If you’re new to gardening or just looking to redesign your garden space, you’ve probably heard talk of raised garden beds.
Raised garden beds are a frame, generally made of wood, that provides an enclosure for soil that is raised above the surrounding soil. This is not the same thing as a garden planter which has sides and a bottom to prevent soil from falling out. A cedar raised garden bed provides the frame and sits on top of your cleared soil in your yard and prevents soil erosion but allows deep rooting plants like tomatoes to dig deep into the soil.
Are raised garden beds the right solution for you? Consider these 8 benefits of gardening with raised garden beds.
1.Quick Start Solution To Gardening
If you are short on space or just starting your gardening adventure, the raised bed is a perfect solution. With just one garden box and a bag of dirt and some seeds you are on your way to your first gardening adventure — no fancy expensive tillers or tiresome hours of shoveling required. Adding to your garden is as simple as adding more boxes and creating your own design to fit the needs of your space.
2.Raised Garden Beds = Better Soil Conditions
Before worrying about pests and plants you have to consider your soil. Most healthy and happy plants will grow best in soil that is a nice loamy texture, neither too clay-like or too sandy. This usually means the soil needs to be amended; mixed with composts and organic material to create the optimal soil conditions. Raised garden beds create the ideal contained space for building up 6 inches or more of excellent garden soil. Great soil is the first step towards high yields and healthy plants.
Whether you live in the rainy northwest or the dry deserts in the south, a raised garden bed provides a one-size-fits-all solution for water drainage. Soil that has been built up and amended will allow plants to get the water they need without water-logging root systems. Raised beds can help avoid the problems of poorly draining dirt such as root rot or other fungal diseases that are fostered in overly wet soil.
A raised garden bed is a beautiful garden, no matter what stage your garden is in. Whether you have boxes of seedlings or overflowing raised beds of pumpkin and melons, your raised bed garden creates a conversation piece and an eye catching corner in your yard. The clean lines, beautiful red cedar color and the tidy paths between the greenery in the raised beds creates a calming and inviting garden space year-round.
5.Less Weeds and Less Work
Picking weeds all season long can feel like a losing battle at times, thankfully a raised garden bed can reduce the amount of back-straining weed control needed. The soil often used to fill a garden box (a mix of garden soil and compost) is usually weed free and built up anywhere from 6-18 inches, keeping any seeds in your original dirt buried nice and deep. When wind-blown seeds do pop up, the higher boxes help lessen the strain on your back and the loose soil helps the weeds come out nice and easy.
6.Easy to Maintain
Speaking of less work, a raised garden bed also eliminates the need for yearly tilling– a process that disrupts the soil structure and brings up weed seeds to be germinated. Adding layers of compost and organic materials to your garden beds at the end of each season allows the worms and roots to do the tilling while you enjoy the benefits of a low-maintenance garden.
7.Protected Plants are Happy Plants
The raised bed, secured with the rot-resistant cedar wood, protects your plants in a way that a traditional garden just can’t. Cedar garden boxes keep kids and pets from accidentally stepping on the beds, compacting the soil and damaging plants. Compacted soil from eager helpers reaching for a tomato and happy hounds bounding across the yard causes a lack of oxygen in the soil, robbing plants of an essential element for growing strong plants.
Another benefit is that the soil in a raised bed warms up sooner than a traditional garden. In the springtime you can start your cool weather crops earlier, giving you a longer growing season. This benefit is especially helpful for gardeners living in states with shorter growing seasons due to long winters. The balanced loamy soil in your raised garden boxes will drain the winter moisture more quickly and hold the sun’s heat so you can start growing sooner.