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The Many Advantages of Raised Bed Gardening

Posted in Railway Sleeper News by Admin on April 27th 2015

For many years people have been gardening using raised beds and from a first glance they may just appear as a box were the soil level is higher than the area around and not be obvious as to show what the real advantages are.

The most evident advantage of using raised beds in gardening is the easy access, and those with back, knee or any other debilitating problems will appreciate not having to stoop around the garden as much and even in some cases not at all. When speaking of raised beds and the many variations you can get, railway sleepers are the ideal choice for this instance as they can also provide a nice wide platform for the gardener to sit whilst tending to his/her crops (Only if they are secured in place, of course..)

Another not so obvious advantage of raised bed gardening is the improved quality of the soil. This is because of a number of reasons; first it allows the gardener to ‘fine-tune’ the mix with fertilizer and amendments to give the crops all the nutrients and water it needs, but also there is the fact that in a raised garden bed no one is going to step onto the soil and therefore it will not be compacted and/or disturbed.

Not the most important, but one of the most rewarding advantages of raised bed gardening is the increased yield of crops. Unlike generic flatbed gardening, raised beds heat up more quickly during the spring time allowing seeds to be planted much earlier.

This also ties in with the previous improved soil quality advantage where, as the soil will be less compacted it will allow for improved movement of air and water as well as allow the roots to spread out and seek nutrients more easily. Also with the improved loose soil, a raised bed can be planted more densely with the only impact being a higher yield.

Example picture of a raised garden bed.

When it comes to pest control and weed supression, flatbed row gardening can fall into some pretty frustrating situations. Though raised bed gardening can make it much more difficult to weed due to the dense planting, it does however offer a very good prevention alternative.

Raised bed gardening is essentially nutrient rich soil enclosed in a box made of various materials, though usually wood, that are placed above the ground, so people might wonder that the 'walls' of these boxes must offer some protection and they would be right.

The walls of a raised garden bed along with a ground sheet/ permeable weed membrance and weed-free soil can be a great solution to weed free and healthy crops by simply blocking out many blowing seeds and most rhizomous plants.

Pest control problems can be solved too when using raised garen beds. Simple by putting wire mesh underneath the raised bed, similar to where you'd place a permeable membrane, it can prevent many rodents and pests from accessing the underside and eating any crops and also if need be, use mesh such as chicken wire placed around the outside and topside on the garden beds to further protect against pests.

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