Garden beds are raised areas for planting and offers several advantages over row planting. They make excellent use of your available space, and are easy to plan and layout. They are also ideal for gardeners with mobility issues or who simply want to prevent wear and tear on their backs and joints.
Raised beds are more productive than rows because the soil remains loose. You’re also able to correct soil imperfections such as poor drainage or the lack of certain nutrients. And since the plants are closer, the soil stays shaded and cool and weeds are less likely to develop. You can see why they are a popular choice for gardeners. There’s an initial investment of time and energy, but it pays off quickly.
Benefits of raised garden beds:
- Provide better soil aeration.
- Can extend your growing season because the soil in a bed thaws faster than the soil in the ground.
- They’re attractive and can be integrated into your existing landscaping.
- They make it harder for pests to reach your plants.
- You can make them portable by adding wire mesh to the bottom. Ideal for smaller beds with plants which require sunlight in varying degrees.
- It’s easy to add a simple, drip irrigation system.
Here are just a few of the more popular types of garden beds:
Narrow garden beds are ideal because you can reach one half from either side. Four feet is a good width and you can make them as long as you like. This type of raised bed is the most common and the best for any gardener who has difficulty bending and reaching.
Broad garden beds are a bit like the traditional garden plot – a large square area which is planted with one or more types of vegetables. Don’t make them too wide or it will be difficult to reach all the plants.
Vertical garden beds have become increasingly popular because many people have limited space. They’re ideal for apartments or condominiums with patio or terrace areas. By gardening up, you’re able to maximize all your available space.
Should You Make or Buy Your Garden Beds?
It’s very simple to make a raised garden bed. Despite the fact that most garden beds have some sort of frame surrounding them, it is possible to create beds from mounds of dirt. However, a frame will allow you to build deeper beds, and prevents the soil from washing away. Framing it also creates a neater appearance which enhances the look of your garden.
Maintaining Your Raised Bed Garden
Work some organic matter, such as compost, into the beds each season. Use a shovel or fork or a rotary tiller if the bed is exceptionally large. If you’re practicing crop rotation, make sure to include your beds.
To prevent soil compaction, never walk on your beds.
Raised beds are space savers, and take less time to maintain. They also yield twice as many vegetables as traditional garden rows. Their convenience and ease of use make them the ideal choice for a backyard garden.
Organic gardening is a great way to have food that is pure and natural and doing it in a raised bed is even better.
If you would like to start and keep track of your organic garden, then check out, My Organic Gardening Planner. This digital planner can be used with GoodNotes on your iPad or Android, or you can print it out and make your own binder. Your choice!