14 Reasons Why Raised Beds are the Best Way to Garden

Garden 9

You hear people saying that raised bed is one awesome solution for a good garden, but you still haven’t tried creating one? Or you keep reading about it on the internet, but having your doubts about it? Or maybe you have one and it provides you with amazing veggies?

Whatever your reason, in this article we will show you why raised beds are the best way to garden!

1. Good aeration

Like all parts of the plant, roots as well need to breathe. Now, if the soil is too compacted the roots will suffocate and won’t properly develop. This is why proper aeration is very important to keep the microbial population in the soil healthy.

Proper aeration will help maintain a balance between the aerobic and anaerobic bacteria that have different roles in enriching soil fertility.

2. Good drainage 

While most plants grow well in moist soil, there are ones that hate wet feet. One thing is sure, too much water around your plant’s roots will interfere with their breathing. Another thing is that constant moisture will promote bacterial and fungal disease.

The ideal soil moisture for most plants is around 25%. When you water your plants in raised beds, the water is absorbed into the lower layers of the beds rather quickly. It keeps your soil moist without allowing the water to stagnate.

3. Root spread

When the soil is loose it is easier for the plant roots to grow and spread in every direction. This keeps the beds from drying between watering and facilitates good root run.

Plants growing in the ground have a shallow root system unless the ground is tilled deep. It is difficult for these plants to access the moisture in the lower layers of soil, and for them is more likely to be dehydrated as soon as the surface moisture evaporates. Therefore, a well-developed root system helps the plant to gather water and nutrients from a larger area and this is significant for vegetables.

4. Less risk of soil compaction

If the width of the beds is kept at 3-4 feet, you can conduct other gardening chores like fertilizing, weeding and harvesting without stepping on the bed.

Flooding during rains is another way the soil in cultivated fields gets compacted. As the water evaporates, it leaves behind a hard and dense layer of soil, making it less hospitable to plants. With water quickly draining away from raised planting beds, there’s no danger of soil compaction due to flooding.

5. Better weed control

Raised beds have only a few weed problems.

The deep cultivation exposes a lot of weed seeds in the soil. Exposure to sun and additional water when you irrigate the field might give them the opportunity to sprout and quickly take over the root and soil and thrive on the nutrients meant for your veggies.

So, before making the raised beds choose the option to fill up the frames with compost and soil relatively free of weeds. Another thing to remember is to place plants very close to each other. While growing in the bed veggies planted closely suffocate weeds.

6. It is easier than trying to amend existing soil

Most vegetables prefer a neutral to slightly acidic soil that fall within the pH range of 5.5 to 7.5, but there are a few acid-loving plants, like the tomatoes and blueberries, as there are others like broccoli and asparagus that prefer slightly sweeter soil.

Gardeners usually amend their alkaline soil by adding sulfur, and acidic soil by adding lime.  Repeated applications may be necessary to bring the pH to the desired level, but rain can change it overnight.

When you want to grow a variety of vegetables in raised beds, you can make the beds with any soil you desire.

7. Build on existing turf

To start a new vegetable patch on the ground, you may have to dig up the turf and clear out the sod.

So, just line the area with thick layers of newsprint and cardboard and fill the frames in with soil, grass clippings, cured farmyard manure, sand, and compost.

8. Relief from root run from trees

If you live near a wooden area, and you have a root run from trees than no amount of digging can completely get rid of this issue. However, since roots are naturally inclined to grow downwards, your raised beds have little danger from them.

9.  Better pest control 

Have you tried using a plastic liner at the bottom and sides of the bed to get rid of these creepy crawlers that always seem to find their way into your raised bed? A wire netting at the base of the raised beds may disappoint the pesky rodents that hope to burrow their way into to your beds.

Whether it is to handpick the offenders or use natural or chemical pesticides on your plants, it is easier to do them in raised beds as you have more visual and physical accessibility.

10. Provides extra space 

Raised beds will provide some extra space as many plants along the edges grow over the sides, freeing up space on top of the bed and letting in more light for the other plants there.

Instead of staking the indeterminate varieties of tomato, you can allow them to grow upside down from taller beds.

11. Extend the growing season

The raised beds will thaw much faster in spring than the frozen ground. So you can transplant your veggie seedlings earlier and give them a good head start.

Onion sets need 3-4 months while growing them from seeds takes even longer. So, there is a definite advantage in growing these vegetables from seeds.

You can extend the growing season of your veggies on the other end by adding hoop covers towards the fag end of fall.

12. Higher yield from intensive gardening

Raised bed gardening gives a better yield than plants grown on cultivated flat ground.

The rich soil with higher content of compost and organic matter from other sources can support more plants. This will also eliminate competition from weeds.

13. Ideal for mobility challenged gardeners

Raised beds can be constructed at any desired height and width so that people who have difficulty bending and stretching can have easy access to plant the bed as well as harvest the vegetables.

They are ideal for herbs and salad vegetables that you need to harvest often.

14. Portability

Raised beds offer portability within the garden without a lot of additional work.

You can find ready-made raised beds on casters that make it easy to move them from place to place, even out of town.

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