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The Benefits of Using a Raised Bed Garden

The Benefits of Using a Raised Bed Garden

Whether you’re growing your first vegetable garden or simply want to get more veggies in your diet, raised bed gardening can help. Here are some of the benefits of using one:

Raised beds protect soil from erosion, especially during heavy downpours. Soil that’s eroded can expose plants’ roots and wash away the nutrients they need to grow.

Better Soil

Raised bed gardens offer gardeners a way to control the quality and composition of soil. Unlike traditional gardening methods, the soil in a raised bed garden is composed of an organic mixture that is specifically tailored to the needs of growing plants.

Good quality topsoil is an essential component of any raised bed soil mix. It should be nutrient-rich and permeable, with plenty of mycorrhizal fungi present.

Adding a layer of worm castings to your raised bed soil mix is also a great way to boost plant nutrition. These castings are naturally decomposed waste that worms have deposited throughout the soil, and they provide plants with a lot of nutrients and carbohydrates.

Less Weeds

When you use a raised bed garden, there are fewer weeds to deal with. Because they’re densely planted, weeds have little room to grow and can’t easily spread.

The most effective way to reduce weeds is by mulching with a thick layer of organic matter. Grass clippings, pine straw and small pebbles are all good types of mulch that will amend your soil and prevent weed growth.

You can also line the bottom of your raised beds with landscape fabric to prevent weeds from sprouting up underneath them. Burlap sacks, newspaper or cardboard are other options for blocking unwanted plant growth beneath your beds.

More Vegetables

A raised bed garden is an excellent way to grow more vegetables than you can fit into a traditional row garden. This is because the higher soil level allows for more intensive cropping techniques such as square foot gardening and biointensive planting, which produce more fruits and vegetables in a smaller area.

Raised beds also make it easier to keep the grass and weeds from creeping into the growing areas. This is a problem with traditional garden beds, where the surrounding pathways often have to be edged or dug up regularly to prevent weeds from getting a foothold.

Raised beds can be made out of recycled materials such as cinder blocks and old railroad ties, or new concrete blocks. Some older cinder blocks may contain fly ash, which is unsafe to use around plants, but many of today’s newer blocks are free of this.

Better Drainage

Raised beds allow you to avoid waterlogging, which can be detrimental to plant growth and development. Inadequate drainage prevents soil from retaining moisture, and it can lead to root rot and fungal diseases.

Adding rock to the bottom of your raised bed can help improve drainage, too. Rocks don’t compact over time, so they offer additional space beneath the soil for excess water to drain away from plant roots.

Soil amendments can also be used to address drainage issues. Compost and other organic materials work to loosen up heavy clay soils, break up puddles and increase air spaces in the soil that enable it to drain more quickly.

When choosing construction materials for your raised bed, make sure to choose non-treated rot resistant lumber and lining the wood with plastic is a good idea to keep chemicals from leaching into your soil.

More Space

If you have limited space, a raised bed garden can be an effective way to grow your favorite vegetables. They allow you to plant a wide range of varieties and maximize your garden space without compromising yield or quality.

Better Soil

Raised beds allow you to use soil amendments (homemade or purchased) to improve the soil. This helps improve the quality of your soil and gives your plants the best chance to thrive.

Fewer Weeds

Having minimal weeding chores means that you have more time to focus on growing your vegetables! It also means that fewer pests are present because they don’t have room to spread.

The sidewalls of a raised bed help keep the soil from drying out too quickly, which can help your crops and reduce watering. Metal troughs absorb and reflect heat more than other materials, so make sure to provide drainage holes in the bottom of your bed.

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