When you say flower bed, most people think of a familiar thing. The prepared soil directly on the ground in which ornamental or other plants or crops are planted. However, this classic and time-tested method of cultivation is literally beginning to ring the bell. This is because a new, for some people quite unique, method is gradually emerging. These are the so-called raised beds. At that point, the bed is no longer directly connected to the ground, but is at a certain height. What are the advantages, disadvantages, and why try this trend? There may be several reasons.
Where to start? Of course, with the main pros associated with this solution. There are several and they are also among the reasons to try and implement this solution. Among the biggest pros of raised beds are
- convenience when planting and weeding,
- the ability to influence the overall soil composition of the bed,
- lower weed levels,
- less susceptibility to ground frost compared to conventional beds.
Disadvantages include, for example, the limited lifespan of the wood from which the containers are made, the work involved in their manufacture or the need to replace the entire substrate over time.
These beds also dry out more often and therefore need more watering to operate.
How to build a raised bed quickly and easily
In addition to the basic material for the body of the raised bed itself, which can be wood, wooden pallets, or even stone, brick, metal, etc., we will also need properly stacked layers to ensure that the bed grows the best crop possible. If we want to avoid pests, the first thing we should do is to use, for example, rabbit netting to prevent unwelcome visitors. Next comes a layer of branches (deciduous tree branches are used), then wood chips, inverted grass clippings, followed by compost and soil. The beds are established in autumn or spring.
What to grow in it and what it should look like?
The specific dimensions of the raised bed are entirely up to you. Keep in mind that you should be able to comfortably reach the centre of the bed from all sides. It is not advisable to make the bed too high to make it more difficult to water, but too low will lose the advantage of avoiding too much bending when pulling weeds or harvesting crops. Plants that require a lot of nutrients to grow, such as cucumbers or tomatoes, can be grown here, but flowers, strawberries and herbs – almost anything – will also thrive, provided the plants are looked after carefully.