If you’ve followed Growing The Home Garden for any length of time you probably know that I’m a proponent of raised bed gardening. Raised beds can be made of all sorts of materials and have all kinds of advantages for growing a garden. Raised beds are great solution for many tricky situations in the garden. Here are a few ways that raised beds can help a garden that may have some issues!
5 Situations that Call for Raised Beds
- Poor soil. Very few gardeners are lucky enough to have perfect soil for gardening. You may have hard clay, very sandy soil, or even no soil! Raised beds help in each of these situations by allowing the gardener to have control over the soil conditions. The soil can be just right from the very beginning. It can be filled with a combinations of soil, compost, and other materials to be exactly the right blend for what needs to grow there.
- Sloped gardens. Often gardeners live on hillsides and may not have very much flat land to grow their crops. Raised beds can adjust for the slope and create a terraced raised bed garden. The raised beds level out the garden area and create flat surface which reduces soil erosion from the garden area.
- No Soil! Sometimes you don’t have any ground what-so-ever to plant the garden in. When there is no ground a raised bed can be built on legs to make a raised bed table. Raised beds can even be established over concrete areas.
- For poor drainage areas. If you have an area of your yard that is hard to grow plants in due to poor drainage raising the soil level may help and raised beds may correct those drainage issues. It may take some special planning but with raised beds you can lift the plant roots away from the heavy moisture areas.
- For year round gardens. Raised beds are easy to construct hoop houses over. A few PVC pipes and a sheet of plastic can keep your garden growing in cold weather. Cool season plants like spinach, chard, kale, lettuce and others can be harvested throughout the winter if kept covered and growing.
For design or organization reasons. Sometimes a gardener might want a garden that looks a little more formal. Raised beds make designing a garden in a parterre layout very easy. It could be that the gardener wants to easily keep track of crop rotation or wants to incorporate flowers in various beds to attract beneficial insects through companion planting. Raised beds can help a gardener stay organized and offer a lot of design options.