Raised Bed Gardening Saves Our Backs
Well it’s finally hit us, we aren’t getting any younger and sometimes it’s tough getting back up from bending over without looking like we’re old.
So, to help us from needing to bend over or crouch down so much when gardening we have started enjoying the benefits of raised bed gardening.
Raised bed gardening is simply a technique for growing plants without digging into your yard, which is great for us because our yard is mostly made from concrete, err I mean clay. There can be many reasons to have a raised bed garden but for me it’s to save my aging back so I can really enjoy gardening.
Currently we have raised bed gardens that are made from wood. They are very old and ready to fall apart. One actually did fall apart last year but I kept it together and will have to build a new one come spring.
We are thinking hard about using materials that will out last both of us so we may go with plastic as there are many that look just like wood but without the problems of wood.
I have also been running a raised bed garden made from flat rocks. That could be a fair bit of work but with my son’s help I think we could do it and make it look great. I have seen a few while walking around Moncton and they look beautiful.
What Raised Bed Gardening Means
It meant that you have no needs in more digging in dense clay that’s like breaking through concrete and wears me out in just minutes. Instead, I can just build a raised bed garden frame and fill it with nice clean healthy top soil.
I can do all this in an afternoon but to dig that into our backyard, well I’ve done it too many times and it’s a backbreaker and takes me days.
Raised Bed Gardening Benefits
1. I already mentioned how it saves me digging or mining into the earth in our backyard due to the dense clay. The digging is just the first step as we then had to amend the soil so much just to get it to grow more than weeds.
2. I like this benefit a whole bunch. I get so much more produce from my raised bed vegetable gardens. We grow so much produce that we can share with friends and neighbours, although we won’t be doing so much sharing as we are learning how to can our vegetable garden for winter use, just like when I was kid growing up on the farm.
How can raised bed gardens double or triple your harvest in less space? By square foot gardening. With raised bed gardening I don’t have to walk through my gardens. Each one is about two feet across so can easily reach everything without leaving empty spaces to walk through.
3. Amending the soil in your raised bed garden is a breeze. Now we have raised bed gardens in areas of our yard that aren’t too hospitable at all. No digging in the ground. We just fill the raised bed with topsoil we purchase locally and it’s ready to go.
4. Weeding is no longer a pain either. I can still remember all the weeding I had to do as a kid. We lived on a farm and were pretty much self-sufficient but it wasn’t square foot gardening back then. Dad would leave rows big enough for the tractor wheels to move through.
That meant a lot of crawling around on my knees weeding. I did however enjoy the results of my weeding and certainly ate my share of everything, and more.
We don’t have our patio built yet but when we do it will have a few raised bed flower gardens. For these we will of course need to put bottoms in our raised beds, but everything else is the same as those we put directly on the lawn.
Square Foot Gardening
SFG was popularized by Mel Bartholomew and goes perfectly with raised bed gardening. is the perfect way to save money today by having your own raised bed gardens and enjoying square foot gardening while doing it in less than half the space normally required.
Rather than just planting your raised beds in rows like we commonly see it’s divided into sections each about a square foot in size. Depending of course what it is you plan to grow you could be putting multiple plants in each grid section or perhaps just one bigger plant.
When using raised bed gardening along with square foot gardening it’s so easy to lay things out for best planting without wasting an inch of space. It takes less watering and produces less weeds as well. The weeds it does produce are easily removed as the soil in your raised bed should be quality top soil and not hard dense clay-like what’s under our raised bed gardens.