The concept behind raised garden bed gardening began in the Middle Ages, when garden beds were often surrounded by hedges. The concept of garden beds as most gardeners know them today became popular in the early '70s. Construction of these raised garden beds begins with excavation to accommodate and find slopes, which are then installed between paths. Due to the variety of these garden beds, there is a greater surface area for growing plants, which also results in increased yields of various crops.
Never walking on a garden bed is the golden rule every gardener should follow, and walking only on paths helps prevent soil compaction. Once established, gardeners will simply dig for normal tillage or weeding, which may also include harvesting any tuber crops. Many would agree that it is unethical to destroy what little life is left in the soil just to grow plants. This can only illustrate the understanding of soil ecology and the ignorance of maintaining soil life when growing crops. Every time you dig, turn or loosen the soil, weeds increase because that's how you recover from damage. As the soil is regularly tilled and dug, regeneration comes from perennial weeds. When soils are left undisturbed or tilled, there is less need for soil restoration and fewer weeds.
One of the big advantages of building garden beds is that the soil warms up faster in the spring, allowing for quicker planting. However, it heats up throughout the season. This is where mulch can help your garden bed. The important role of mulch is to regulate soil temperature and retain moisture. These are key needs for your garden bed, especially in summer. It regulates temperature better than bare soil. Mulches are known for regulating moisture. During the rainy season, it absorbs excess rainfall like spring. During dry periods, mulch helps retain moisture and prevent it from evaporating during hot seasons. Eventually, you'll notice that all covered garden beds are much healthier than if you didn't add them.
Here are some innovative and inexpensive ways to help those beginners create their own garden beds that you might also want to consider using.
1. An affordable material that can be used for garden beds is untreated pine or any similar wood. The lifespan of an untreated pine tree can last several seasons. If it rains a lot in your area, it can cause the wood to decompose quickly. This makes untreated wood a good option if you want to install a makeshift bed and don't want to spend a lot of money on materials.
2. The methods used to pressure treat wood are now safer than ever. The main substance used in stress treatment today is copper, a micronutrient required by plants. Therefore, the safety risk of using pressure-treated pine is minimal. If enough copper seeps into the soil, it can be a health hazard, and you'll see the effects on your plants first. You will notice a difference in the health of the plants. If you are working with wood that has been pressure treated with today's technology, the copper may only leach near the wood.
3. Another inexpensive option is to use repurposed wood. Maybe the wood you removed for the fence is piling up in your storage shed. You can reuse them to make your garden beds. However, if you know the wood has been pressure treated, you need to be careful to make sure it is treated with current technology and not pre-treated.
Also, pressure-treated wood is a controversial material for garden beds, and wood containing copper chromate arsenate should not be near your yard for safety reasons.
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