The traditional raised bed does wonders for soil drainage and aeration. But there is even more you can do . . .
Just a few years ago, “raised bed gardening” usually meant an area of the garden with low walls built around it, containing soil piled several inches above ground level. Raised beds were almost always for growing vegetables, and their purpose was to improve soil drainage, to make it easier to reach the plants from all sides, and to separate vegetable plants from the rest of the garden, making them less prone to visits from crawling pests.
Well, raised beds can still look like that now, of course, but they can also be self-contained elevated garden boxes and troughs, right up at waist level and filled with potting soil, growing everything from lettuce to pansies, basil to sweet peas!
With elevated planting beds, you can garden while sitting or standing — a nice treat for your back and knees!
Today’s elevated garden beds make gardening accessible for everyone. If you live in a city apartment, all you need is a few feet of sunshine to build (in about 10 minutes, with no tools!) a raised bed and start growing. If you have space at the top of the driveway or inside a narrow dog run at the side of the house, you have space for several raised beds. And if you want to bring your garden closer, so you can enjoy your fragrant flowers, beautiful herbs, and productive vegetable plants right at eye level, elevated garden beds are a wonderful solution.
Accessibility goes beyond mere space considerations, though. Many gardeners suffer from bad knees or backs, and being able to cultivate the garden from a standing or seated position is a godsend. Raised beds are a great way to introduce children to the joy of gardening without worrying about them scrabbling around (and inadvertently damaging) your beds and borders. They make it a whole lot easier to get out on a cold, drizzly morning and weed the vegetable patch, without becoming covered in mud and chilled to the bone!
Today’s raised garden beds are portable container gardens capable of growing big crops in less space!
And best of all, elevated garden beds are wonderful for the plants you grow. If you have gardened for even one season, you know that no garden soil is naturally perfect: we all wrestle with poorly draining, infertile soils. Crawling pests and tunneling animals have eaten our plants. Our beds and borders have become compacted as we walked among our plants to tend them, and we have all lost flowers, veggies, sometimes even entire plants to careless footsteps. By elevating the garden and growing plants in more controlled conditions, you will see quicker growth, better branching, more flowers, and healthier vegetables and fruit.
Building an elevated bed couldn’t be easier, thanks to our no-tools, no-hardware kit. Just unpack the weather-resistant, long-lasting Western Red Cedar planks and fit them together. The whole process takes between 5 and 10 minutes. Here’s a step-by-step from our friend Jon Peters, master craftsman and developer of the Inspiration for Creative Living video series:
Order your elevated garden beds today, and begin growing the best (and most enjoyable) crops of your gardening career this season! You will use and enjoy these beds for countless seasons.
Want more information about the materials, dimensions, and properties of these beds? Click here.
About Sappho Charney
Sappho Charney is a garden writer living in Lubbock, Texas.