It would be difficult to argue against the advantages of growing your own vegetables. The food you’re eating will taste better and be healthier and cheaper than the commercially produced version of the same thing. Not to mention, you’re gaining peaceful time outside, sunshine and a fun project the whole family can be a part of.
One of the simplest and easiest ways to start growing your own vegetables is by used raised beds.
What are they?
The ‘raised’ part indicates that the soil level in the bed is higher than the ground level around it. Most people interpret ‘bed’ to mean that the space you’re using is enclosed by some sort of border and is small enough to work in without stepping into the bed.
There are an extraordinary number of options when looking at raised beds – you can create your own using timber or recycled materials or you can buy prefabricated beds or kits. Whatever you choose, there’s a big list of pros for raised vegetable gardening…
- They’re easy to care for – you’ll have less weeding to do, you wont need to worry about your lawn creeping into the beds and they’re easier to water.
- You can use whatever soil medium you’d like that works well in your climate. You can even have different beds with different soils so that your vegetables can have their ideal growing medium.
- You can make raised beds from just about anything – recycled timber, hay bales, old sheet metal.
- The soil drains well which allows you to control how much water your plants are getting.
- You can put one just about anywhere.
- Crop yields in raised beds are often higher.
- If you build/buy them tall, they’re excellent for people with bad backs or other issues with accessing garden plots easily.
- It’s very easy to add a cover to protect or assist your plants – you can put a net or mesh to keep rabbits out or easily add a clear plastic cover to keep warmth in like a green house would.
- Soil temperatures in raised beds climb faster than ground temperature, so you can plant earlier and get a longer growing season.
- Since you’re not stepping on the bed, the soil doesn’t get compacted.
- They come in all sizes, so no matter your space restrictions you can still grow something, even if you’ve only got room for a small bed with fresh herbs.
- They can easily be designed to compliment the rest of your garden and when well maintained look very neat and attractive.
- If you live in an area where the soil is either toxic or lacking nutrients, you can used your raised beds to grow vegetables without health concerns.
There are, of course, a few cons as well. Here are the challenges you might face with raised vegetable beds…
- They have to be purchased, or require material to construct.
- You may need to buy in soil.
- In hot climates, the plant roots will dry out faster in a raised bed.
Whether you’re a seasoned gardener or you’re just starting out, raised vegetable beds are a great way to go!
Here’s a few great looking options…