Raised bed gardens can mean many different things! At its core, however, a raised bed garden refers to any planting bed placed atop existing soil. These beds may range in height from just a few inches tall up to waist-high (or higher), made of various materials, and typically leave space around each edge for easy walking access–this allows the soil to remain looser rather than compacted and helps roots to flourish better by providing air and water circulation through the soil.
Raised Garden Beds: Benefits
There are numerous advantages of gardening with raised beds. click over here to know all!
- These materials drain efficiently and help prevent erosion.
- The raised beds are visually pleasing!
- Raised beds give you complete control over the soil you add, making it possible to plant intensively; plants grown close together in raised beds mature faster.
- Beds with raised edges prevent weeds from taking over, providing an elevated surface away from surrounding weeds and disease- and weed-free soil.
- Raised beds warm up earlier than traditional planting methods and extend your growing season as they heat more rapidly than ground-level soil.
- Raised beds offer an effective solution to keeping things organized and in their proper places. Since you won’t be walking directly on the soil, it won’t get compacted as easily and can remain loose without needing backbreaking digging each spring. Raised beds help you remain organized.
- Raised beds make square-foot gardening and companion planting much simpler.
- Doing garden chores becomes easier and more comfortable when you don’t have to bend and kneel as much. Reduce strain on knees and back while tending your garden!
- Raised beds can be an excellent solution for small spaces where conventional row gardening is too unruly and messy.
- Rotating crops every year makes life simpler.
Raised Bed Gardening Materials: What You Need to Know
From cinder blocks to stone, selecting raised bed materials can be a daunting task, so when choosing, you must consider these five characteristics: naturalness, durability, beauty, sustainability, and affordability.
Select a Durable Raised Bed Material
Your raised garden beds must withstand various types of weather over their long lives, so select a material that is made to stand up against these challenges.
Untreated wood has a limited lifespan; however, using materials like cedar, redwood, cypress, or hemlock can extend that by five or ten years, giving your raised beds decades of use! Steel outshines all other options regarding durability, while stone or brick may last even longer!
Choose Sustainable Bed Materials
Consider only sustainably sourced materials for your garden, which can present extra challenges. When purchasing hardwood, try to source from trees harvested sustainably and check with millers about replanting trees after harvesting; when purchasing steel or metal materials, find out their journey history and excavation practices; for stone materials, whenever possible, choose materials native to your region.
Wood Is the Cheapest Raised Bed Material
Wood is the least costly and most sought-after material for creating raised garden beds. As shown by the chart above, wood meets all requirements perfectly.
Pine is typically the least expensive choice but will rot after a few years without treatment, while many untreated species do. Hemlock will last slightly longer.
Rot-resistant species like cedar, redwood, or locust last much longer but tend to be more costly; cedar stands out as both durable and insect-resistant thanks to oils in its structure; recycled plastic bottle wood may last forever; another option would be thicker boards of untreated larch wood that should last at least ten years without treatment!
Concrete’s extra heat retention capabilities make it ideal for Mediterranean-type herbs like rosemary and lavender to flourish, as its holes can be filled with soil mix to plant herbs or strawberries in. Each block measures 16 inches long by 8 inches high; prices at big box stores tend to be more reasonable.
Consider Your Budget When Selecting Raised Bed Materials
Affordability should always be top of mind when adding several raised beds to your space, particularly if you plan on installing several at once. Cedar is typically the least costly materials; steel and metal gardens follow closely behind, while stone installations with cement footers will likely cost the most.
If you’re not ready to commit to an extensive kitchen garden yet and want a less permanent solution (and a cheaper alternative), clay containers or fabric grow bags are good ways to grow safely and affordably.