Raised beds may be the talk of the modern gardener, but they could make gardening easier and improve the productivity of traditional vegetable gardens.
- Raised beds have the obvious advantage of being lifted up off the ground so the gardener does not have to bend so far to reach the soil.
- Plant growth is improved because the un-compacted soil allows good drainage and free root development.
- The gardener has control over what soil goes into the raised bed.
- The soil warms up quicker than that in the garden.
- Plants can be grown closer together in a raised bed so the productivity per square foot is increased.
- Pests and diseases are fewer. Carrot fly is not such a problem because it is a low flier and rarely reaches above 1 foot (25cm). Slug control is easier because they have to climb up the walls to get into the raised bed. It is relatively easy to deter them from the climb, by laying gravel around the outside of the bed, and putting discouraging strips on the outside walls of the bed.
Mini veg grow well in raised beds (affiliate link):
- beds 1metre wide can be tended from each side
- soil does not have to be trodden on – allowing a perfectly structured soil
- beds at least 1 m high keep pests away – carrot flies cannot fly higher than 0.7metres
- beds are easy to cover with plastic to warm up the soil before planting
- beds are easy to cover with enviromesh to keep the bugs, butterflies & other pests off
- beds are easy to cover with netting to keep birds off
- vegetables are planted close together, and so cover the ground, which means that less weeds will grow. This reduces competition for veg and means less weeding
- raised beds (affiliate link) are easier to water thoroughly
Raised beds offer a different way to grow vegetables and it is worth trying one in the vegetable garden.