Raised Bed Gardening

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More and more people are changing from a traditional plowed garden to raised bed gardening. There’s a good reason for that.

A lot, and I mean a lot, of gardeners are baby boomers like me and as their age creeps up they’ve discovered that all that bending, squatting and hoeing doesn’t fair well for their backs.

Raised bed gardening is an answer to that problem. Raised beds can be six inches high, or two feet! The height is up to you.

Raised Bed
Raised Bed

Folks in wheelchairs can even garden easily if they have their raised beds built at the right height for them. (You need to be able to reach the middle.)

I’ve even seen a new design that’s basically a giant “U”. This shape provides great accessibility as well as a great use of space.

Raised beds are pretty easy to build and can fit any size yard

Dirt Fill – A raised bed can be built right on the ground, or with a bottom with drainage built it (especially good for one raised to table height). You can then fill (or have filled) with your favorite dirt, be that compost, topsoil or a blend.

Easy to Weed – A good mulch will take care of most weeds and those that defy the odds can be easily picked out. After all, this raised bed reduces the amount of stooping and bending you have to do.

Space Efficient – A lot of raised beds are about four feet across. This gives you the ability to reach the center from each side. This size also makes them great for “square foot gardening”.

No one said your raised bed had to be as long as the space it’s in. You can tuck one into a corner, alongside a fence (in which case you’d only want to make it two feet wide as you’ll only have access from one side), and just about anywhere you have ample sunlight.

Easy to Make – Raised beds that are on the ground are easy-peasy to make. You need wood and nails. You can even find a raised bed garden kit all ready to go. A taller one, or one raised to table height will take more to make.)

Grow More: You can grow more in a raised bed because you can start earlier in the year! The dirt, raised off the ground, warms faster than the surrounding soil allowing you to get a head start on the growing season.

Rabbit Proof – If you build a table height raised bed, it’s extremely unlikely for your carrots to be stolen by bunny rabbits. They’ll typically only eat as high as they can reach. I’ve yet to have one jump into a table height bed.

Accent in Your Yard – Raised garden beds are attractive and the neat little squares (or rectangles) bring a sense of defined structure to your yard.

Raised garden beds fit ‘neatly’ into your yard and make gardening easier to plant, to weed and to harvest. There’s simply no reason not to at least try a raised bed.