Defining A Raised Bed Garden – A raised bed garden is just that. A garden that is raised above ground and contained in an area with high sides that holds in the garden soil. The gardener will walk in between the beds and the soil will remain undisturbed within the beds. Your raised beds can be any can be any depth that you choose and can be used to grow what ever you choose to plant. Because the soil is contained in one area you are able to amend it and keep the soil in optimum condition to grow in.
Advantages Of Raised Bed Gardens
The soil in a remains loose and friable because it is not compacted.
The soil because it is above the frost line will warm up sooner in the spring.
Areas where the soil is poor can be easily made productive, because you are able to amend the soil or replace the native soil with a soil mix.After they are built raised beds require a lot less maintenance than regular gardening methods.
Raised beds drain better.
Accessibility is increased which makes it easier for the gardener that may not be able to bend and stoop to enjoy gardening as well as making it easier in general to garden in a raised bed garden.
Building a Raised Garden
Making a raised bed garden requires some muscle and some construction items. Frames for the bed can be made out of untreated wood, cement blocks, rocks, boulders, and bricks. Do not use treated lumber or railroad ties for gardens which will be used for edible plants or vegetables. Next determine the size and location of the beds and layout the area on a piece of paper. Determine the type of frame material you will use and then after you have built the frames , fill them with topsoil and the best organic matter you can find. The initial expense of adding soil to the frames will even out when you consider the soil will never become compacted, your maintenance work will be cut way down and that you will have a much better yield on your garden. Also you will be able to start gardening earlier due to the soil warming sooner in the Spring. Raised beds are a wonderful way to garden and with the smaller yards now a days they are a good way to get the homegrown goodness of fresh vegetables and herbs in a smaller space than a traditional garden.
While maintaining a garden is certainly a lot of work a raised bed garden cuts down on that work. All the problems with weeding and keeping the area cultivated is cut down because in a raised bed plants are planted closer together and weeds will pull out easily from the soil. You will have to water more often but it will be easy enough to hookup a simple drip irrigation system. In the fall just be sure to work in some good compost at the end of the season to nourish and replenish the soil.
The problem with raised beds is that the cost is high for the building of the beds. You must fill the boxes with the best soil possible because you are starting from scratch and want to have the best growing medium possible. You also may find that you did not build the boxes quite large enough and need to build more beds but once this is worked out I think you will be hooked.