Posted by Callum VP, on August 24, 2020.
Gardening is hard but rewarding work, and it helps to find ways to reduce the labour while still enjoying great results. Raised bed planters are a common feature in many gardens because of this reason, while also offering a number of other great benefits. Read on to find out how they can help you in the garden this year.
What is a raised bed?
A raised bed is a large planting container that sits at a higher level above the ground, filled with soil to grow plants.
Instead of being a sealed in box, it works more as a frame as it does not have a top or bottom, connecting the soil inside with that at ground level. When placed in a clear spot in a garden with good-quality soil it can encourage fast and sustained growth of flowers, fruit and vegetables.
What are the benefits of using a raised bed?
The benefits of using a raised bed include:
Using a raised bed planter makes gardening a lot easier to manage, reducing a lot of hard work that usually goes into taking care of your greenery. Where a typical garden requires you to add fertilizer and other nutrients (known as tilling), with a raised bed you can just add the new materials you need on top.
Reduced back pain
Gardening places a lot of stress onto the back and knees due to all the bending down and arching over it involves. Raised beds reduce much of this strain on the body, improving your overall health in the process.
You can’t fully protect your garden from insects as it is their natural habitat, but you can slow them down with a raised bed planter. The tall sides of the box make it more difficult for them to get inside, while installing a copper flashing border could keep out slugs altogether. Placing a hardware cloth at the bottom of the box can also prevent rodents from eating into roots.
If you live in an area prone to flooding, a raised bed planter could be the best way to keep plants safe throughout the season. Most bed planters are at least 150mm in height, which should provide ample drainage, while also allowing enough breathing room for plants above wet conditions. Even during periods of heavy rain, raised beds usually drain more efficiently.
The process of tilling creates more weeds because weed seeds are buried deeper in soil where they can propagate. If you use cardboard to cover the raised bed planter during spring season it will kill any plants that managed to grow during winter. Rake off the dead weeds when it’s time to start planting to avoid them seeding, so you have a much healthier bed to work with.
Soil in raised bed planters tends to dry out faster during the spring and also increases in temperature at a quicker rate than ground soil. This is more likely to occur with the soil has been untilled and fortified with compost, allowing the soil to have better control over temperatures compared to soil lacking in the right nutrients.