The idea of gardening conjures up all sorts of colorfully imaginative and creative endeavors involving ones yard. In a sort of romantic battle of Man/Woman vs earth, ultimate victory is achieved as the soil gives up the plentiful harvest which has been so carefully cultivated and cared for over several months (hard fought, sweat inducing, dirt-under-the-nails-months) with such love and attention to detail. The culmination of it all is seen as the proud gardener hauls their first “catch” into the kitchen for their astonished spouse and children to marvel at in wonder. All gather and heap praises upon she who would bring such deliciousness to the dinner table.
Does this sound familiar? Yeah, didn’t think so. The reality is that the process is usually a little more brutal. You gather your tools, mark off your garden area, and take to cultivating the earth only to quit in disgust an hour later. Too many rocks, you hit a root, and you may have even touched poison ivy. One really can’t be blamed for being discouraged, as tilling your yard into a fertile plot of land is not a one day or even a one man job. There has to be a better way, Right? Well, if you are even considering going through the effort of starting a garden, it may be in your best long-term interest to consider the raised garden bed.
Pros and Cons of Raised Garden Bed
A raised garden bed or container garden presents some solutions and ease-of-use not otherwise come by so easily with a traditional garden. While the initial cost involved in building your own raised garden bed may be more than that of turning a portion of your lawn into a growing space, the residual benefits may be worth it. Consider the following “perks”:
- Improved Weed Control (creeping grasses have a harder time sneaking in).
- Guarantee improved drainage by lining the bottom with sand & stone.
- Takes up very little space, if you so choose.
- Easier on the back, as the higher the bed the less bending over to care for it.
- Creative options in terms of layout (See photo).
- Some of your veggies can be planted earlier in the season, due to optimal temperature being reached in the raised bed sooner than the ground.
- Easy to cover, whether for pest control or with a greenhouse as the season heads into the cool months.
In addition to the aforementioned costs related to building the actual garden bed, you’ll also need to water with greater frequency due to the improved drainage. However, the explosion in popularity of raised garden beds over the last few years speaks to the fact that time and space-challenged homeowners are increasingly turning to this more maintenance-free way of growing. Whether it be vegetables or plants, raised garden beds just may be the choice for you.
While you can build your own with minimal effort, for the non thrill-seeker there exists numerous raised garden bed kits of varying widths, heights and layouts. Consider the line from Gronomics, which includes the L Shaped Raised Garden Bed, the Raised Garden Bed with a trellis kit, or the selection of Elevated Garden Beds. No matter what space you are working with, you are limited only by your creativity.
If you are tempted to get in the yard this summer and get growing, take a moment to consider the ease-of-use with a raised garden bed. We think you’ll be glad you did.