As raised garden beds are designed for the purpose of maximising output and greater yield returns, it goes without saying that we have little or no maintenance to worry about. Initially the purpose of raised garden beds is to have our garden maintenance free, so this is a contradiction of terms, I hear you say. Well the truth is, we do have to maintain our raised beds every now and again, but if we are clever about it, the raised bed maintenance work will be very little, if any. Good housekeeping suggests that, if we have a garden we have to do a little work every now and again. It needs tending to, every once in a while. What I am talking about here is, ie, whether we plant flowers or vegetables, either way a little work is required during the summer or growing season. If we follow the guidelines that we looked at in an earlier post and that is, to carefully observe the watering situation, as the raised beds are elevated by nature, the soil tends to be dryer and this may require a little more watering and care than usual.
What we had previously;
Previously when we were using the traditional methods of open gardening, or row gardening, we had an ongoing weeding problem that never went away, we had the poor soil that always compacted and needed continuous back-breaking digging, and drainage may also have been a big problem. These problems are no longer an issue with the raised bed gardening methods and thus frees up more time which we can direct towards the more important issues of tending and caring for our plants, crops and vegetables. Gardening has taken a new direction over the last twenty yrs. or so, just like everything else in our daily lives, the advent of raised garden beds is the new technical method of gardening.
With a little maintenance;
The actual growing season is extended greatly as a result of using the above system. One of the biggest factors we see is; that the soil warms up earlier in the spring-time, thus meaning we can plant a lot sooner than we previously did. If we have constructed our raised beds from concrete blocks or wall bricks, these will capture the heat from the midday sun, and that warmth is released during the night. This will encourage longer growth in our raised bed garden and gives all round better growing conditions through out the year. So with that in mind and if we follow these simple steps, raised bed maintenance should be very little , if any.
The maintenance required;
The more and more we use this new found technically advanced method of gardening the better and more confident we will eventually become as gardeners. Our first year can be a little daunting for sure, but we should have gained a great deal of knowledge and confidence as we progress towards becoming more adept at planting and sowing of flowers, crops and or vegetables. When the crops are say 4-6′ in height, it would be a good idea to spread either bark mulch or coconut mulch around the crops to a depth of approx 2-3′. This will suppress most or all of the weeds and the plants will benefit enormously, as there is no competition from the weeds that we had previously in the open garden system. The mulching also prevents loss of moisture in our raised beds, thus reducing the amount of water that we use normally.
Click here for more info on the mulch: Mulch Block
Getting the soil right;
The soil is the important issue that requires the most raised bed maintenance obviously and if we have that right from the start, we are well on top of our fundamentials. Each fall or early winter we must add some well rotted farmyard manure, some organic compost, and some garden fertiliser. Then fork in vigorously and leave nature to do its business. This is called soil enriching and this job is pretty much all the maintenance that is required. The soil needs to regenerate after the growing season and this happens over the winter months. This job of work will ensure we have a good fertile, enriched garden for the following year. By adhering to the above principals and guidelines, it will make gardening a lot more enjoyable, fruitful and rewarding.
As we can see from the above, we can make our gardening much more enjoyable and entertaining, if we go about our gardening exercises in the right way. Its all about reducing the workload and at the same time esuring that our raised beds are well looked after and always in good nick. That is the beauty of raised beds and the longer we will be working with them, the more we will see how beneficial and advantageous this system of gardening is. As ever we are social here at buildingraisedbeds.com and if you have any questions or concerns on any aspect of gardening, please contact us , via the comments section down below.