If you are one of those people who are planning to build your vegetable garden, you may have come across the options of building a raised bed or just the usual in-ground garden. For beginners, most gardeners would recommend building raised garden beds as it comes with a lot of advantages.
Raised beds are planting crops in a fixed area of soil at a higher ground level. Your plants will all look organized in your garden, easier for you to maintain, and lets you grow more yields.
Just like a traditional garden, it also comes with pros and cons, but it is still outweighed by many advantages. Below, you will get to know more of its advantages and learn why this is the perfect option for you as you start gardening.
what are the advantages of raised garden beds over in-ground gardens?
Among the top benefits of raised beds in the soil. You want your crops to grow healthy and for that to happen, your soil must contain all the nutrients that your plants. Raised beds give you the benefit of using the right soil mix suitable for growing crops healthily.
1. no tilling needed
What most gardeners like about a raised bed garden soil is that it requires less to no work. Instead of tilling the soil to add amendments every year, raised beds only require you to add soil amendments on top.
You can add manure, compost, mulches, or soil conditioners on top without the need to do a lot of work. Also, the soil can till on its own as worms and the roots will keep pushing their way through. Regular tilling by hands usually deplete the structure of the soil. However, doing nothing will build up all organic components of the soil over time.
2. better drainage
If your area is prone to flooding or you have a marshy yard, a raised garden bed is what you need to make your plants reach their full growing season. With a depth of 11” for a 12” high raised bed, it can provide enough drainage to give plants enough breathing room especially during wet conditions. It also drains better during heavy rains.
3. less maintenance and less weeding needed
As you build a raised bed, you will not have to worry about constantly weeding your garden. This is a good idea for those who will not have all the time for their gardens.
When well-cared for and you have added mulch, the weed population will also decrease in the long run. Tilling usually increases the weeds growing since it only buries more weed seeds.
Most successful gardeners using raised beds usually cover beds with cardboard, mulch, or black plastic to kill all plants that may grow during winter. They simply must rake-off dead weeds before the weeds go to seed. After this, they can start planting on the bed again.
4. contaminated soil can be avoided
Contaminated soils are those mixed with heavy metals that plant roots may absorb. This can be a real threat, but it can be prevented by building a raised bed. With a raised bed, you can add in a mixture of toxic-free soil.
There are other things you can add to reduce the toxicity of soil in the beds including compost. It can help dilute the concentrations of toxins as years pass by and bind heavy metals until it turns into soil particles.
5. less soil compaction
Another advantage of using raised beds is the fact that you will never have to walk on the soil. This means that it is less compaction for the soil, which makes it beneficial for the plant and soil health. This is also beneficial especially if there is high foot traffic or those with kids and tend to run around the garden and walk on the soil of your plants.
6. less runoff
Since the soil is inside the box (assuming that you’ve placed something underneath the bed), it won’t runoff, lose structure, and lose nutrients even during heavy rains. If you are improving the soil microbiome of your bed, this will keep the microbes inside the bed and encourage the healthiest, liveliest, and most diverse growing environment for your plants.
These advantages are mostly about the soil. Raised beds also offer other advantages to other factors and will all be discussed for the rest of the article.
advantages of raised garden beds to gardeners
Building a raised garden bed offers many advantages to both beginners and long-time gardeners. Some of these advantages are the following:
1. ergonomic options
Raised beds are perfect for those who are already having mobility issues or those with disabilities but still love gardening. There are higher-level beds that help reduce shoulder, back, and neck strain.
Long-time gardeners who were used to non-container gardening works often suffer from physical strain. However, you can enjoy gardening at its best without thinking about getting hurt or tired no matter how long you tend to your crops. Also, you get to adjust the distances of the beds, which is a plus for those using wheelchairs or those with mobility issues.
2. material conservation
Since the space for gardening is concentrated, the management of fertilizer, water, soil amendments, and mulch can be controlled carefully. This means that there will be less waste on your part and make the most out of your materials for gardening.
3. it can be temporary
Unlike in-ground gardens that are most likely to leave permanent holes in the garden, raised beds can be built for a temporary source of organic crops. This is beneficial for those renting a place and the landlord would not allow you to dig any part of the land.
You can simply build a garden box and place it outdoors. If you are moving out, you can simply disassemble and then assemble it again to your new home.
These are just some of the main benefits for the gardeners, but all of these have long-term benefits that will make gardening more convenient and fun.
advantages of a raised bed garden in growing crops
Ultimately, you need to learn the advantages of raised beds to your plants. You will be surprised by the amazing benefits of planting crops in these beds. Check out the ones below:
1. no critters will damage your crops
No insects will easily get in your crops when you use raised beds. If you place a hardware cloth underneath the bed, no bugs will get in the soil and eat the root crops. Your pets will not be able to directly urinate on the plants.
If your place is prone to other wildlife animals like deers and birds, you can easily install a fence or hoops around the bed to keep these pests away.
2. you can plant earlier in the season
Among the advantages of having these beds is being able to plant earlier. The soil in these beds warms quickly and makes it ready for planting.
There are even gardeners who found certain plants that were able to overwinter and did not get wasted. Most of these are about the right type of soil you use in the bed. This is most likely to happen in untilled and organic matter fortified soil.
3. faster growth of the plant roots
Beds allow the root system of plants to quickly develop, especially with fine-textured growing mix. The better the soil grows means the healthier your plants will grow as soon as the growing season starts.
4. higher yields
Most gardeners intend to grow their food. Being able to increase vegetables and crop yields through intensive planting is what makes these beds interesting.
Raised beds are perfect for various planting styles such as bio-intensive planting, and square foot gardening. Unlike traditional gardens where most spaces are intended for pathways, beds are more on the use of growing space. You get to use all the space for planting various crops and be able to produce more even in a small space in the bed.
5. fewer chemicals on your food
Since you will not have to worry about critters, pests, and weeds, you will not have to use herbicides or insecticides. This means that you can guarantee that you are growing organic, healthy, and pesticide-free foods that you and your entire family can enjoy.