Raised bed gardening is a form of gardening where the soil is enclosed in contained units or beds raised at least six inches above the ground. These boxes may be made from timber, metal, concrete, or polyethylene materials.
Plants are usually spaced much closer than conventional row gardening. This kind of spacing creates a microclimate that suppresses weed growth and conserves moisture.
Pros of Raised Garden Beds
Better soil for your plants. If you live in an area that has a less than ideal soil structure, pH, or composition, then a raised garden bed is your best friend. You can control the soil profile of your garden to suit the kind of crops you want to grow. Simply purchase the best and highest quality soil you can find to give your plants the best chance of survival.
Less damage from tunneling animals. Your plant roots will have a better chance of growing strong and deep since growing crops in a box limits the chances of burrowing critters damaging them. While you can’t entirely protect your plants from invasive creatures and bugs, growing them in raised garden beds gives them a better chance of surviving.
Water control. Growing plants in raised beds prevents the likelihood of floods damaging your crops. They provide great soil drainage which prevents water logging plants.
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You can keep a garden even in small spaces. If you like the idea of maintaining a garden but you don’t have a yard, don’t fret because raised garden beds let you do this without taking up much space. What’s more, raised beds look more organized so your garden will be pleasing to look at.
It’s great for people who have difficulty with mobility. The truth is maintaining a flatbed garden entails a lot of yard work. From weeding to shoveling to pushing carts of soil, it’s definitely a task that’s better suited for people with more physical capacity. With raised garden beds, you don’t have to bend so far over just to pull out weeds or expend so much energy tilling soil.
Cons of Raised Garden Beds
Continuous drainage can take away nutrients from the soil. While raised garden beds have good drainage capacity, it can also mean that minerals may travel out from the bed with the water. This means you’ll need to replenish soil amendments regularly to ensure that your soil is rich and healthy.
Constant maintenance. You will need to add good compost, new soil, and water your crops more with raised garden beds.
Need to replace materials over time. Regardless of the material you use for your raised garden beds, you will have to replace them at some point in the future.
Although you can likely find pros and cons for anything – I would say that the raised beds wins in this comparison. For me especially, as my soil is clay which makes it almost impossible to grow anything.
Which do you prefer? Leave a comment below and share your thoughts.