Why Use Raised Beds

Why Use Raised Beds

Article by Marcie Snyder

Raised beds are elevated structures usually made of wood, rock walls, stone, or even short lengths of logs in which the gardener can effectively provide a plant’s basic requirement. This idea of planting above the level of the ground has existed for centuries but seems to be getting more and more popular. Nine of the thirteen advantages to using these elevated designs are as follows:

1. In raised beds (whether for vegetables, herbs, succulents, or flowers), you can more efficiently amend the soil in such a way that a certain plant’s requirements are fully satisfied. For example, if a given plant requires an acidic soil, you can make sure your soil is acidic by first testing your soil’s pH and then, if needed, lowering your pH by adding sulfur. (Always check the directions first).

2. Even if you get cool, wet springs, the soil in raised beds will warm up at least two weeks faster than the soil in a regular garden. This early start gives the gardener the advantage of being able to begin working and amending the soil and planting that much earlier.

3. If you’ve experienced the resulting flooding and even lingering water in your garden after a heavy rain, you’ll appreciate the fact that when the soil is raised above the ground, drainage is possible. Therefore, unless the soil around the bed is flooded quite high, no matter how much rain you get, your plants in the raised beds will not get bogged down in puddles of water.

4. Because your plants are set up in containers which are not easily destroyed, it does not matter if the structure gets bumped by children’s toys or garden furniture. Your plants will not be affected.

5. One main factor is that you can organize your garden beds in whatever order you wish. You can create an orderly interesting panorama which will keep changing as the different vegetables and flowers in the raised beds go through various growth and color from month to month. Thus you can create interest and variety in spring, summer, fall, and even winter.

7. Your beds can be built any height or size. For the person in a wheel chair or a person who cannot bend for one reason or another, such as one with a knee or hip replacement, a raised garden bed is the answer.

8. This one is a winner especially if you have problems with small animals! To stop gophers from tunneling up to your precious plants, you can encase the bottom of your container with close-meshed galvanized screenings before you add your soil. If you have squirrels, you can protect your bulbs by laying a layer of chicken wire across the top of your container as soon as you plant your bulbs. The wire can remain there forever. You needn’t worry! The growing plant will find its way through the wire. You can protect your berries from birds by using a nylon or wire netting. In other words, the wooden structure allows you to use whatever is necessary to enclose your plants to save them from “unwanted varmints”.

9. It is important to have air circulating in your soil. I remember my grandmother always making sure that the soil around her plants were loosened up “to allow air flow”. When you use raised garden beds, there is no need to walk on the soil or to use equipment. The result is that your soil will not get compacted; thus both air and water will more reach the roots more easily.

Regardless of shape and size, when raised beds are filled with nutrient-filled soil, the results are the same – lush plants and/or delicious, nutrition-filled vegetables.

A gardener for years, Marcie has learned the value of growing your own vegetables organically. Download her new Free ebook “The Complete Guide to Organic Vegetable Gardening” and/or discover the other reasons why using raised beds is a good idea at http://www.SuperOrganicGardeningTips.com/raised-beds/

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