A raised vegetable garden is a great and easy idea that works for all people. Conventional gardening involves roto-tilling possibly hard and impacted dirt and backbreaking labor. Even when the garden is finished, it takes up a lot of space and involves even more hardship on the body: the constant bending over a person has to do in order to weed the garden and pick the vegetables is not good even for the healthiest individual.
A raised vegetable garden is a great option for people with minimal space and who may want something easier on the body. With a raised garden, you simply buy the wood boxes and soil (there are many plans easily downloadable online for how to construct the boxes). Once assembled, you can even take it a step further and make it ornamental, cobblestone walkways around the boxes can give your backyard a clean and beautiful appearance and also allows visitors a good look at your gorgeous vegetables!
This is also a plus for those who want to throw a little art into their backyard space, but are unsure where to begin. You can construct the boxes in whatever shapes you wish and even include carved pieces for an added bit of flair.
Many people even choose to make their raised beds more “green” or environmentally friendly by using what would have previously been trash: an old refrigerator can be put on its back and filled with soil or an old dresser. To create a vintage vibe, paint the recycled materials and then use sandpaper to give it an “old farmhouse” look. The possibilities are endless to create art within your vegetable garden! For a look with edge, you can even deconstruct an old car and use the pieces to create an interesting series of metal boxes!
For people who live in apartments or places with small backyard space, raised beds are also a great option because you can construct whatever size garden box you want: from the size of a small coffee table to a swimming pool, all it takes is a little imagination! Not only that, but an organic garden is made with ease with a raised bed.
No need to spray any harsh chemicals or pesticides on the leaves, your bed is high enough to keep a very close eye on the plants and catch any nasty bugs before the situation develops where you might lose your crop. However, if you are also of the mind that a few chemicals are needed, the beds are also at a great height to spray whatever it is you need, without worry that you are not getting everything.
Once your box and/or walkway are assembled, you are free to put down any sort of soil you want. Here is the greatest pro in a raised garden: how often have we spent hours hunched over a rototiller, moving hard clay-like soil in order to make our vegetable gardens? With a raised garden, you simply choose whatever soil you feel is best (your local gardening or hardware store may be able to help you with this) and fill the box! Simple!
And once your vegetables start growing, weeding also involves no bending or long hours hunched over; you simply reach over and pull! The heights of your beds are variable, of course, depending on your materials and need. There is even an option of making the “legs” from old car jacks, making the height changeable! This is especially helpful when you have different people tending to the garden, from children to adults. Some may find it easier to see it at a low level, some at a higher level and how fun is it to make gardening accessible to everyone in your house!
What plants work best in a raised bed? Anything! From carrots to potatoes to watermelons! The only consideration is deepness of the bed, of course. If you want a nice long carrot, don’t construct a shallow bed. The carrot will not be able to get any length. Even pumpkins can grow in a raised bed. In that respect, make sure your beds are sturdily made so that even something very heavy will not tip it over or make the boards come undone. Of course, gardening creates more gardening.
With your compost from your first crop, include it in the soil of your raised beds so that your first soil purchase is your only purchase! In a traditional garden, composting is also a great idea, but because of the toughness of the soil, the end result may take years to see. And with a raised bed, you not only see it immediately, but you see it close-up and magnified! Having a raised bed vegetable garden is an excellent idea in a society where production costs are rising.
Finally, let me just say this. If you’re just getting started, start small and build. Build just one bed or two small beds. Next season, add another bed or tier. Also, keep in mind that different vegetables grow at different times of the year. You can rotate what you’re growing through the different seasons. Have fun, and plan on growing as you grow.
For little to no money, you can make an easy and fun alternative to traditional gardening that anyone can help with and participate. Having your own home garden layout is truly a fun and simple idea!