Raised garden beds (aka garden boxes) are excellent for growing vegetables in a small space. They are easy to maintain, prevent soil compaction, have fewer pest problems, extend the growing season, and you can use them regardless of the soil quality in your area.
The idea of raised bed gardening is not a new one. It’s a method that’s been adopted by many gardeners far and wide across the world simply because it’s so effective.
In this article, we’ll explain what makes this method of gardening so great and what you should bear in mind when purchasing your next raised garden bed kit. Then to help you reach a decision as to what kit’s best for you, we’ll take you through the ins and outs of some of the more popular kits selling at the moment.
- Easy to assemble
- Looks great
- A little expensive
- No tools needed for assembly
- Not very deep
- Difficult to assemble
- Very weather resistant
- Not as strong as some others
- Beautiful cedar wood
- Easy to access
- Quite shallow
- Poor quality of the wood
- Assembly is a nightmare
Benefits of Using a Raised Garden Bed
A raised garden bed is the ideal solution for growing small patches of flowers or crops. They’re relatively inexpensive to buy and don’t take a lot of effort to set up. Using a raised garden bed is good for so many reasons. Here are just some of them:
Roots need good air circulation to be able to absorb essential nutrients. If soil becomes too compact, the roots are unable to breathe and the plant will fail to develop. Adequate aeration is also important for maintaining a healthy balance between aerobic and anaerobic bacteria which helps to enhance the fertility of the soil.
Having adequate drainage for your plants is another essential aspect of gardening. While most plants grow pretty well in moist soil, too much water is bad for them as it affects the roots’ ability to breathe. Bacteria and fungal diseases are also more common in conditions that are constantly moist.
Having a raised garden bed ensures adequate draining all year round, even in heavy rain. The looseness of the soil allows the water to seep right the way through, as opposed to just running off as it would with compacted soil. Then, any excess water simply drains away.
Room for Roots
It goes without saying that the roots have a much better chance at spreading out if in loose soil opposed to soil that’s been compacted. Having a raised garden bed will allow that.
Better Weed Control
Whenever you grow anything outside, the chances of weeds popping up among your crop is quite high. However, the loose soil in raised garden beds makes it much easier to pull out any that may spring up. And, the fact that the seeds are planted so close together in a garden bed means that when they do grow there will be less room for any unsightly weeds to creep through.
Freshly dug, loose soil is far better for your plants to grow in than old, compacted soil. Also, not all soil in your garden will be same. In some areas you’ll find chalky, alkaline soil, whereas in other areas you’ll have soil that’s very acidic.
Having a raised garden bed allows you to have whatever you soil you want for your crops. You can even have separate beds for different crops to be best accommodate all their different needs.
No Need to Dig
One of the best things about having a raised garden bed is that unlike a vegetable patch on the ground, there’s no need to dig up any turf. You can simply place your raised bed on your existing lawn, fill it up with compost and you’re ready to plant your little seedlings.
Better Pest Control
Having a garden bed that’s raised off the ground will deter many creepy crawlies from finding their way to your crops. For those really stubborn pests, you can always use a wire netting at the base of your bed to stop them getting through.
Extended Growing Season
Gardening in a raised bed definitely has its advantages when it comes to cold weather as they will thaw out a lot quicker than the ground. This means you’ll be able to plant your seedlings nice and early, giving them a good head start.
You’ll get much better yields when using a raised garden bed opposed to gardening on the ground. This is due partly to the fact that there’s good soil aeration, but it’s also because of the intensive culture of gardening in this way. Crops are planted much closer together in raised beds and grow with their leaves almost touching. This reduces the chance of weeds growing through and taking over.
Raised garden beds are great in terms of portability. If for any reason your crops aren’t growing very well in one location, you can simply move the raised bed somewhere else. It’s not so easy to do that with a vegetable patch on the ground.
Factors to Consider When Buying a Raised Garden Bed Kit
To be honest, there isn’t a whole lot to a raised garden bed kit. Even so, there are a few things you should bear in mind while shopping for the ones that’s best for you: