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Raised Bed Gardens: Their Benefits, Pros, and Cons

by Nick Marr on Aug 16, 2019

Raised bed gardens are a fantastic activity which has its pros and cons, and it is certainly not for everyone. For example, if you want to keep your plants away from the toxic leaves of trees nearby, raised beds are a sensible choice. However, keep in mind that these could be resource-intensive too. Read on for more fascinating facts about the art and science of raised garden beds

A “raised bed” is primarily a bed with walls (usually made of wood), with the soil raised well above ground level.

There are other concerns regarding raised beds, like space requirements and gardening style. One option that a budding gardener can try is to put sections of mounded soil below the ground in mesh “cages” (to hold the soil and keep out gophers and other pests), or to get boxes (of almost any material) filled with soil.

The Advantages of Raised Beds

Raised Bed Gardens have advantages. First, the soil surface is closer to the gardener so people with disabilities will appreciate being able to pursue their hobby. Another plus point is that a well-designed raised bed can serve as your mini garden if you lack sufficient space for a full-fledged garden.

Disadvantages of Raised Beds

What are the downsides? Relatively more water (and spending too) is required, and big machinery can’t be used on the soil. Weeds will not necessarily go away.

With raised beds, prepare to do lots of tilling and tending by hand. Fans of woody plants and perennials need to know that their favorites might have difficulty overwintering (more expansive beds raise the chances of plants surviving).

Here are other questions that a future raised bed gardener would ask:

Do you have a good water source for your garden? Water will seek its level and will escape from your soil if it is above ground level.

Do you need early crops of vegetables? Raised beds are a good solution, together with other early cropping strategies, you can count on your vegetable garden to deliver in the spring.

Is the heat of summer an issue for you? If not, you might want to consider that soil temperatures can get too warm for the proper development of some plants. One possible effect of too much heat is that some greens like lettuce become bitter.

For the newbies in gardening, gardening on the flat ground is an excellent way to start compared to raised bed gardening. Try that first before making the costly and resource-intensive jump into raised beds.

To sum up, raised beds may be a big help to some people, but this innovation is not suitable in all situations.  However, if you are keen on getting the benefits and early crops, then it’s time to get started with digging.

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