Raised garden beds aren’t a new idea, yet they continue to be a hotly contested item of debate amongst us gardeners. They are great if your aim is to have a low maintenance garden, as they require less looking after than traditional plant beds. Read on to find out why raised beds are a good idea for your garden, and how to build them!
What is a raised garden bed?
A raised bed is a garden bed that is built up instead of down, into a position that solves all manner of gardening challenges! You can create raised beds simply by heaping soil up into a pile, or by using boxes to enclose and contain garden soil.
Almost anything can be grown in raised beds, including soft fruits such as strawberries and blackberries, herbaceous perennials, alpines and ericaceous or lime-hating plants. If you want to have a go at planting something in your raised bed this month, then head over to our previous blog where we outline the best seeds to sow in April.
Here are 5 reasons why you should use a raised bed in your garden:
1. A better environment for your plants
One of the great reasons for gardening in a raised bed is so the soil is elevated above ground level. This creates a great environment so that the soil warms up easier, especially in these Spring months! This also helps establish plants and prolong their growing time.Drainage is also greatly improved in a raised bed, although in the Summer months- watering may need to happen a little more frequently.
2. No tilling is better for the soil
A raised bed is really a way of setting up your soil for the easiest possible gardening—the ‘no work’ kind. Instead of tilling up the soil from year to year to add fertilizer and amendments, gardeners usually maintain their raised beds by simply adding materials on top. A perfect solution for a low maintenance garden!
3. Your back will thank you!
It’s surprising how much back and knee strain can happen just by weeding a garden, especially a large one. A raised bed, especially ones that are at least 12″ tall, can resolve debilitating back and joint pain. You don’t want pain to take the enjoyment out of gardening, so consider raised beds an investment in your health and wellbeing!
When designing your raised beds, it’s key to remember that you’ll need full access to all sides of the bed without having to stand on them once you’ve planted them up. It’s also worth noting that you shouldn’t walk on raised beds as this can compact the soil, creating a less favourable growing environment.
4. Raised beds help with pest control
Slugs can climb, but the tall sides of a raised garden box slow them down and provide an opportunity to stop them in their tracks. Many gardeners swear that slugs won’t crawl over the copper flashing, which can border your box. You can also install hardware cloth on the bottom of the box to stop crawling critters like groundhogs from stealing root crops. And, because of their height, dogs are less likely to do their business directly on your plants! It’s also much easier to add plastic hoops to raised garden beds for bird barriers, cold frames, or row covers.
5. Raised beds just look better!
Now, this may just be pure vanity, but we personally think that raised beds look lovely! They give your garden that little something extra and can be a great way to create borders around the edges of your garden. Not only do they look nice, but they can also be temporary. Raised beds are a great choice if you live in a rented property, and want to make the garden feel a little more homely.
How do I build a raised garden bed?
Raised beds can be made from many different types of materials, a lot will depend on your budget and gardening style. Some of the most common types are wooden structures such as timber, railway sleepers or stone. This video below is a really simple step by step to building your own raised beds;
A note from us here at Rosewood
We are really enjoying the occasional spring sunshine and our team are getting busier by the day! We’ve been keeping busy transforming our customer’s gardens so they can enjoy the warmer months ahead.
Spring is a great time to get on top of your garden maintenance, and with the world going back to some sort of normality (again!) we understand that you might not have the time to dedicate to this. Rosewood Garden Maintenance can help get it under control. From grass cutting, weed control and plant services, right up to fencing and garden clearance. Please do get in touch to find out how we can help you, or follow us on Instagram and Facebook to keep up to date with our team.