I am sure that every homeowner has made a resolution to plant a garden. What is better than having a garden full of fresh vegetables and herbs and being self-sufficient? Who wouldn't want to go outside while preparing a meal for the family and gather the vegetables and herbs to be used in the meal? Of course that is the ideal image when you think about a vegetable garden. The only problem is that getting a plot of earth to that point, producing vegetables, is difficult and most of us give up fairly early into the project or don't carry on season after season. A few years ago my wife decided to start a garden and after clearing out a 20'x40' plot of ground, tilling, planting, weeding and harvesting (what the wild animals didn't eat), I concluded that it was too much work and we wouldn't be doing again. And by "we", I meant me.
But we wanted a garden, it just didn't have to be so big and it needed to be more user friendly. That is why the raised garden was so appealing to us. A raised garden is just as it sounds, it is above ground. It is usually built out of wood and can be as elaborate or simple as you want. There are lots of plans around the internet, so if you want to build one on your own, it is pretty simple. You just need a few hand tools and a couple of power tools to work with. I have even see some pretty neat ideas for repurposing old pallets and planting in between the slats. Check out Pinterest for ideas like this. But before building the raised garden, you should know why they are a good idea.
- They are easier to maintain. The box is raised off of the ground, so you don't have to bend over as far as you normally would have to. Gardening is backbreaking work after all. Plus, the box can be made smaller for your own convenience. Meaning you can access the entire garden from the outside of the garden. You don't have to walk through the garden, potentially damaging your plants.
- More convenient location. When you are planning a traditional garden, you have to plan where it will be located. You need good flat ground, with plenty of sunlight and space. When you have a raised bed, you have the extra convenience of putting it where you want to put it. No longer are you restricted by space and good soil.
- Better soil to grow your plants. With the raised flower bed, you get to put in the soil. So you have greater control over its quality, meaning that your plants will grow healthier and faster.
- You can grow all year long. There are easy ways to convert your raised garden into a covered greenhouse. This means that your growing season can be longer and therefore your yield can be even greater.
If you take all of these reasons together as to why a raised garden is a good idea for just about anybody, you can see what it all adds up to. The convenience, manageability and reward for growing your garden this way means that you will actually stick with it for more than one season. And the sense of reward and accomplishment of growing some of your own food, not to mention the fact that you know how it was grown and how it was maintained and that it didn't have to travel on a boat to get to your table, means that is better for you and your family on many levels.