Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Raised Beds Are Perfect for the Organic Gardener

There is much to be said for raised beds. For gardener and plant alike a raised bed environment has many benefits.

For the gardener you get to do all your gardening from the garden path without bending over. The plants are at eye level so it’s easier to see pest and disease with the hopes of catching either early on before they do serious damage. On this note it is also easier to see the fruit as well at harvest time. Plus it just looks nice.

Raised bed designs by IP Woody's Creative Woodworks

For the plant there is the added benefit of a loose, custom blended soil and better drainage. Soil compaction is greatly reduced in a raised bed. The soil tends to warm up earlier in the spring and continue to produce latter in the fall. With the work area at a more accessible height weeds are less likely to get ahead of the garden as well. Soil amendment and mulch are more easily applied.

Last but not least raised beds produce more per square foot than ordinary beds.

Raised beds can be as static as long rows 3 – 4 feet wide with pathways wide enough to accommodate a wheelbarrow and worker. Or they can be built in marvelous shapes and put together to create special gardens and private places to hide-away.

While raised beds can be as simple as mounding up the soil, physical borders help maintain the integrity of the sides and allows for easier access.

The sides of a bordered raised bed can be made of many different types of material.
· Rock
· Brick
· Cinder block
· Straw bales
· Railroad ties
· Plastics
· And of course wood. The wood could be redwood or cedar. These woods are naturally resistant to rot.
One of the most important details to consider when building a raised bed is the corners. If not built properly they will not hold the weight of the soil inside the bed.

These easy to build raised beds were the designed by Landscape designer Lisa Van Cleef.


One of my favorite places to shop - Gardeners Supply
has many different styles of raised beds to choose from
if you don't have a do-it-yourselfer at home.


Marc said...

Great post on raised beds - and right on the money!

I think I got overly ambitious, but I am re-doing all of my raised beds this year. I have so much new lumber in my garage that it looks like we are adding a room on to our house! The main reason I'm re-doing them is because last year they were made from treated landscape timbers which I found out can leach chemicals into the soil. Not good for an organic garden!

I don't think they will be as pretty as the ones you have pictured though.

Organic Minded said...

They don't have to be pretty, just don't skimp on the corners.

katty said...

when i read the word bed my imagination flies to another place.I love the cozy and big bed and enjoy the soft mattress with a boy. All of this after to buy viagra to get the bet performance.

Thiruppathy Raja said...

Great blog!! It is quite interesting and I enjoyed a lot
Organic Gardens

Raised Garden Plans said...

I’ve used plastic liner on my raised garden and its been great but is not very resistant to dodgy spade work. I’ve a few holes in mine already but it is easy to patch up with more plastic and a staple gun