Because the soil is cultivated deeper, raised bed vegetable gardening provides an ideal environment for root crops such as carrots and beets and with the looser soil crop yields tend to be greater …
The raised bed garden is so much easier to maintain. The higher bed means less stooping and bending when weeding or caring for plants and you never have to step in the beds which prevent the soil from compacting. Because the soil is cultivated deeper, raised bed vegetable gardening provides an ideal environment for root crops such as carrots and beets and with the looser soil crop yields tend to be greater. Plus the raised beds simply look neater.
Raised Bed Vegetable Gardening – Economical Construction
Raised beds are not necessarily expensive to build because the frames can be built from rough cut or even used lumber. The boards can be painted or stained with a non toxic preservative.
The sides of your raised bed vegetable garden should be at least six inches deep and approximately four to six feet wide, or just wide enough for you to reach the center from either side without having to step into the bed. The walls of the bed will need to be anchored to keep them from falling over and this is best done by driving stakes at four to six feet intervals on the outside of the frame.
Once the frame is constructed it is ready to be filled with soil, but not just any soil. The beds should contain a mixture of sand, soil and organic compost material. Using just regular garden soil will cause the beds to pack down and make drainage difficult. Your plants will thrive in the looser soil and it makes an ideal environment for earthworms as well.
Raised Bed Vegetable Gardening – A Frameless Option
If you don’t have the option of raised beds, because of a limited budget or lack of materials you can still try your hand at raised bed vegetable gardening following a method the Chinese have used for centuries. It’s really more of a mound than a raised bed but will give you many of the same benefits. Mix equal amounts of sand and compost into the soil to build up mounded beds. These frameless beds may need a little more attention to prevent them from eroding or becoming too dry.
Whichever method you choose, raised vegetable gardening will make the chores involved much easier. Raised beds are a great way for those with limited mobility to continue to enjoy a favourite hobby. Your garden can grow as your needs grow, simply by adding new beds and the beds look attractive all year long because clean up in the garden is minimal.