Whether you live in a penthouse suite with a skyline view, a townhome in the suburbs or are otherwise cramped for space, raised garden beds are the perfect solution. And the benefits don’t stop at space either.
Raised garden beds allow you to contain the soil. With sturdy walls in place made up of brick, wood, stone and everything in between, you can rest easy knowing torrential rains from a Midwest thunderstorm won’t wash away or erode your soil.
It doesn’t matter which soil type Mother Nature has decided to grace your yard with, because you get to pull the puppet strings and fill your garden bed with whatever type your heart desires. Throw in some organic matter for best results.
For those of us with achy joints or worn out backs, this form of gardening is gentler on the body than a traditional garden. Beds built to an appropriate height mean less “ow’s” and “ouch’s” being shouted while kneeling and bending over, and more time spent caring for your plants.
Gravity does more than just keep our feet firmly planted on the ground, it also forces water to constantly run downhill. This results in excellent drainage in raised beds because water is being pulled down and moved throughout, making saturated soil and rotted roots tough to come by.
Finally, raised garden beds offer another layer of protection from pests and unwanted intruders. Placing your garden on top of a metal screen is an effective way to keep out those sneaky rodents trying to burrow their way in, and dense planting combined with walls make it tough for pathway weeds and pests such as snails and slugs to make themselves at home.
“All of this gives me the overwhelming urge to build my own, but I’m not hard hat savvy. How do I go about constructing one?” This is where you can get creative and use your imagination. That old wagon either you or kids no longer use can be rolled out and converted into a garden on wheels. Old water troughs can be remodeled into aesthetic works of art. Even old dressers with deep drawers can be pulled out part way and filled with soil to create a makeshift staircase garden. If you can think it, you can transform it. But if you’re looking for a more traditional wooden bed, Sunset offers a step-by-step guide on how to build your own. And if all else fails, pre-made beds are always an option.
A whole new world for water troughs.
How big or small should the garden bed be? Like a traditional garden, you can make it as big or small as you want. Generally, they are built in rows of only 2 to 4 feet wide so you are able to water, prune, plant and harvest without having to step foot inside and compact the soil.