelchair bound gardeners can access them.
Raised beds can be a solution for gardeners cursed with rocky or poor soil in the garden site. The gardener can fill the beds with good topsoil.
Waiting for the soil to dry out in the spring to work it is not necessary. The author has planted things while it is raining.
Disadvantages of Garden Beds
Elevated beds may need more irrigation
High initial cost of installing the beds
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