Raised bed gardening is ever-growing in popularity today, with people all over the world making up fantastic ideas on how to utilize it best, and they show off their impressive results online. But, the concept actually dates all the way back to medieval times.
Back then, gardeners used wattle fences to edge the garden beds. Some half a millennia later, in the 18th century, the gardeners of the Parisian market used horse manure. It is said that during these pre-vehicle times, their raised garden beds would go one or even two meters in height.
And, the method evolved further until the 1970s, when it took the shape of what it is today. It was then when gardeners began using fine and deep tilth and mount it between paths. Beds were mostly round in shape, which increased the growth area, and the richer soil increased yield. It was clear that this was the future of gardening.
Today’s urban gardeners thrive in virtually all environments, and it is all thanks to the modern methods of raised garden beds, raised vegetable beds, and gardening in general. This provides them access to gardening in urban areas, which would otherwise be impossible, but, and more importantly, it provides them to their own yield of fruits, vegetables, and all sorts of plants fully home-grown.
While the advantages of raised garden beds are too many to count, here are eight reasons the urban gardeners those keen on a spot of landscape maintenance use them in their gardens:
1. Raised beds help keep out critters
Even just for the height gained this way, raised garden beds are less accessible for some critters, especially the wrong kind. Dogs, rabbits, squirrels, voles, groundhogs, and even cats will all be less inclined or permanently disabled by the inaccessible garden bed height (for them). Sure, cats and squirrels can jump, but depending on the position, material you use for your bed, and the height, you may discourage this.
2. Improved Soil
Garden beds, by default, allow the urban gardener to use whichever soil he or she wants. So, you can use richer, more nourishing soil than the native. But, the soil itself will also stay in better shape for a longer period, and raised bed gardening provides multiple opportunities for this.
3. Weed & Pest Control are simplified
Needless to say, that once you separate the soil from the native, it will be weed-free, or at the very least you will be able to detect and control it with unparalleled ease this way. Having soil separated like this gives you managing capabilities you would rarely get in other gardening methods. Also, you can do your pest control as need be, adapt it to each bed separately, and there will even be fewer pests in general because of the soil separation.
4. Raising your soil means better drainage
As mentioned, raised garden beds make soil managing incredibly easier and provide opportunities otherwise impossible. Thus, this method practically removes erosion from the equation, while the soil conserves water and nutrients almost indefinitely by building them up along the slopes and contour lines. And, when the time comes, you can just recycle the soil with little effort and investment.
5. Better for the health of the gardener (no back pains)
If utilized at the proper height, garden beds provide ease of access for all gardeners, young and old. The proper height varies depending on the plants you use, the environment, but also your reach. You can adapt them so that you have no trouble working around them.
6. Option to plant raised beds earlier in the season
Since you control the soil in virtually all aspects, this helps prolong the planting season. Raised vegetable beds, for instance, can be utilized even in the winter to grow some veggies out of their season. Of course, you will need to control the climate and other conditions successfully, but it is doable.
The prolonged planting season goes for both earlier and later than usual. One can imagine what leverage this would give if you are, for example, selling your fruits and vegetables in the market. You could offer fresh, home-grown, organic greens in any season.
7. They are the best option for beginners
And, since there are so many aspects you control, there are fewer unexpected things you need to worry about. With raised garden beds, the urban gardener’s work has been simplified and made easier by a huge margin, meaning that it is accessible for more people, even without prior experience.
8. They can be temporary
Setting up garden beds is easy, and it can provide plenty of aesthetic opportunities to turn your yard or home into a real Garden of Eden. But, if need be, you can also take it all down and move with no fuss. Depending on what materials and building methods you use, sometimes you can just move them together with the plants still in the soil.
Raised garden beds are the future of gardening, and they have been so for a long time. This method simply cuts through so many usual obstacles, that it has proven to be invaluable for the urban gardener of the modern civilization. With cities overcrowding, climate change, overpopulation, and pollution, garden beds may still play an even more important part of our society’s future.
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