By this point I am sure that you have planned your garden layout and picked the plants you want to grow and even ordered the seeds. The sit you have picked should have at least 6 hours of daylight and you should pick a place close to a water supply. So have you figured out if you want a conventional or a raised bed garden! Here are the differences between them both.
A conventional garden is one in which a large area is planted in rows at the ground level. It's probably the type of garden you are used to because that is mostly what we grew up with.Though these gardens have been the norm in our region for years past, many home gardeners are switching to raised bed gardening which is much easier, less expensive, and less time consuming. Conventional gardening takes more time out of busy lives. Conventional gardening requires more fertilization, compost, weed and insect control, as well as back breaking tilling of soil and picking of vegetables. I won't spend much time getting into the pros and cons of conventional gardens as there are so many benefits to gardening in raised beds.
Well what is a raised bed garden and what are the pros and cons. A Raised bed is just what the name suggests it is, it's a garden raised up off of ground level. It can be as high as you want it, they can be created from anything that will hold dirt and as small or large as you like. I will go over some of the pros and cons but if you would like to see how to build one cheap, go to my post "Urban Garden in a little space for less than $100.00".
- The soil in a raised bed is much richer in nutrients because you have used rich compost and topsoil.
- Raised beds warm more quickly in spring, allowing you to work the soil and plant earlier.
- You can also cover them with and make a small greenhouse with them and extend your growing season even more!
- Raised beds drain better.
- The soil in raised beds doesn't get compacted, because they are constructed with accessibility in mind.
- It's easy to tailor the soil for your raised bed to the plants you plan to grow there.
- After the initial construction process, raised beds require less maintenance than conventional garden beds.
- Less weeds and those that do show up, you won't have to bend over as fare or get down on your knees to pull them.
- Building the raised bed at the right height makes it very good for those loved ones in wheel chairs to be able to still fully garden.
- It is easier to control pests.
- Higher Yields: Because of the better soil used in raised bed gardens, they tend to have higher fruit and vegetable yields than traditional row gardens.
- You can also plant closer together, getting more plants per square foot. Why? Because you don't have to worry about rows to walk in, therefore you can push the plants much closer together. Sqaure Foot Gardening
- Accessibility: One of the best things about raised bed gardens is their accessibility. You can easily reach every single plant to water, inspect, and pick the produce. Keep this in mind when planning how big to make them.
- People disabled, even in wheelchairs can continue to garden! Raised beds are a perfect solution for making a large garden plot handicap accessible. The elderly and people with physical challenges can enjoy the therapeutic benefits of tending a garden. From planting, to nurturing, to picking and eating the ripe vegetables and fruits they have grown, gardening can give people a sense of purpose and accomplishment. This is very important to persons with disabilities. The health benefits of being outside in the fresh air and sunshine should also not be overlooked. With some careful planning, and a few raised beds, all but the most severely handicapped, can enjoy working in a handicap accessible garden.
- Money saver! Seeds are expensive. In a traditional row garden, you scatter the seeds, then thin the plants as they grow, wasting seeds. In a raised bed garden, you plant only the amount of seeds you need. Properly stored, the additional seeds will be good for another year or two, saving you money on next year’s garden.
- Longer growing season: Gardening seasons depend on the temperature of the soil. It will warm up more quickly than the ground under the lawn. In addition, it’s relatively simple to make a cold frame for a raised garden bed to extend the gardening season further.
- You can make them look pretty cool! Raised garden beds look neat and tidy. In addition, if you’re a creative person, you can make some pretty cool looking gardens. Your garden could easily become the focal point of your yard.
With all the Pro's I can't see many con's! Unless it would be if you ever decide to move them. I just got done moving two of mine. They were both small and since I had just built a new larger one, I could just move the dirt from the old one to the new one and then move the two old ones. Other than that I love them and I grew up like most of us in the conventional back braking gardens. I guarantee you if try on small raised bed you will be as addicted a me!
Job 8:16 "He grows green in the sun, And his branches spread out in his garden."