There are many ways of structuring your garden. One way that is gaining popularity is raised beds.
A raised bed garden consists of erecting beds of soil on top of the ground. Like any gardening style, there are advantages and disadvantages of raised bed gardening. There are also a few options to consider when creating your raised bed.
The advantages of having raised beds are as follows:
Having raised beds allows you to blend your soil so that’s it is more tailored to growing plants with specific needs. With raised bed you will have less chance of soil erosion, pesky critters, leaf litter and other organic debris affecting your plants. Raised beds are ideal for long rooted plants due to the several inches of soil under them. In addition, raised beds will decrease the fatigue of your knees and back.
Unfortunately all of those advantages come with a price:
Constructing a raised bed garden can be costly and very time consuming. When getting your parts, remember that lumber treated with creosote should not be used. The creosote will seep into your beds and kill your plants. The edges of your beds must be constructed properly and reinforced to prevent the sides of the bed from deteriorating over time. Raised beds tend to dry out faster than regular tilled beds and will required a more vigorous watering routine.
Options for raised beds:
Raised beds can be edged with lumber as stated above or the edges can be left unfinished. Obviously the finished edged beds will require more work, time and money to construct. I usually construct raised beds with the unfinished edges. Leaving the edges unfinished makes the bed look more natural. One word of caution with an unfinished edged raised bed; be sure to properly edge the bed before actually making it, and keep the sod cut back so the grass does not start to grow into your raised bed.
Remember raised beds are a big investment. Start building your raised grow beds, and you could see better plants in no time and your back and knees will hurt less too.