Raised vegetable beds are an excellent choice for many people with a small backyard or garden. In this article we will look at the advantages of setting up raised vegetable beds as well as some of the materials that you can use to establish this style of gardening in your yard.
1.The biggest advantage of raised bed gardening for most people is that it is so much easier to maintain. Your beds are closer to eye level so you can see and eliminate weeds and pests so much more easily. Because of this, you are likely to spot them and deal with them before they become a serious threat to your vegetables.
2. The greater accessibility of the beds means less bending, so you can escape a lot of the physical discomfort of gardening. This is especially important for people with back problems or other physical difficulties, but it makes gardening easier for everybody. You can even take a chair or stool to sit on while you garden. If the height of the beds and the pathways between them are designed correctly, it can also make the garden wheelchair-accessible both for visiting and for carrying out gardening tasks from a wheelchair.
3. Some pests are less likely to invade your beds if they are raised up from the ground, simply because it is harder for them to crawl up. This is especially true of slugs if you have brick-built beds, but you can also restrict access by putting deterrents for particular pests such as ants around the base of your beds. In this way you can use pesticides without spraying your vegetables or having pesticide residues in the soil, so you are less likely to be eating pesticides when you harvest your vegetables.
4. When your garden is raised off the ground it is more visible from windows. The beds themselves can be attractive features and the plants are closer to eye level.
5. Raised vegetable beds provide a more substantial and permanent alternative to container gardening for those who do not have bare earth in their yard. You can establish raised beds and fill them with earth to a greater depth than most containers will allow.
You may even be able to establish a raised bed garden on a roof or large balcony, but be very careful not to overload it. Raised beds can be much heavier than containers, and you would not want your roof or balcony to collapse under the weight!
Materials for raised beds include brick, wood or plastic. Wood can look very attractive at first, but it is not so long lasting. It also requires chemical treatment that could then seep a small amount of chemicals into your soil and possibly eventually into your vegetable crops. Even if you have a lining, which is recommended, this can tear or be damaged by pests over the years.
Brick is the best solution for most gardeners because of its strength and relative permanence. Brick raised vegetable beds look very good and keep their attractive appearance for a long time.