The benefits of raised bed gardening are too many to catalogue in a short post or article here, but we will endeavour to outline the fundamental and basic advantages of gardening with the raised bed system. In short, this above ground gardening system eliminates a lot of unnecessary dredgery and labour that we had to endure while working the old open ground back garden ways of previous years.
We have moved with the times in one sense and thus our methods are now more scientific, technological and ultra productive from a return in yield perspective. Plants are found to be happier in this envoirnment which lends itself to better quality, better tasting and overall an unmitigated success. Experts are still astounded with the difference between the two types of gardening and people who now use this type of gardening, would not under no circumstances return to the old methods.
Outlining the principal benefits of raised bed gardening;
- Planting can commence earlier
- Extension of our growing periods
- Less erosion of the soil within the frame
- Better drainage and better aeration of the soil
- Less maintenance and less weeding,
- More order to our backyard or backgarden
- Raised beds enhance the look of our garden.
- Option to move and re-locate these beds if desired
- Greater returns of yields as a result
There are a lot more benefits to using this system of gardening, but I have listed the main reasons above why people prefer this system to the old methods. As we strive to become more and more self-sustainable and self sufficient with our gardening needs, we are asking a lot more about why is this idea becomming more popular. Increasingly and more recently people are concerned with the issues of some of the vegetables that are available for purchase in the supermarkets, namely…..
- Where are they grown,
- How are they grown
- What chemicals and pesticides are used
- Are they organically or forced grown in polytunnels
- How much of a carbon footprint do they leave
- Are they washed in special liquids to keep their appearance
- How long are they in cold storage for
- How fresh are they, etc etc etc…
As you can see we have more questions than answers at the moment, but, we can address all of these concerns ourselves by being more proactive and make a start on growing our own vegetables in our own backyards or backgardens. We don’t need a garden to make a start at growing whatever it is we want to plant, a little mini raised bed ( 4ft X 4ft ) will cater for a lot of our needs for starters and will give us the confidence and experience to continue growing year after year. This little mini garden will cater for all of our salad needs and will cater for some of the herbs that we may wish to grow as well. So if we want to see more change in this area, we need to be the ones to implement and initiate the change. The simple act of taking action now will pay dividends for us down the road and we will feel much happier in ourselves as a result. What I have outlined above is another enormous benefit, not only to ourselves, but perhaps to our children and the next generation.
The facination with raised beds;
Once we have begun to get used to this type of above ground gardening, we will want to spend more and more time at this hobby of ours and we keep experimenting all the time, ie, trying to grow different varieties of vegetables, getting a second crop every year ( tomatoes ) and pushing the boundaries to see where it will lead to. These are the continuous benefits and advantages of the raised bed gardening system, that never fail to amaze us. The other great benefit of this system is for the amateur or beginner gardener, who perhaps is filled with trepedation and a certain amount of fear, in wondering how his or her vegetables or crops will turn out. The only way to address these concerns is to get out there, make a start and try it out for themselves. We will learn by our mistakes and we will get better with practice, its like every other walk of life, a little education and trial and error, will make us better over time.
Here are some of the facts;
Lettuce that we buy from the green grocer or supermarket is sprayed at least six times with various chemicals ( naturally unharmful ) before it reaches our vegetable aisles or our dinner table. It is sprayed or washed to remove soil and traces of pests, it is sprayed to keep it fresh while in transit, it is sprayed to keep its rich green colour, it is sprayed to keep its texture and it is also sprayed or watered to retain its taste. Take the life of an apple as another example, the apple trees are sprayed a few times during the year to prevent fungus and other infestations destroying the growers yield or harvest., if it happens to rain after spraying, this may wash some of effects of the spray away, if we are lucky. Did we ever stop to look at the apple display counter and notice the shiny red glow that eminates from these and wonder is it natural or is it concocted ? The average age of an apple in our supermarkets is approx 6 – 9 months and they are kept fresh , mainly under refrigeration………. some food for thought. I hope you have enjoyed reading this article and as usual we can be contacted, via the comments box down below.
Best wishes and happy gardening to all.
” Behold, my friends, the spring is come;
the earth has gladly received
the embraces of the sun,
and we shall soon see the results of their love ”