Unless you’re living in the country and have room for a large garden, I highly recommend raised bed gardens because they’re far easier to deal with. There are many benefits of raised bed gardening, especially if the only space you have is in your backyard. It’s also the best method if you’re new to gardening or don’t have a lot of extra time to devote to your garden.
In this post I’m going to list the benefits of raised bed gardening and hopefully encourage newbies who are intimidated by gardening in general. The picture below shows a typical raised bed garden.
Why It’s Easier
- The soil is loose. With regular gardens the soil is much more compact so digging out a garden area can be quite a pain, but with raised bed gardens you pour a compost mixture into it. That means planting seeds is much easier.
- It’s easy on the back. A typical raised bed garden is about 18 inches high so you can sit on a short stool or the side of the bed while you’re working.
- There are less weeds. Some people enjoy weeding, but it can become a big problem if you don’t have a lot of spare time. Fortunately, when you use your own compost mixture (80% compost, 20% soil), you won’t have all the weed seeds that are in regular soil.
- There are fewer pests. You’ll still get some bugs in a raised bed garden, but you can put a wire mesh barrier at the bottom to keep out creatures like gophers and moles.
Why It’s Better
- Longer growing seasons. Soil that is less thick and raised up from the ground will warm up sooner in the spring. That means you get more time to grow your plants.
- Works on uneven surfaces. If you have a slope in your backyard, you can’t put a garden there because your seeds and plants will get washed away by the rain. It’s a complete waste of space unless you put a raised bed garden there. By making one end deeper than the other, you can create a level surface.
- Better soil drainage. If you get a lot of rain in your area and the soil gets too saturated your plants are more likely to get root rot and fungi, but with raised bed gardens the soil drains quickly and easily.
- Higher yields. In a raised bed garden you can plant vegetables closer together because the loose soil goes so much deeper. Combine this with the longer growing season and better drainage and you can get higher yields per square foot than in a regular garden.