The Surprising Benefits Of Using Raised Garden Beds

Copyright (c) 2012 Jack Russell

Gardens will fit into almost any kind of space, and accommodate any kind of soil, particularly when intelligent design, a basic knowledge of soil requirements and personal tastes are accounted for. Gardening is an easy hobby, or a serious endeavor for home-grown produce, but regardless of the commitment level of the gardener, a good crop requires some basics. Hobbyists and homesteaders have used raised garden beds for many years, and with great success, as they produce any kind of flower or herb imaginable.

Garden soil is the most important aspect of any successful garden, and is often the most labor intensive area to improve. Level gardens are more easily prepared, but often have poorer soil qualities and are subject to flooding during heavy rains. The level garden is also more difficult to work in versus an elevated garden area, as level gardens require much more bending and stooping. Many different garden books offer instructions for elevated garden plans, and the plans work into the landscape beautifully. However, the primary advantage is found in the improved soil quality and lack of compaction in a raised bed.

During the summer months, gardeners around the world battle with weeds, watering needs and insects. Spring often brings heavy rainfall, which can spell disaster for any garden if left in a level garden area. Seeds refuse to germinate and plant roots can rot quickly. An elevated bed wicks away excess moisture, which allows plants better aeration and better water distribution. Gardens placed above ground allow gardeners to get an earlier start to their season, as the soil in these types of beds will warm more quickly, thus allowing earlier planting. If frost is an issue, the beds are quickly covered with plastic and frost damage to the plants is avoided.

As many gardeners know, certain plants require certain types of soil. Blueberries prefer a rich and acidic soil, herbs like undressed soil, and tomatoes and squash prefer fairly neutral soil rich in fertilizer and humus. Building raised garden beds is the perfect way to create an oasis of perfect soil for each type of plant to ensure that the garden will flourish with a variety of plant needs. Once the beds get built and the soil is amended as needed, the hardest part is finished. Typically, the soil will only need refreshing with a top dressing once a year.

Elevated beds are a fabulous addition to any landscape, and are built in any shape or size. They work marvelously with comfortable pathways that meander between the beds, and gardeners can perch on the edges of the beds to comfortably tend to the plants. The visual impact of a raised garden area accents any style of garden, from Mediterranean to the English cottage garden. Beds can be a single unit, or can be used to cover an acre of land. The advantages continue to become more obvious as the gardening season progresses - weeds, watering and back aches no longer become such an issue with gardeners around the world.

Jack Russell is retired and likes pottering in his herb and vegetable garden. He is not an expert but likes raised garden beds which seem beneficial. Jack has found a lot of helpful information at You can also sign up for a free newsletter and a free copy of an interesting 100 year old book on growing herbs.

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