For vegetable gardeners, the beginning of the year means the beginning of another growing season. The increasing popularity of raised vegetable beds has grown tremendously over recent years, but why? Why have so many gardeners turned to raising their own vegetables? There are several major reasons that this alternative method of gardening is gaining in popularity. Raised vegetable gardens have a few key advantages over simply planting directly into the earth. This article will discuss some of these key advantages and why more people are choosing to grow their own vegetables.
The first advantage of vegetable beds is that they provide additional space for your plants. Just imagine all the things you can get done if you could move all your plants into an area the size of a deck. You would have room to plant a garden, use your patio space for a seating area and even put a grill out for when the weather starts to get a little warm. Raised vegetable beds allow you more space because they are not in direct sunlight. In addition, they allow air to circulate which can be beneficial to your plants and can help to keep your plants from overheating and becoming too cold or dry.
The second advantage to planting a bed is that it can be easier on the gardener. Because the bed is raised up from the ground it becomes easier to water, weed and fertilize the bed. The gardener no longer needs to lug around heavy bags of fertilizer because the bed will do that work for them.
Another major plus for home vegetable gardening is the decor factor. When you look at a vegetable garden, you may notice that it is in a pretty decorative surrounding. Raised beds don’t take away from the home or yard. They actually enhance both. By adding a border, by creating an area for the plants to grow, or by choosing a raised bed design the whole landscape can benefit.
One of the main benefits of having a raised bed garden is the watering requirements. If you have a built in drip irrigation system, it is quite evident that the gardener will need more water than if they were planting in a traditional soil type garden. With drip irrigation systems the irrigation hose passes over the top of the bed and then into the ground. So when the water dries on the outside of the bed it flows back into the irrigation head below and the roots are able to absorb the water before it is absorbed by the leaves of the plants.
For vegetable gardeners without an irrigation system, this can pose a significant problem. It can mean more frequent waterings, as well as more frequent weeds. For this reason many people choose vegetable planting in beds over other landscape arrangements because of this limitation. Vegetable planting in beds allows the gardener to control the amount of water applied, which in turn minimizes the amount of time the gardener has to wait between waterings, and also minimizes the risk of suffering from weeds.
Raised beds are also better for the environment. Due to the fact that the plants are in a protected environment they don’t need to be sprayed with insecticides, herbicides, or pesticides. This saves both time and money for the gardener. The plants have more of a chance to acclimatize to their new environment due to being in a protected zone. They also do not need to be moved as often, which saves both space and money.
There are many different types of raised garden beds that a gardener may decide to use for their plants. The one that is most commonly chosen is the one that is made from cedar. The reason for this is that cedar is one of the easiest and most durable woods to grow vegetables in. When using cedar as a bed lining, it is important to apply a stain or paint to make the bed look more natural, especially if you have a traditional look family style home.