Why Raised Garden Beds

Why Raised Garden Beds

The idea of raised bed gardening is not a totally new concept to most people, but its a system that is becomming more and more popular as we strive to become more self reliable and self reliant. Why raised garden beds is the question some new commers to the world of gardening are asking and whats so different to the back gardens that we always had and used. It’s not until we have had our own and we have seen the benefits of this type of gardening, that we can make an informed decision on how good raised bed gardening is.

Lets look at some of the benefits and advantages of this system of gardening and see how it compares to the old traditional gardening methods that were used for centuries and are now being embraced as a real alternative to the old ideas. For starters there is less that 90% of the maintenance and preparation required to get a raised bed in place, compared to the open ground garden. That is a great incentive to use these bed frames and has to be a big plus, when we are looking at having our own gardens.

 

Raised bed frames for veggies

 

 

Why raised bed gardening is so efficient;

 

The advantages of raised bed gardening can be seen at both sides of the growing equation, ie, at the planting and at the harvesting stages. With a raised bed frame in place, there is a very distinct advantage in the readiness of the soil, in that it’s suitable to begin planting much earlier that we used to, in the old back garden plot. Then at the other end, ie, the harvesting of our crops and vegetables, we can go on growing for longer, due to the heat retention in our raised bed frames. There are a number of other benefits to this system of gardening and in relation to the soil, which is the key element of the whole exercise, most notably, is the texture and suitability of soil in raised beds. Its so easy to prepare, its simple to fork in and mix in some new compost and as far as the watering is concerned, a little extra effort is required due to the drying nature of raised beds.

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Versatility of raised garden beds;

 

Instead of we having to go to the garden, we can now bring the garden nearer to our homes, which is a great advantage for say, maybe elderly gardeners or people with challenged mobility. How cool is that, I ask you. We can locate these bed frame gardens in any suitable location that is preferrable to our needs. The beauty of this flexibility is, if we are not happy with where they are situated or placed, we can very easily up sticks and move to another area, if desired. We can locate these raised beds on our patios or decks, they can be erected on a balcony or roof terrace, or if needs be these can be assembled up against the outside retaining wall of our homes for convenience purposes.

When adding fertilizer or nutrients to the soil, these are retained and utilized within the soil of the bed frame and thus are not washed away by rainfall or leech away into other soil that is not being used for growing as in the open plot system. When watering raised beds, this is also a very energy and water saving exercise because the timber walls of the frame prevent water wastage and thus the soil is evenly irrigated as a result.

 

Wooden box filled fresh vegetables

 

Improving soil quality;

 

Piture the scene, in an average back garden and we discover that the soil is not of an acceptable quality for growing vegetables and we are unsure of what to do next. Where do we turn to for advise or what is our next move. The answer is raised beds and I will briefly explain why so. Given that we can locate raised beds in any area of our backyard or backgarden, we can also improve the quality of the growing soil by adding farmyard manure, or some well rotted compost. Ordinary sand, believe it or not, is a great way to make this type of soil workable and pliable for our   This will enhance the texture and the fibre of our soil and thus rendering it suitable for cultivating vegetables and fruit bearing plants in little or no time at all. By adding these extra elements to the soil, it breaks up the clay, infuses the heavy soil with extra nutrients and enhances the overall quality of our raised bed gardens.

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The extra work that we may have to do in order to get the soil to a managable and workable quality will pay us back by the bucket load. While we may not visibly see the results or fruits of our efforts initially, its when the added amendments start to do their thing, only then will our hard work pay off. When the heavy clay soil begins to breakdown and the aeration that happens during this exercise and extra forking or digging take effect, our veggies will reward us tenfold.

 

Raised beds for salads

 

Maintenance of raised garden beds;

 

Traditionally in the old gardening systems, this was where the bulk of our time and work was expended, but with raised garden beds in place, our workload is seriously reduced. Its very easy to keep weeds at bay and when our vegetables begin to grow, flourish and mature, their leaves crowd out these unwanted elements. Depending on the size of our raised bed and indeed how many we have set up, every year after harvest, its not a big task to add….say a wheelbarrow of compost or manure to these and mix into the existing soil.

When the growing is done and we are facing the winter monthes, its very easy to add some organic fertiliser and leave this to be absorbed into the soil for next year. Another good sourse of soil goodness or additives comes in the shape of bonemeal or fishmeal, which is available at all good garden or nursery centres and will also enhance any type of soil.

These are some of the reasons and answers as to why more and more people are using raised garden beds as their preferred method for growing  vegetables. The simplicity and enjoyment of raised bed gardening, allied to the seriously reduced worload is a big motivational factor in deciding to use these methods of sowing, cultivating and harvesting of their veggies. I hope that you have enjoyed reading this short article and if so, please leave any comments down below and we will respond to you in due course.

Happy gardening to all…….

Cheers       Phil Browne.

 

“Though an old man,

I am but a young gardener.”

-Thomas Jefferson


10 thoughts on “Why Raised Garden Beds

  1. Phil
    I enjoyed your article lot of good ideas and tips on a raised bed garden. I have the old traditional garden in my backyard and soil is not as good as it needs to be. After reading your article I think will try a raised bed while getting soil in the traditional garden up to par.How to you think one would work for a late or fall garden? Thank you again for the information.
    Joe

    1. Hi there Joe,

      Many thanks for dropping by and offring great feedback, its very much appreciated. By using raised beds for the purpose of growing our own vegetables definitely will make life easier and less stressful for us over time.

      Once they are set-up and in place, that’s a great start and one could say that is half of the work done, the rest is easy afterwards.

      Now that we will soon be approaching the fall, this is also a great time to prepare the soil for next year. By adding some well rotted compost to the existing soil, then leave to breakdown over the winter months, that will make for a great growing opportunity and experience next spring.

      Thanks again for stopping by and happy gardening,

      Cheers          Phil Browne

  2. This is really great. I love your concept of a whole site dedicated to raised beds. They really are easier to take care of, and adapt to whatever purpose you have in mind. That is so wonderful that your father was a grower of vegetables. I remember picking off tomato hornworms with my father when I was a tiny kid. These are important memories, in the garden. They stay with us. I will consult your site whenever I am working with raised beds!

    1. Hi there Susan,

      Thanks for reading this post and I am glad that it brought back some happy memories. Yes, I thoroughly agree with you on the raised bed method of gardening, it definitely is a great way of growing our own vegetables and it is considerably easier that the previous methods that we used, once we are set-up with these systems.

      Thanks again for dropping by and happy gardening,

      Cheers         Phil Browne

  3. Hi Philip,

    Yep, a great article. I seen the title and I thought that’s a great idea because you would get fewer slugs eating the cabbage and leafy stuff.

    I harvested my whole front garden once. I swear, I will never forget it. When it blossomed full of food most passer byers would stop and be amazed at it. It was like, where did all that food come from! We mostly so conditioned to associate food from Tesco’s thanks to day time TV! Sad really.

    But, the slugs, the slugs. I would notice there were little holes coming here and there and I looked furiously to see what was destroying my cabbages and salads.

    I looked under the leafs.
    DOH!

    Anyways, lesson learnt – Lol.

    These raised beds would be so good to have because I could just see myself tossing a ton of soil in to them, after sterilizing them of course, and sowing. Simple! Plus the heat retention you spoke of Philip, that would be brilliant, for a longer and richer harvest for sure.

    I really do like this idea.

    Thank you for this valuable information Philip, I may look into where I could possibly get something like this. Any ideas?

    Regards,

    Philip.

    1. Hi there Philip,

      Many thanks for taking the time to read this post and for taking the time-out to give great feedback comments, this gesture is greatly appreciated.That was a great days work to plant the front garden and afterwards reap the rewards of your hard work.

      There is a certain amount of satisfaction to be had from growing our own vegetables and being self-sufficient to a point. It takes hard work, commitment and dedication, but the pay-off is worth all the effort in the end.

      If you are deciding on starting raised beds as a means of growing your own veggies, there are some great options and possibilities that you could begin with.

      The raised beds come as flatpacks and are available online, you could attempt to construct your own by purchasing some timber at your local hardware store etc etc.

      There is some other great ideas on how to make this possible and these are also listed and described here on this site.

      Best wishes and happy gardening

      Cheers    Phil Browne

  4. Hi Phil.

    Every year, I tell myself that this is the year I switch over to raised bed gardening. But then I end up just digging up my little plot and planting again.

    I believe you, that raised gardens are the way to go; and I think they look so nice, too. There is much less maintenance and weeding to do.

    I don’t know what my hesitation is. Maybe it is the expensive of getting started. This year I put down black plastic on most of my garden. A lot less weeding that way.

    I loved the quote at the end of your article. 🙂

    Jeannie

    1. Hi there Jeanine,

      Thanks for stopping by and reading this post. I agree with you on your assertion of the raised bed gardening system, it’s a great way to garden. You are right also when you pointed out that there is less maintenance and this is a great incentive to sasrt growing our vegetables this way.

      Best wishes and I hope you get going with raised beds sometime in the future,

      Thanks again for stopping by,

      Happy gardening,

      Cheers     Phil Browne

  5. Hello Philip,
    I must say, Your website is a dream come true for so many people. I can stay on your site for hours just absorbing all there is to learn. I am a true fan of gardening, and your site provides us with many options in a raised setting to consider. In general, the information that you provide is clear and concise. Your site is wonderful to look at and easy to understand. Your delivery makes people want to come back for more and more knowledge and understanding. Thank you for your wonderful contribution. I plan to be back.

    1. Hi there
      Many thanks for dropping by and reading this post.
      I am glad that you liked what you saw and that hopefully this information will be useful to you sometime down the line.
      There is a lot of information as you say contained in this site and I am pleased that you have approved of what you have seen and read. Thanks again for stopping by, its very much appreciated.
      Best wishes and happy gardening,
      Cheers Phil Browne

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