A raised garden bed can be a fine idea if you have inferior soil or heavy clay soil or find gardening tiring as a result of a physical problem. Though it will take more time to put up a raised bed, or to begin with cost more if you go for a raised garden kit, it will be worth it in the long term. Cedar raised garden kits are particularly popular as they are water resistant and very durable. A raised bed has a number of marked advantages over regular crop growing and may make gardening a great deal easier, more pleasurable and more prolific.
Advantages of Raised Gardening
- In a raised garden you will have extensive management of the condition of the soil so you will be able to grow vegetables or flowers that may need certain pH’s and nutrients without difficulty
- The soil can be purchased free of weeds so you won’t have to do much weeding.
- The plants in a raised bed are a great deal simpler to maintain and generally grow better. The soil does not become packed down from persons walking on it, so oxygen and nutrients can get to the roots much easier.
- Raised gardens heat up earlier in the Spring so you can transplant a good deal sooner giving you a longer growing period.
- It is much easier to nurture a raised garden than a regular garden as you can create the garden at a suitable height. For persons who have physical problems, or are in wheelchairs this is often the only way they can take pleasure in gardening.
- Raised beds are a lot kinder to backs and knees! You won’t hurt your knees or back while cultivating your garden.
- In a properly made raised garden, drainage is much better than in a ordinary garden. You will not have saturated soil and the plants will develop better.
Where to Site Your Raised Bed Garden
Before you make your mind up where to place a raised garden view your backyard for at least a full day to find out which parts receive more daylight or which are in the shade. Are you going to grow plants that love the sun or those which favor shade? Find a spot where you can have space round the garden to make cultivation more convenient. It would also be helpful to have walkways on all sides of the garden to make moving near it with a wheelbarrow etc easier. Should you be building a raised garden for a person who is in a wheelchair you must make sure that access is comfortable from all sides and it is a comfortable height.
How to Fill Your Raised Bed Garden
When the raised garden is finished fill it with good quality earth and compost. A mixture of half compost and half soil is usually suggested. Top soil is usually obtainable to buy in bulk but be careful of the quality as there are no standards in place. Top soil can fluctuate a lot in it’s components. Garden centers also sell soil in bulk and you can be positive that it is good quality. You might use top soil from your garden but you will need quite a lot and it may not have all the nutrients necessary. It will also without doubt have wild plant seeds and perhaps stones.
For saving money you might want to combine garden soil with bought soil but make sure you mix it thoroughly and if at all possible do a soil test to ensure the pH and nutrient levels are within acceptable limits. Whichever option you select mix in a small quantity of sand as an aid to drainage. You might also want to make up the soil occasionally as it compacts down and add some organic matter regularly. A good tip is to grow some ground cover plants during the winter for protection which can then be dug in in the Spring to increase the nutrients.
Raised gardening has many marked advantages over conventional gardening for each of us but especially for the elderly or persons with physical problems. Whether you choose to make your own raised garden bed or choose from one of the various raised garden kits obtainable you can be confident you will get many years of agreeable gardening.