Starting Raised Bed Vegetable Gardens:
Starting a vegetable garden in a raised bed offers a lot of benefits over traditional gardens. This type of garden is especially useful for gardeners who have limited space to grow in, or those who have extremely poor soil conditions. While starting a vegetable garden in the ground is by far the most common way of doing it, there are drawbacks to this way of gardening.
First off, you are forced to work with the soil you have available. Now this might seem like a "duh" statement, but think about it for a moment. Wouldn't you much prefer to choose the soil you have to work with rather than deal with what you have? You might say sure but that's not what has been given to us so what can we do? Raised bed vegetable gardens are not subject to this particular law of nature. Since you are building the garden boxes above ground, you will also need to fill them with some soil mixture. This gives you the perfect opportunity to defy Mother Nature and grow in the soil that you want to grow in.
Separating Your Raised Bed Vegetable Gardens:
Another opportunity that presents itself to you using raised bed vegetable gardens is the ability to segregate your garden and offer different growing conditions for specific plants. Say you want an entire garden bed of corn, and another one of tomatoes, etc. Instead of planting row after row of vegetables, you can group them together in their individual beds and make tending them much easier.
Let's face it, tending a large garden is not an easy thing to do. Dealing rows and rows of vegetables are even harder, that's why modern farms use big expensive equipment and thousands of pickers to get the job done. When you are working by yourself, or just with 1 partner, you need to find all the ways you can to lighten the work load. I've started numerous raised gardens for various plants and I absolutely love this gardening technique because of how easy they are to maintain.
Dimensions for Raised Bed Vegetable Gardens:
The general rule of thumb when building a raised flower bed is to try to keep them no more than 4 feet wide, with an open path on either side. The reason for this is a simple one, access! It's very easy to lose control of a larger garden if you are not able to reach the entire garden from outside the planting area. This is especially true with raised bed vegetable gardens and one of the primary reasons I find this design so enjoyable to work with. With only a 4 foot width, most gardeners can easily reach every nook and cranny inside that planting bed, even those of you who have shorter arms.
The other benefit to keeping the planting bed at 4 feet wide is you should rarely, if ever, need to walk inside the garden boxes. This is a critical feature that many gardeners overlook. You spend all that time preparing your garden prior to planting; tilling the soil, adding amendments, making sure everything is just right for your vegetables. One of the worst things you could do is then walk around inside the box, compacting all that rich loose soil. Your vegetables will do better if you can avoid walking through their growing environment as much as possible.
Planting Raised Bed Vegetable Gardens:
Once you have your raised bed vegetable gardens built and ready for planting, you will need to decide what to plant and where. For the most part this is a relatively easy thing to do as most veggie gardeners tend to stick to less than a dozen different vegetables that they grow at any given time. This is a fine method as well as it keeps your garden once again manageable and easy to work with. It never hurts to consider different ways to optimize your garden for maximum results however.
One such way to accomplish this is to learn the technique of companion vegetable planting. We have another article detailing this technique more, and you can find that by using our search bar at the top of the page. The basic concept however is easy to explain. As you are growing different vegetables, you will find that some vegetables will take longer to grow and mature than others. During that time you see a lot of empty space in that planting bed until the slow moving crops mature and fill out the area. You can use this slow growth period to hustle through various fast growing vegetables such as radishes, beets and lettuce. Something to think about!
Raised Bed Vegetable Gardens Accessibility:
I would like to throw one more benefit to raised bed vegetable gardens that might not have crossed your mind. As you start researching this particular gardening method you will see a heavy focus on accessibility. This is because among all the other benefits raised planting beds offer, this is one of the biggest. You can build your bed just about as high as you need them to be, even high enough to be handicapped accessible if need be. This makes them a great option for a family member who may not have as much mobility as he or she used to.
You will find tending your raised garden is far easier than working at ground level as well, saving a lot of wear and tear on your back. I found that once I had built my first raised garden, even the kids were more willing to come out and "play" in the garden because it didn't feel like it was as much work…go figure! In the end gardening should be a fun hobby for you and your family and there are countless ways to go about it. Raised planting beds are just one such avenue for you to explore.
Copyright © 2010-2013 1001-Landscaping-Ideas.com All Rights Reserved.