Raised beds are becoming ever more popular, and it’s easy to see why: wooden raised beds are a great way to grow plants, vegetables and fruit right on your patio. They look great and allow you to create a simple, yet wonderful growing area – without the hassle of digging up plots in your garden.
This article is intended to show the wonderful benefits of raised beds and why they are so popular among gardeners, both professional and amateur.
Ease of Use
Raised bed planters are a simple way to grow your own plants and vegetables directly outside your own back door. With a simple yet effective design, raised beds can easily be located in the perfect position at the back of the house for easy access, while maintaining good levels of sunshine, shade and shelter. Without being ‘planted’ in the traditional sense, raised bed planters are reasonably mobile, allowing you to put them in another spot of your patio if you find the original position unsuitable for whatever reason.
The second and most obvious benefit of a raised bed garden is the height of the beds. This benefit often appeals to the older generation of gardeners whose knees “aren’t what they used to be”, or those people who just aren’t keen on getting their trousers muddy. Raised beds allow for easy access and simple gardening without the hassles that come with traditional vegetable plots. Less bending, no more squashing plants when trying to reach others – with a raised flower or vegetable bed, you can easily walk all the way around the outside and tend to each corner of the bed, without the stress or hassle that comes with a normal plot. The most obvious benefit of this is reduced back strain.
Raised beds allow a certain level of flexibility. Because they’re easy to manage and maintain, they’re also ideal for growing a variety of plants, fruits and vegetables in. Raised beds are often built with (or can come with) the addition of fixing points and attachments for adding netting hoops, cages, protection covers and more, to keep your crops safe from pests, the elements and other unwanted nasties. Plus, with a raised wooden base it’s very easy to add a protective lining to stop weeds getting through and infecting your bed.
Out of Reach
Raised beds have a simple advantage over and above your standard garden plot: the fact they are ‘raised’ makes them less prone to attack by the usual pests and creepy crawlies that are a menace to gardeners everywhere. Of course they aren’t immune, but they are easier to protect and are naturally better positioned to succeed.
With a raised bed, it’s easy to keep on top of the watering and maintenance of your plants and vegetables. You can use a watering can without having to bend into an awkward position, but you can also use soaker hoses for easy management that requires very little input from you but produces good yields for a long while to come.
Raised beds are designed to drain more easily that traditional grow bags, pots or plots. Overwatering is less of an issue and you’ll get a better amount of moisture throughout the bed to encourage perfect growth.
Raised beds are free from abuse and compaction. Where a normal garden plot might be trodden on by people, birds, cats and other animals, raised beds remain untouched (mostly) in this way, and therefore exhibit a looser soil to encourage easier growth. This also makes on-going maintenance far easier, as there’s less need for digging, re-digging and forking the soil.
Soil in raised beds often warms earlier and for longer periods than that of plots at ground level. They get more sun and retain more heat without dispersing it to surrounding areas. The wood and the protective lining surrounding the soil help retain and maintain the heat, encouraging better plant growth.
Although not exactly a benefit that will help you grow plants or a more substantial crop, it’s still worth a mention that the design of raised beds makes them a pleasant addition to any patio. They have an aesthetic quality that makes them highly appealing and they’ll easily bring a bit of greenery to even the smallest patio area.
Discover more about raised bed gardening and how to get the most out of your patio with Harrod Horticultural.