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Why use raised beds?

If you are thinking of using raised beds in your garden or allotment then you will be wondering what advantage they give you over gardening straight into the ground. So let me give you some of the benefits of raised beds and why you should or shouldn’t use raised beds.

why use raised beds
why use raised beds

Why use raised beds?

There are numerous reasons why you might want to use raised beds in your garden or allotment. You can easily improve the soil, it helps to keep weeds away from your beds and they can even make gardening easier for disabled or elderly gardeners.

Let me jump into the reasons to use raised beds in more detail below.

Better soil

So raised beds can give you better soil, but how exactly? Well, this comes from the fact that most gardeners fill their raised beds with a compost mix. This helps improve the soil immediately.

Having a nice compost mix sat on top of your normal soil will have numerous benefits beyond just the extra nutrition it will provide to any plant grown in it.

You will improve sandy soil and help it retain more water and you will also improve claggy clay soils that usually hold onto too much water.

Compost top layer in my raised beds
Compost top layer in my raised beds

Fewer weeds

Raised beds can help to reduce the number of weeds in your beds. One of the main ways they do this is by stopping creeping weeds like grass from being able to easily get into your beds. If you grow in beds on the ground next to grass you will soon find it creeping its way back into the bed.

This is not as much of a problem with raised beds because of the physical barrier, although it can still happen. one way to prevent it from happening is to use a plastic barrier down the side of your raised bed. you can then run this under the side and out.

You can then put bark or gravel over the plastic that comes out from under the raised bed to create a weed free path. if you have fewer weeds in your paths you will have fewer weeds in your beds.

Less soil compaction

This one is fairly obvious. The soil in raised beds won’t be walked on as it can be with regular beds. This will obviously reduce the amount of compaction in your soil.

This will make the soil easier to dig and garden in but it will also improve the overall health of your soil as overly compacted soil is not a good thing.

Ease of access

If you are a disabled gardener or just find it harder to bend down these days then raised beds can make gardening fun again. You can build your raised beds as high as you want and even make them wheelchair accessible.

If you build them up to wheelchair height and put decent paths in then it is easy to garden straight out of a wheelchair.