This page may contain affiliate links. Learn More.
Raised garden beds are fairly popular among gardeners these days. What’s all the hype? There is nothing wrong with gardening right in the ground, but raised beds offer some different options to gardeners as growing spaces.
Building raised beds can be expensive and it does take time to build them and fill them. They can also fix a whole host of gardening problems and for us at Little Sprouts, they work.
Raised beds help your soil warm up faster in spring and stay warm longer in the fall. Why? Because they are up above ground level. This helps the sun to reach more of the surface of the soil and warm it quicker when you are waiting for gardening season or wanting to extend it later into fall.
Raised beds can be a great fix for terrible growing soil. In my area of Oklahoma, I have about a half inch of silt, then underneath there is about 6 inches of clay, then about 8 inches of shale and under that, boulders.
There is not a lot of good growing medium involved there. You cannot grow in straight clay. It will drown all your plants because it doesn’t drain. So, I can amend my soil, but for the clay we have, which you could sculpt, it would take a lot of organic matter and a lot of time and effort. I can build beds on top of my land and have great growing medium much sooner.
Raised beds can give you safer soil
Raised beds are also helpful in areas where soil is contaminated. A barrier can be placed on the ground and the bed built above the contamination so people can still grow safe, healthy food in those areas.
Raised beds can keep out some animals such as turtles that would eat all our strawberries. The height of them can be a deterrent to some pesky hungry critters.
Raised beds can regulate water
Raised beds can help gardeners manage floods. I live on a flood plain, so if I gardened in the ground in our first garden area or our expansion area, that ground would be under water 1-2 months of the growing season. Raised beds are higher up and they drain well, so that lets us garden the whole growing season.
Last spring, we had torrential rains for months. Many gardeners planted and watched the rains wash away their gardens multiple times and then gave up growing for the year. I didn’t have to do that because our beds protected our plants and seeds. In the area I live, this is a great help.
Less weeds with raised garden beds
Raised beds have less weeds. Bringing in planting medium that is free of grass and other weeds gives you a leg up on the weeds when you begin. In my book anything with less weeding is a winner. You can also place a weed barrier under the bed before you build it to keep out future grass.
You can take it with you. If you move, your garden can be moved with you if you should so choose.
Plants are easier to reach in raised beds
Raised beds are more accessible. Gardeners don’t have to bend over quite as far to work the raised bed and that helps save your back and knees from extra stress. Beds can even be built super tall for physically impaired individuals. That sounds kind of awesome!
Raised beds are beautiful! I love the look of the cedar ours are built with. It’s beautiful and I love wood. I love decorated beds and plain ones and everything in between. They are works of art.
Raised beds can be as simple or complicated as you would like them to be. They are functional, beautiful and practical for use. You don’t need to be a carpenter or have any skills to be able to build them, check out how we built ours with NO skill whatsoever by clicking here.
Cheap raised garden beds
You can use scrap materials to save money on raised beds. Most fence panels are cedar, if you find a discarded privacy fence or other discarded wood, you can build raised beds out of scraps. Check out how we built cheap raised beds for our preschool garden.
Best wood for raised beds
The best wood for raised garden beds is cedar. It will last the longest, hold up to moisture and repel bugs. Pine is also a good choice. The best choice for making beds is what you have available.
To see more examples of gardens and beds, including the Growing a Greener World raised beds, get some vegetable garden ideas from these garden tours.
For instructions on how to build your own greenhouse, click here.
Would you like a simple video on how to build raised garden beds?
Need more help getting started in the garden?
Check out this printable garden planner to help you map out what you want to grow and where too!
And check out how to grow your own salad garden here.