Recently, modular garden beds have experienced a huge increase in popularity due to several features that make them attractive to gardeners of all skill levels. Raised garden beds provide many benefits such as control over soil quality, abundant harvests in a limited space, and pest deterrence. They are especially suitable for those living in urban areas, who are often faced with space constraints.
If you are planning on building or installing a raised bed, then it is important that you carefully consider the properties of raised garden beds. Setting up a raised garden bed can be a fun and effortless experience if you are well prepared. This article examines the benefits of raised garden beds, as well as a few considerations to keep in mind before you make a decision.
1. Better Quality Soil
One of the main reasons for purchasing a raised bed is better control over the soil quality. Many gardeners find that the native soil in their backyards is not conducive to growing vegetables. As you might already know, a clay-heavy soil that drains poorly can cause a variety of problems, leading to rotted roots. Sandy soil dries rapidly and is unable to retain proper nutrients, which stunts plant growth.
The ideal soil type is sandy loam, which is essentially soil that is loose, well-draining, and rich in organic matter. You can buy specialty bagged raised garden bed soil to fill your raised bed or you can experiment by combining garden soil with potting soil, making sure to use more garden soil than potting mix, usually at a 5:1 ratio. Raised beds provide a good opportunity for you to add rich, weed-free soil with great drainage properties to ensure a successful harvest. We recommend that you use organic compost or mulch to improve the soil quality.
2. Reduced Bending Over
Tending to your plants becomes exponentially easier when you choose modular garden beds. Our beds, which are 17 – 32″ tall, offer easy access and help avoid back pain. A raised garden bed is an ideal choice for gardeners who experience back problems or knee issues because it eliminates the pain of bending over to weed, plant, and harvest their gardens. Even if you do not have back problems, you should consider a raised garden bed to be a good investment in your long term health, as continuously tending to a garden on the ground can have a taxing toll on your back.
3. Adding Style to Your Garden
Apart from their functionality, raised garden beds add a decorative element to the garden. They can help brighten up places in the yard that are deemed eyesores or provide an attractive focal point in your outdoor dining area. By utilizing bed edges in innovative styles, applying garden stickers, or adding stone and wood borders, you can choose from a variety of elements to customize your garden bed according to your taste. For a modern, industrial aesthetic, we recommend great options such as metal raised garden beds and galvanized raised garden beds. Make sure to plan and position your garden bed carefully in an optimal space, as they can be difficult to move later on.
4. Deter Pests
Well-designed raised beds help deter pests from invading your garden. If you are experiencing visits from unwanted critters or infestations, consider investing in a raised bed to alleviate the pest problem. In addition, Vego garden extra tall garden beds are tall enough to stop deer and other larger animals from trampling the plants over your garden.
5. Extending Your Harvest
Some vegetables like onions require a long growing season. In cold climates, there is a shorter growing season and the soil takes a long time to warm up. Taller raised beds defrost quickly in the Spring, leading to an extension of your harvest time. With a raised bed, you can plant earlier in the Spring because the soil warms up sooner. The superior drainage of the soil in a raised bed helps regulate the soil temperature by warming it more quickly than soil at ground level. This allows you to begin your gardens earlier in the year, and produce harvests for an extended period of time.
6. Decrease Soil Compaction
Raised garden beds prevent you, and your pets, from inadvertently stepping on your garden, leading to reduced soil compaction. As a result of reduced soil compaction, your plants are given the opportunity to develop healthy root systems. Raised garden beds also have better drainage due to the texture and compaction of the soil. This leads to healthier plants because well-drained soil delivers the ideal balance of water and air circulation to the roots, allowing them to withstand even severe weather conditions.
7. Capacity of the Raised Garden Bed
Raised garden beds should have solid structural supports that can withstand weather, erosion, and rot. We recommend Vego metal beds as they are extremely corrosion resistant and durable, with a longevity of 20 years. Metal raised garden beds are especially beneficial in areas prone to flooding and marshy environments, because they enable you to extend the growing season.
When planning the dimensions of your bed, it is important to consider space constraints. Raised garden beds are usually limited to 4 ft wide for easy accessibility. They should also be deep enough to accommodate the depth requirements of your plants, especially if you are placing your bed on hard surfaces, such as the patio. When it comes to vegetable beds, the bed must be approximately 12 to 18 inches deep to ensure adequate depth for the roots of your plants.
Materials for raised garden beds can be costly, especially if they are made from materials such as stone or bricks. If you do not want the inconvenience of purchasing and measuring materials to assemble for DIY garden beds, you can buy premade garden kits at Vego Garden. They are easy to assemble and give you the flexibility of customization based on your available space.
8. Selection of Right Type of Wood or Metal
As raised garden beds could be constructed out of a wide array of different materials, including bricks, metal, and stone, choosing one can be difficult. The most common options available are wood and metal. Wood such as untreated wood and modern treated wood are widely available nowadays, making wooden beds comparatively easy to find and purchase. A common complaint of untreated wooden beds is their impermanence, as they tend to last only five years, depending on your climate. Pressure-treated woods can last longer, but may contain chemicals unsafe for growing vegetables.
Be wary of wood that is used for construction purposes, which you should not use to grow vegetables. These products contain wood preservatives designed to help control problems related to wood degradation, which is caused by fungal decay or rot, wood-destroying insects, and sap stain. Both the treatment process along with the utilization of treated products increases the risk to the environment and human health.
Vego Garden utilizes safe, high-quality hardware and paint in their beds. The paint Vego Garden uses is from AkzoNobel, the most renowned paint supplier and USDA certified grade. Vego Garden metal raised beds are made from Aluzinc coated steel, commonly known as Aluzinc. Aluzinc is a recyclable metallic coating formed from a mixture of Aluminum, Zinc and Silicon that provides superior performance and corrosion resistance under different environmental conditions. Unlike chemical-treated wood or plastic, only a micro amount of elements will leach into the soil during the entire life of our garden beds. Even if this happens, there is no need for concern, as aluminum, zinc and steel are essential elements for soil.