20 Jul Why You Should Have A Raised Garden Bed!
Raised garden beds are not a new garden concept as they have been embraced for hundreds of years, especially in regions that receive a lot of rain. The raised garden bed has become a favorite contemporary gardening option, especially for people with little gardening space here in Kelowna. Due to its high productivity levels, ease of maintenance, and minimal pest and weed interference it is a popular option amongst people who may not have the optimal space for a regular garden.
The simplest form of a raised bed is a raised heap of soil on the ground but more interesting and enhanced structures have been developed over the years to offer more sustainability and durability. Materials that are perfect for garden beds include raw wood, treated wood, concrete or cinder blocks, galvanized metal, railroad ties, composite wood, and tires. When constructing your garden bed, desired elements such as height, shape, length, and width should be used as building guidelines.
Plants That Thrive In Raised Garden Beds
Vegetables and fruits require rich nutrients for successful growth, and due to the optimum conditions the elevated garden bed provides, these plants tend to thrive in such a setting. Some of the vegetables that do well in garden beds include kale, spinach, lettuce, cauliflower, cabbage, broccoli, eggplants, carrots, peppers, tomatoes, radishes, cucumbers, beets, celery. Even legumes such as peas, chickpeas, and lentils, squash, and potatoes and fruits like strawberries and melons.
Herbs and flowers also grow well in raised garden beds. Apart from creating a bright and beautiful garden, most herbs make great companion plants and protect valuable plants from pests by camouflaging their scent as well as attracting necessary pollinators to the garden bed.
Benefits Of Raised Garden Beds
Raised garden beds allow a person to grow different plants together. Pairing plants has great benefits. It promotes the healthy growth and production of plants, improves the quality and flavor of the produce, helps in controlling pests, tall plants offer shelter and support to brittle plants, and finally it aids in attracting pollinators. For instance, basil can be planted with tomatoes to not only help keep insects away from the prized plant but also enhance the flavor of the tomatoes.
Attractive And Neat
Modern garden beds feature solid frames that give a more uniform look to your garden and allow for easy care to keep it looking tidy and clean.
If you are using clay or rocky soil in your raised garden bed, you will benefit from the ability of the bed to drain easier and faster. This improves the structure of the soil and prevents erosion of the soil during rainy weather.
A garden bed gives you easier access to your plants and minimizes the discomfort that comes with kneeling or bending when tending to your plants. You can build your garden bed to a size that will give you the comfort you deserve when working on your garden.
Improved Soil Quality
It becomes easier to control the content and quality of your soil with a raised garden bed. You are able to add compost, leaves, and fertilizer without interfering with the process of the bio mixture, by walking on it. This enhances proper aeration in the soil which increases the success of the plants growth.
Earlier Planting Season
The soil in a raised garden bed will warm up faster during springtime compared to other gardens and this will give you the headstart to plant peas and vegetables in the brassica family such as cabbage.
Weed seeds stand little chance of spreading and thriving on garden beds that are lifted and separated from the normal surroundings. This is a great advantage as it means you will not spend time weeding out unwanted plants in your garden bed. You can also add a generous layer of mulch on the garden beds to aid in eliminating the growth and spread of weeds.
Quickened Plant Growth and Increased Harvest
Due to the healthy root development and improved soil quality that a raised garden bed offers, you are highly likely to harvest better yields of vegetables or fruits. Harvest may also happen sooner due to the chance of controlling the environment in the bed to ensure the optimal growth of the plants.
Pest And Animal Control
Control of pests is made easier with raised garden beds in many ways. For instance, companion planting will keep away pests from your highly valued plants. In addition to that, most pests and animals like rabbits will find it impossible to nibble on your plants when they are raised out of their reach. To keep away birds and insects, you can cover your bed with gardening nets or covers. These simple strategies could not be as efficient when gardening on the surface level.
With raised garden beds, you do not have to till the soil when planting. All that you are required to do when starting your garden is ensure you have an appropriate rich soil mix that will be the foundation of your plants.
Factors To Consider When Putting Up A Raised Garden Bed
Depth Of the Raised Garden Bed
The depth of soil in your bed is very important to consider to ensure that the plants you grow get what they require to establish themselves. Most plants require 12 inches to grow well but you also need to have the correct information for your preferred plants as they require varying inches. For instance, numerous vegetables and herb species require 20 inches of soil while some annual plants like pansies require as little as 6 inches.
Access To Water
Your garden bed should be located near a water source. Water is key to successful growth and for you to have successful watering sessions, you need to ensure that there is a water source right next to your garden bed.
Exposure To Sun
Depending on the plants you grow, set your garden bed in a position where the plants will receive adequate sunlight which is a crucial element in their healthy growth. Most vegetables require 6 hours a day in the sun while ornamental plants such as ferns thrive in shady areas.
To be able to grow anything you desire on your garden bed you need to ensure that you have filled it with high-quality soil that has the ideal weight, texture, and draining capacity to promote the growth of different plants.
Level Of The Area Where The Garden Bed Has Been Set Up
The spot where you will construct your garden bed has to be level to ensure that the raised bed surface is flat so that all the plants have equal exposure to nutrients and fair chances of growing success.
Raised garden beds offer diverse options in gardening styles and make gardening much easier and fun. It is possible to plant and grow different crops in a small space. Here at Kelowna’s Kel Lake Garden Centre we believe that the key elements to successful raised gardening beds are rich and good draining soil, adequate water, sun, and appropriate fertilizer for optimum growth. Reach out to us today if you need more information or assistance in starting your own raised garden bed.