The Benefits of Using the Raised Bed Method of Gardening
A common misconception is that you can’t have a garden if you don’t live in the country and own several acres of land. My husband and I currently live on less than half of an acre of land in a quaint little subdivision outside of the city. We are one of only a handful of families that have attempted to maintain vegetable gardens in our neighborhood. I have found that most people are concerned about the appearance of their lawns and not about growing food. Needless to say, I have gotten a lot of questions about my garden.
I grew up with my parents growing vegetable and herb gardens every year. They incorporated it into our every day life, teaching us the value of growing your own food. My dad invested a lot of time into cultivating the land and planning out the garden, whereas my mom focused on herb gardening and preserving the harvest. I am thankful that I was able to witness this growing up. Now as an adult, it just feels like a normal part of life to have a garden and teach my children how to plant and preserve.
I chose raised bed gardening for several reasons, the biggest one being that it is a great space saver if you don’t have much land to work with. There are many different types of raised beds you can buy or build yourself, but we chose this raised bed because it was space and cost efficient. I love that you can buy as many as you need and design your garden however you want. I buy certain types of seeds that have the ability to grow vertically, which multiplies the amount of produce that can be harvested in a small area. One of my favorite things is being able to plan out how my garden will look each year! I am a big fan of being organized so it’s nice how each type of plant has a place to go.
Another reason I love raised beds is that you can fill them with soil from an outside source if the soil quality in your area isn’t good, which was the case in our situation. It is the norm in our area for people to spray their yards with Round-Up and other harmful weed killers. We chose not to do this, and felt it was important to bring in good quality soil for our garden. We were able to transfer soil from my dad’s property and use it for our garden. I realize not everyone has access to something like this, so another option would be to buy soil in bulk from a local farm or nursery. You can also buy bagged soil from a garden center, but this tends to be a much more expensive option.
Weed control is one of the biggest perks of raised bed gardening. If you dread weeding your garden, definitely check out incorporating raised beds into your garden. I use grass clippings or hay to cover the dirt around my plants, which keeps weeding to a minimum. If you don’t have enough grass clippings from your own yard, ask your neighbors! The majority of people do not have a use for the clippings and will be happy to give them away.
Here is a recap of why it is beneficial to use raised beds:
- Space Saver
- Ensure you have good quality soil
- Weed and pest control
- Organized, manageable garden
- Ability to grow a large quantity of produce in a small area
I would encourage you to give raised bed gardening a try! What type of gardening do you prefer? Post a picture of your garden in the comments section below, I would love to see it!