Are Raised Beds Really Better for Gardening?
Raised beds benefits
If you’re unfamiliar with the advantages of growing in raised beds vs. in ground, you might think of raised beds in the kitchen garden as an unnecessary expense.
Hey, we get it. Lumbar prices are soaring, and then, on top of purchasing the bed materials, you have to fill them with soil. Don’t you have dirt in your backyard already? Why can’t you just pop some seeds into the ground and hope for the best? What’s all the fuss about anyway?
The truth is raised beds are becoming increasingly popular for good reason. They increase the convenience of tending your garden, they maximize your productivity, and they protect your plants from pests—not to mention, they look beautiful even when not filled with lush vegetation.
Raised beds are more convenient than in-ground gardens
Raised garden beds provide a level of convenience that make them the optimal choice over in-ground gardening. First of all, you can place your raised beds in the sunny location of your choice, including on a patio, a rooftop balcony, or right outside your kitchen window.
When you tend your garden, you’ll also find that raised beds require less weeding. Unlike the ground, your raised bed is filled with weed-free soil. Both the weed barrier at the bottom of a raised bed and the elevated sides of the raised bed prevent weeds from invading. The time you would have spent pulling weeds can now be used for enjoying your garden space.
Finally, the height of your raised beds is the biggest factor in their convenience. Gone are the days of destroying your knees kneeling on the ground just to plant some seeds. You can build your raised beds to stand at a height that makes tending more comfortable because you only have to bend slightly from the waste to be level with your plants.
Raised beds make gardening much more accessible for those with disabilities, mobility issues, or back pain.
Raised beds maximize your productivity
Growing in a raised bed allows you to start with great organic soil. The quality, makeup, and even texture of your soil make all the difference when it comes to growing an abundance of healthy fruits, flowers, and veggies.
Unfortunately, Central Texas does not provide us with naturally fantastic soil. Most of what you’ll find in your backyard is filled with clay or too many rocks, and while that may be good enough for some flowers and shrubs, the majority of edible plants you’ll want to grow in your kitchen garden have higher requirements. It would take you years of amending and working the soil in the ground here before it would be as healthy as the soil in a raised bed from day one.
Plus, the soil in your backyard could be filled with herbicides, pesticides, and other stuff you probably don’t want leaching into the plants you’re going to harvest and eat. Using organic soil means you have complete control over what’s going into your food garden.
When it comes to soil quality, don’t skimp. It’s worth the extra money to ensure the ultimate success of your garden. At Lettuce Grow Something, we fill every client’s beds with soil that’s rich in organic matter and guaranteed to keep plants happy and healthy.
Raised beds also give plants like tomatoes, eggplants, and kale the depth their roots need to dig deep. You’ll see larger and more luscious growth above the soil if you give your plants plenty of room down below.
And, thanks to the roots having plenty of space to grow vertically, you can plant your veggies closer together. You’ll actually be able to fit way more into a small space in a raised bed than you would in the ground.
If you’ve done some gardening already, you’ll know how important good drainage is to plant health. The soil we put in raised beds has a loose texture that retains moisture without letting roots sit in a bathtub of water for too long. That means the surface of a raised bed will stay cool and moist for longer than the soil of smaller containers, which means we can garden all the way into the stifling heat of summer.
Raised beds protect your plants from pests
Have you had an issue with pests digging up your garden? Not anymore!
Voles, moles, and other pesky underground pests are deterred from below by the weed fabric or hardware cloth that we add to the base of the raised bed before the soil.
The height of a raised bed, plus the sides themselves, present an obstacle for pests like slugs and snails and even rabbits.
If squirrels or deer are an issue, you can add hoops and mesh covers to your raised beds, a simple solution that will protect your veggies.
The clean lines of raised beds also make it much easier to see snakes than in-ground beds do, so you, the gardener, are better protected, too!
Raised beds add beauty to your outdoor space
Raised bed gardens add year-round beauty and harmony to your landscape. The installation of a well designed kitchen garden should feel like you’re adding an outdoor room to your yard, an inviting place where you can enjoy some fresh air with friends and family.
At Lettuce Grow Something, we design kitchen gardens that match the style of your house so that your garden feels like something that’s always been there. It is a natural extension of your home.
In-ground gardens can also be beautiful, but a raised bed has immediate visual interest, even when there’s nothing growing yet.
With distinct edges and pathways, the kitchen garden is a well-defined space that is easy to keep looking tidy, season after season.
We would love to come out to your space and discuss what a raised bed kitchen garden could do for you and your gardening goals.
We work with local sources and pick the most sustainable and durable materials possible for your custom raised beds. Whether your dream raised bed is made of wood, Corten steel, or stone, we have curated expert suppliers and fantastic products for you.
Learn how our full garden design process works, from initial consultation to the day of installation and beyond.
Our goal is to leave you with a productive and beautiful kitchen garden space that will flourish and bring you joy for years to come.
If you’re ready to make this your best gardening year yet (or your first gardening year ever), schedule an onsite or virtual consultation, and we can get started!