Raised Bed Gardening – Part One

There are many advantages to raised bed gardening.

  • It’s easier on your back. Raised beds can be a little as six inches high  to as high as  three to four feet. Beds this high usually are in banks or on tables.
  • It’s easier to control larger garden pests such as rabbits, ground hogs and other wild animals that cause crop damage and plant disease.
  • You can cover an area in record time to protect crops from cold winds, frosts or from the sun or insects by attaching posts to the sides or leaving areas where pipes or posts can be inserted. Using this method I can cover my garden if need be in a matter of minutes.
  • You can lay out interesting garden designs. Try different  patterns or  a circular wheel where the center of the garden has a bench or watering stand.
  • Many raised beds use the Square Foot Gardening method or rotating crops for better space usage. By removing crops and covering the area with mulch you can keep the area ready to plant at any time and improve the soil at the same time. I often do this for an early pea crop, lettuce which I plant several times during the season and other short season crops.
  • Watering can be simplified and you will use less water by only applying it to the areas that need it.
  • The soil warms up faster in a raised bed garden meaning you can plant earlier. By covering an area with black plastic you can further speed the soils temperature. Planting can be moved up by a couple of weeks.
  • Mowing around a raised bed garden is easier.
  • You can work one small part of a garden at a time and not feel overwhelmed if you have a large garden.

Disadvantages to a Raised Bed Garden

  • Raised beds dry out faster so will use more water. I have found that by watering well at the beginning of the season and applying a heavy mulch I can remedy the problem. I also use a deep watering method for plants and crops that like a lot of water like cucumbers.
  • Planning and building raised beds.

Any disadvantages can be easily overcome. For raised beds you do not have to build a garden frame if you don’t want.

You can also use a variety of found items to use as frames. Bushel baskets, old boxes, wheel barrel, etc.. These item can add fun and become a focal point to your garden and backyard.

Check out Creative Raised Beds

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