Raised bed vegetable gardening has several advantages over traditional flat ground gardens. The initial set up will require some work, but once in place it should provide many months and years of an enjoyable gardening experience.
What are raised garden beds?
These are garden plots where the growing soil is elevated from above the normal contour of the land. These beds usually consist of loose, nutrient rich soil beds that are divided into smaller manageable areas. These beds are typically no wider than 48″ but can be as long as the available space allows. Most raised beds have some kind of a framing support to contain the soil and there is usually a path or walkway between beds to allow for tending the garden. The depth of these gardens will range from 6-8″ to 12″ and possibly deeper depending upon the type of plant to be grown.
What are some of the advantages of raised bed vegetable gardening, especially in the confines of small space gardening?
- You have full control over the makeup of the soil in the garden.
- You will have easier access to plants for weeding, cultivating, and harvesting purposes.
- It is possible to elevate the garden to a level where gardeners with mobility issues will still be able to take care of their plants.
- Since the soil is looser there will be better drainage. Be aware that since the soil raised and looser it will dry out quicker and may require more frequent watering.
- Since the soil is looser and raised, the soil will be warmer than the soil of the traditional garden, which may allow the gardener to get an earlier start on their planting.
- Because of the looser soil, plants can be planted closer together, allowing for a greater harvest of vegetables.
Unless you choose to do your raised bed gardening in smaller individual containers, you will need to choose your location carefully. You won’t be able to readily pick up your garden and move it to a different location. Most garden vegetables require 6 – 8 hours of sunshine daily. Choose a location that best meets the needs of your plants.
You can use whatever material you prefer to contain your garden. Untreated 2″ by 12″ lumber works well as well as concrete blocks or decorative landscaping blocks. Railroad ties can make great borders for the raised bed garden.
Design your garden in such a way as to be take care of easily, is appealing to the eye and to the surrounding landscape and you will be enjoying those veggies as they come to maturity.