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.
· Cinder block
· Straw bales
· Railroad ties
· 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.