Raised bed gardening might not be the solution to all of life’s problems–but it’s a good start! The technique seems deceptively simple at first. How can raising your plants a few inches off the ground make such a big difference?
Read on to discover the benefits of raised bed gardening!
Who doesn’t love a nice game of Tetris? Planning a raised bed garden is a little like the classic video game. You can lay out squares and rectangles of beds in a grid to use up as much of your available gardening space as possible.
With this type of garden, you can easily plan for companion planting–crops that flourish together–and grow as many varieties as possible in the smallest amount of space.
If you’ve been gardening for a while, then you know how important drainage is. Many plants will rot if their “feet” get wet because of poorly drained soil. On the other hand, you might live in an area with sandy soil that drains too fast. You can find a happy medium with this style of garden, which allows you to fine-tune irrigation and drainage for individual beds.
Compared to traditional row gardens, raised beds use less space to grow crops. Because you aren’t leaving space to walk between plants, you can fill up every square inch. That means you’ll get a bigger yield in the same space–pretty sweet, right?
Rather than digging out your garden space and trying to amend the existing soil, with raised beds you can simply build your ideal mixture from the ground up. It’s also much easier to add fertilizer and other amendments year after year.
Another bonus? In row gardens, the paths between crops get trampled on as you work. This compacts the soil. In raised beds, however, the soil stays well aerated and easy to dig.
This is the first thing most people think of as a benefit from raised bed gardens. Weeding is so much easier because you don’t have to bend down as far to reach the ground! That’s great for people with bad backs or achy knees.
Furthermore, it’s simple to put down a layer of newspaper or cardboard (or landscape fabric, if that’s your jam) when you first dig out your beds to act as a weed barrier. You’ll also have an easier time with pest control since the beds are relatively isolated from each other. Just remember to rotate your crops from year to year.