What are the benefits of raised bed gardening?
Special to the Whig
For those of you who either think it’s too much work to keep a garden or that you don’t have the space to grow your own vegetables, I have quite a solution for you: raised bed gardening.
Raised bed gardening calls for soil to be arranged in a 3- to 4-foot wide row, which can be of any length or size. The soil is then raised from about 6 inches to, sometimes, waist-high. It is contained using a frame, which can be made out of wood, stones, concrete blocks, bricks, or even logs — and it makes for less work, since you can more easily amend the soil in your raised bed to decrease those pesky weeds. Additionally, it offers better drainage, protection from pests and easier access to your plants (you don’t have to bend down quite as far).
Raised beds are a good choice for beginner gardeners or those with disabilities, because they make tending to a garden more manageable. Experienced gardeners, like myself, love them, too. In fact, raised beds remain my favorite way to garden.
They’re an especially great choice for small yards. You can plan your beds to grow just one or two vegetables — like tomatoes and basil, for instance — or put a variety of plants in one 4-by-4-foot square.
Once you have your raised beds in place, surround them with mulch, grass clippings, straw, stones or bricks to make clean, weed-free walkways between them. Since raised beds are so compact, the use of
space and water is more efficient, and you can extend your growing season, since the smaller raised beds warm up more quickly than the ground soil.
Furthermore, you can easily convert a raised bed into a cold frame during the cooler months, allowing for a later harvest. Raised beds are neat, tidy and aesthetically pleasing, and can in this way become the focal point of your yard.
So for all the gardeners out there, both beginners and seasoned, consider raised bed gardening. You won’t be disappointed.
Raised bed gardening offers helpful solutions to problems both beginner and expert gardeners face, including weed maintenance and temperature control.