Take the Work Out of Gardening: The Benefits of Raised Bed Gardening

First off, gardening is some work no matter how you see it, but mine is relaxing work.  There is just something about having your hands in the soil and growing your own food that is just, well a stress reliever for me.  Traditional gardening can be some much work, before you even really get started actually gardening.  Why not try using raised beds?  For myself there is no other option but to go up as we live on thick bedrock.

Instead of tilling and digging why not try layering instead?  Once you set up the initial garden there is not a lot of back-breaking work involved.  There is a lot of information available regarding what type of mixture is the best, whatever you decide make sure it is enriched with rich compost to be  thethe most beneficial.  A well planned garden can produce a longer growing season, a greater harvest, conserve water, and can reduce the growth of weeds.

First off since the soil is above the ground, it warms much faster than planting a traditional in the ground garden so you are able to have germination earlier and plant sooner.  This also is true of gardening in the fall, because of warmer temperatures you can extend your growing season slightly and can be easier to prolong the harvest with row covers.

With raised bed gardens you eliminate the need for rows and are able to plant your vegetables much closer than traditional row plantings.  By utilizing companion and succession plantings, you increase you yield some times up to double you would be able to grow in a traditional garden.   Since the soil is not compacted, that eliminates the need to till and you do not disturb the wonderful eco-system living in your enriched organic soil.

Since the plants are closer than a traditional garden, this helps shade the soil, conserve moisture and will help deter the growth of weeds.  Who loves to weed their garden?  (Not me!  But I will do all I can to prevent weeds without chemicals.)   Using a natural mulch will help retain moisture levels and control weeds as well.

Raised bed gardens may not be for everyone, but I have seen wonderful results myself.  They can be made from recycled materials, untreated wood, rock, bricks, whatever you really can think of.  They can be made at practically any height to accommodate even those that can not get low to the ground.  With raised bed gardens there is no longer a concern about finding the best spot in and soil in your yard for the garden to be placed, you can be place it in the best suitable location for your convenience and for your garden to flourish.

For more information on raised bed gardens, I suggest reading Mel Bartholomew’s “All New Square Foot Gardening: Grow More in Less Space!” and “Lasanga Gardening” by Patricia Lanza.

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