Organic Gardening with Raised Beds

Raised bed GardenThere are many ways to go organic in your garden, but one way that allows you to do it with a little less upkeep, and a little more control is using a raised bed garden.  A raised bed garden is built above or on top of the ground.  It can be any shape or size that you can think of, but generally they are square or rectangle in shape and are between 6 to 12 inches in height.  If you are building a vegetable garden, I recommend going 10 to 12 inches deep to give adequate space for your vegetable roots.  Essentially all a raised bed is, is a large container for your plants.  The raised beds that I have in my garden are 4  feet by 8 feet and 10 inches deep.

On the organic gardening tips homepage, I talked about the three main areas that you need to concentrate on for organic gardens.  As you may have guessed organic gardening with raised beds falls into the “Soil Management” area.  The biggest benefit of raised beds, is they let you control the exact soil you are using.  If you are unfortunately enough to have poor soil on your property, gardening with raised beds is the best choice for you.  When you build your raised bed make sure you put high quality soil from multiple sources, so you know your plants have all the nutrients they need.

If you live in a cold climate, gardening with raised beds allow you to start earlier because since they are raised above the ground, they heat up quicker then traditional gardens.  This gives you a bit of a head start on your gardening season.  Another bonus with them being raised, is you don’t have to bend down as far to work in them.

Organic Gardening with raised beds also falls into the weed control area of organic gardening because since they are raised off the ground, it is harder for weed seeds to find their way into your garden.  Also, if you have added a bottom to your raised bed, you have blocked off any weed runners that would have made it into your garden from underneath, which makes the raised bed easier to maintain after the initial building process.   A bottom to your raised bed also helps with pest control, as it creates a barrier that rodents and other pests can’t get through.

When you build your raised bed, make sure to build it so you are able to reach all parts of the garden from the outside.  A person can generally reach 2 feet without needing support,  if you are of a smaller frame you might want to go a foot and a half.   This means you want to keep your raised beds from 3 to 4 feet in width.  By keeping this in mind you will never need to step on our soil, this keeps it from compacting which allows easier plant grown and maintenance.

Gardening with raised beds, is a great way to get your organic garden started on the right track, take a moment to check out all of the other organic gardening tips which can be accessed through the right hand menu.