RAISED BED & CONTAINER GARDEN
Article by David Marks.
The are many reasons for building raised beds. It might not be immediately obvious but some of the most experienced gardeners make full use of raised beds. These are the local councils who manage our parks and other communal areas. Many of the bedding displays they create each year are in raised beds.
Raised bed and container gardens are simply enclosed areas of soil or compost which are higher than the surrounding area. It can be as high and grand as the one in the picture above or it can be much more basic and of course less costly.
Don't forget as well, growing plants in pots or even grow bags is simply the same as growing plants in the larger more traditional raised bed. The pages on this site deal with growing vegetables and herbs in pots, grow bags and larger raised beds.
RAISED BED GARDENS - BENEFITS
The main benefits of raised beds are listed below:
Ease of access - higher beds make it more easy for the disabled or simply those with back problems.
They fit the available area - raised beds are often the best solution to grow plants or vegetables. Concreted or very small areas can always support some form of raised beds.
Less work - after the initial work of building the raised bed, annual maintenance of the soil can be restricted to a dressing with well-rotted compost.
Control of the soil conditions - a raised bed can have very different soil conditions from the surrounding soil. Great for lime-hating plants, herbs and many more. Because the raised bed is a separate area from the main garden you have complete control over the soil conditions.
Pest and disease control - a raised bed offers easy protection from many pests with little effort. Simply place four corner posts which are lightly higher than the raised bed and you can drape horticultural fleece over the entire raised bed.
Better draining soil - if your soil is clay then a raised bed will give you an area with excellent drainage for the many plants which appreciate it. If your soil is sandy then the compost in a raised bed will provide much better water retention. You benefit whichever type of soil you have in your area.
Soil warms quicker - A raised bed warms the soil quicker. This allows earlier planting times and a longer season. Installing a cover over a raised bed will warm the soil even quicker and it's easy to do.
They look good - raising even a small section of your garden breaks up the monotony of a single level. Raised beds are excellent centre pieces for many gardens, small or large.
These pages will show you how to build a basic wooden raised bed. We also have a picture gallery which has lots of ideas on the materials which can be used for cheap, attractive and individual raised beds for your garden.
Other sections in this site cover everything you need to know about raised beds. Take a look at our raised bed picture gallery to inspire you with lots of ideas for constructing raised beds.