What are the advantages of raised garden beds?

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Are you considering setting up raised garden beds? There are plenty of advantages to using them including better soil control, less weeding, and the ability to double the size of your growing space.

Raised garden beds have so many advantages that writing them all down would create a very long article. To help you make a decision, we’re focusing the key points. If you find the key points appealing for your needs, then adding raised beds to your garden is the path you should continue to pursue.

The top reasons why raised garden beds are advantageous are:

What are the advantages of raised garden beds?

More Growing Space

One of the largest advantages is in the amount of vegetables, fruit, herbs, and flowers that can be grown in a given amount of space.

A tiered raised bed with a four-foot base can produce an amazing amount of plants. Often as many as could be grown in a comparable 30 square foot area. (When compared to the original 16 square feet.) That is nearly double the amount of growing space. (It’s the same principle used with high-rise apartments; more people live on a smaller amount of ground space.)

Soil Control

A raised bed also means that the poorest of soils is not a concern. A raised bed gives a gardener a way to control the soil conditions. You’ll make a rich medium without spending years enriching the dirt and removing rocks and other obstructions. Even acidity and alkalinity can be closely controlled with less amount of effort normally necessary for in-ground gardening.

Along the same lines, raised beds allow you to more easily use composted material, since it is generally a lot easier to mix it in to the soil in the bed than it would be to till it into compacted soil. The fact that the soil in the raised bed tends to be of a better quality means that it doesn’t compact as readily. Correspondingly, it’s easier to till, spring after spring.

This makes working with natural fertilizers even easier. In fact, working green (un-composted) manure into the soil of the raised bed late in the fall allows it to break down during the winter, so when spring planting season arrives, the soil is rich and fertile without being so strong that it burns the plants.

Earlier Growing Season

Raised beds allow plants to grow far earlier in the spring than they otherwise could be. The reason for this is that the frame of the raised bed doesn’t need to wait for the ground temperatures to raise high enough for plants to grow. The wood or other materials that form the bed absorb the heat of the sun well even in early spring. Seeds planted in the ground may not germinate until soil temperatures to raise sufficiently. The same seeds require a lot less time to grow in a raised bed since it heats up so much more quickly.

Less Pests

Garden pests such as insects, slugs, and snails, are also often deterred to a degree. Considering how much damage the pests can do in a short period of time, every bit of help is quite welcome. It can make the difference of plants being chewed off to the ground before they have a chance to get strong enough to withstand the onslaught of the pests OR growing enough to become vigorous enough to survive when some of the leaves have been destroyed.

Raised garden beds can be attractive and unique, they aren’t hard to make, they save time, and they make it easier to grow plants. They certainly have advantages that are hard to ignore. Ultimately, it’s worthwhile to at least try using raised beds to see how well they work for you.


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Tags: farm fresh, garden, gardening, organic, rural lifestyle, vegetables
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Barb Webb. Founder and Editor of Rural Mom, is an the author of "Getting Laid" and "Getting Baked". A sustainable living expert nesting in Appalachian Kentucky, wen she’s not chasing chickens around the farm or engaging in mock Jedi battles, she’s writing about country living and artisan culture.
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