|Raised beds can add a whole new exciting dimension to your gardening experience. Raised beds are especially useful for gardeners with limited space in their yards.
Even if you have virtually no space to grow plants, you can consider setting up a small raised bed on your patio or porch to grow a collection of tasty herbs and veggies or perhaps a variety of beautiful ornamental plants.
Raised beds built at an appropriate level can also help reduce the aches and pains produced by kneeling or bending over a garden plot. This advantage makes raised beds perfect for gardeners with arthritis, or disabled and elderly gardeners.
Advantages of raised-bed gardening
Growing plants in raised beds is a logical choice for gardeners with heavy, poorly drained soils. Raised beds permit plant roots to develop in soil held above water-logged or compacted zones. This provides a more optimum soil environment for root growth. As beds are built up, compost or other forms of organic matter may be incorporated, further improving soil structure, drainage and nutrient-holding capacity.
Better root growth from improved soils leads to higher yields for food crops and lusher growth of ornamental plantings. Also, intensive planting in raised beds means more plants can be grown in a smaller area than with conventional row-cropping techniques. No space is wasted between rows.
•Expanded growing season
Better drainage speeds soil warming and allows earlier spring planting. In wet seasons, soil dries out faster, permitting planting to proceed between rains.
Because plants are growing above the level of walkways, less stooping is required for weeding, watering and other chores. Intensively planted raised beds provide dense foliage cover, shading out much weed growth.
•Using difficult sites
Raised beds make gardening possible on sites where growing plants would otherwise be impossible. Rooftop gardens and raised beds on top of solid rock are examples. Terraced raised beds turn hillsides into productive growing areas while reducing soil erosion potential.