Why use raised garden beds?

By February 26, 2022 No Comments

Raised bed advantage

I’ve written a blog post about a community garden which popped up this summer across from my building in Port Moody, British Columbia. So, there the advantage of raised beds is obvious: you can run a lottery and let people take charge of one raised bed each.

But why raised beds? It’s a good question someone asked in a Facebook group.

My hit list

I like raised beds because I hate bending over all day. I used to have a community garden plot and I had to get on my knees to take care of it. If you’re older, go with a raised bed.

Since the plot is nicely defined, you eliminate the risk of stepping on other plants and compacting the soil.

Another advantage is weeds are less likely to migrate into your raised plot or get delivered there by wind. If you do get some drifting in, you can easily weed them out.

I also feel like animals and insects aren’t as bad in raised beds. There is some effort required to climb up.

Raised beds also look neater. Freshly installed, without plants, some residents in my neighbourhood wondered why there were “coffins” on the lawn; today the raised beds are well-used and there is new fencing around the garden.

When thieves hit your raised garden plot, it’s easier to detect.

Other advantages of raised beds

Soil in raised beds drains better and warms-up faster. That helps your plants grow better. It’s also much easier to amend; and, I suspect you will have to amend it because store-bought soils aren’t great. When I rented my garden plot years ago, the group brought in compost every spring. It definitely helped and it was fairly cheap.

Raised garden plots are easier to plant, weed and harvest. But we’ve covered that already under bending over.

If you’re worried about invaders, it’s easy to install barriers on all four sides to prevent invasions.

Somebody also suggested that it’s easier to install cold frames over raised beds.

Port Moody Rec Centre community garden (2021).

Give it a go

It’s best to create a raised bed and see how you like it. When I had a regular plot, it worked out fine because it was very small; and I didn’t have it for long. A year into my community garden membership, a bigger -raised!- plot became available.

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