Raised garden beds are a popular way to grow fruit and vegetables. Aside from making your garden look neat and tidy, there are some other benefits of raised garden beds.
Benefits of raised garden beds for vegetables:
Soil types – If you have problem soil, such as a heavy clay, a raised garden bed can be filled with the right kind of soil for plant growth. Similarly, you can create the right conditions for different plant requirements. Herbs that enjoy a sandy soil, plants that prefer alkaline… you can create beds for whatever plants you choose to grow.
Less strenuous gardening – Easy access to plants for people with reduced mobility. Less bending and stretching to reach plants means that everyone can enjoy gardening.
Warmer soil – Raised beds means that the soil warms more quickly. This allows you to sow seeds earlier, and gives you a head start on growing many types of fruit and veg.
Improved drainage – The soil in raised beds is higher than surrounding soil, so plant roots do not become water logged in wet weather. Because the soil is never walked on, it doesn’t become compacted. This allows air pockets in the soil structure, improving drainage.
Improved weed control – Because the soil in raised beds is separate from surrounding garden soil, weeds do not spread or establish. Weeds that do begin to grow are easily pulled out of the loose soil.
Pest control – The added height of a raised garden bed will deter some pests. Carrot fly, for example, only fly a few inches from the ground, so carrots grown in a raised garden bed are less likely to be affected. Read more about natural pest control here.
Another benefit of raised garden beds is that they can be made from most building materials, such as bricks, breeze blocks or wooden timbers . These are garden structures that are designed to last, so choose a material that you find aesthetically pleasing. Also, if you do use timbers, make sure they are not treated with anything toxic that could leach into the soil. Thankfully, most modern wood preservatives are safe.
Rectangles, hexagons, squares…. the design is up to you. Whatever shape you choose, raised beds are not only an attractive part of a garden, they are a good way of growing fruit and veg productively, with less work!