When planning a garden, one of the first decisions you have to make is whether you want to use a traditional or raised bed. Each one has its benefits. Today, we’re going to take a look at why you should consider using a raised bed.
Table of Contents
1. Your garden may produce more
Because there’s a smaller amount of space to maintain, garden beds can be easier to care for. You can reach everything better, the soil is less compact, and the soil is better aerated. In most cases, this leads to larger harvests.
Because raised beds are placed above the soil, you place a barrier underneath them to block weeds. Your plants won’t have to compete with the weeds for nutrients, giving them a better chance to grow and thrive.
2. You have more control over the soil
When you plant directly into the ground, there’s a lot of work involved in making sure the soil is suitable to support plant growth. You should have the soil tested to see what it needs, and you might have to add specific fertilizers, amendments, or compost to get it rich for planting.
When you use a raised bed, you choose the soil that you use so you can be sure that it’s suitable for gardening right from the start. It’s much easier to get started on the right foot without having to worry about making too many changes.
3. Raised garden beds have better drainage
In a traditional garden bed, it’s really easy for the soil to get compacted, which makes it harder for roots to spread and plants to grow. Since you’re essentially adding soil to a box, it’s really easy to keep it light so the roots spread easily.
Because the soil is less compact, raised beds drain faster, which helps prevent overwatering. Even if there’s a heavy downpour, you don’t have to worry about your garden getting too wet. It easily flows from the surface down to the roots and then soaks into the ground underneath.
Soil that is less compacted also allows for better aeration, too. Air moving through the soil is good for the roots. They can spread out and grow more effectively, leading to a healthy and more durable plant.
4. You can create a neater landscape, complete with pathways
With a traditional garden bed, it can be difficult to keep things looking neat and contained. It’s especially hard to create clear pathways to walk through, especially as it gets later in the seans and your plants start to get big.
When you use raised beds, you can arrange them in neat rows, leaving enough room between each bed to walk around. You can even add stepping stones or concrete slabs. This not only makes it look even better, but it can also help manage weeds between the beds.
As a bonus, being able to arrange your raised beds into nice rows makes it much easier to tend to your garden. Everything is in reach, which makes it easier to pull weeds, check ripeness, and harvest your crops when they’re ready.
5. You can grow fewer plants
If you want to grow a smaller amount of something, raised beds are the way to go. If someone in your house loves jalapenos peppers and you don’t want to devote a whole row of your garden to them, a raised bed is the perfect place to grow them.
A raised bed is also a great option if you don’t have a lot of room in your backyard, and you don’t want to take up too much space with your garden. If you only want to plant a handful of different things, a raised bed is much better than digging up a part of a small yard.
6. Raised garden beds deter pests
Pests can get into a raised bed, but it’s not as easy as getting into a traditional garden bed. For example, if you have a lot of rabbits in your yard, it’s easier for them to walk through a traditional garden and eat your crops before you even notice they’re doing it than it is to get into a raised bed.
Again, rabbits and other pests can get into a raised bed. But there’s a chance they might see it as too much effort and move along to another yard with a more accessible garden.
While tree roots are not exactly a pest, they can wreak havoc with your garden. The good news is this is something you don’t have to worry about when you have a raised garden bed.
7. They make gardening more accessible
It’s not always easy for people to get down on their hands and knees to work a traditional garden. People with injuries, chronic health conditions, or who use a wheelchair can’t exactly get down on their hands and knees to plant in the ground.
Raised beds are easier to reach. You can even pull over a gardening bench and sit down next to the raised beds while tending to them, avoiding back pain or strain and making it easier to keep doing what you love, even if you have some physical limitations.
8. You might get a longer growing season
If you live in an area where the ground freezes quickly and takes a lot of time to thaw, a raised bed can help you extend your growing season. They thaw faster than the ground, so you can plant a little earlier. They’re also much more convenient for cool weather crops, like kale, spinach, carrots, and beets.
9. Depending on their size, raised garden beds are portable
There are two reasons why portability is ideal. First, say you dig a traditional garden bed in your yard and it doesn’t get as much sun as you thought it would. Or, maybe your neighbor builds an addition onto their house and blocks a little bit of the sun. In this case, you’re kind of stuck with what you have.
If you have a raised bed, though, it’s much easier to relocate it to a sunnier area of your lawn. It’s best to do this at the beginning of the growing season, but it’s not impossible to do even when your plants have already started to produce.
The other reason that portability is such a great feature is that you can easily take your raised bed with you if you move, soil and all. Just scoop out the soil into a large bag or plastic tote, set up the bed at your new house, and put the dirt back. It’s easy enough to do, and you won’t have to start from scratch like you would with a traditional garden bed.
10. You may save a bit of money
There are many ways that a raised garden bed is a little more frugal. For one, you won’t have to spend as much money getting the soil up to par.
Remember, when you have a traditional garden, you have to work with what you have, adding amendments and working the soil until it’s just right. With a raised bed, you can buy just what you need without worrying about adding multiple other products.
You also don’t use as many seeds. Seeds can be expensive, but when you’re planting in a smaller area, you don’t need to use as many. You may be able to go in on some high-quality seeds with a friend or, with proper storage, save some of them for next year.
Raised Bed Gardening: A Great Option
Raised bed gardening is a great option, especially if you have a smaller space to work with. As you can see, there are many benefits, ranging from the quality of the plants to the effect it has on your wallet.