In your vegetable garden, raised planting beds are not the earliest measures taken by people, but as the planting deepens, everyone slowly transforms the garden into the form of planting beds, just like drip irrigation, you A planting bed will be accepted as the planting deepens, so why not design a raised planting garden in the first place?
The pros and cons of planting beds
Why do you need to build a raised planting bed?
what is the benefit?
What are the disadvantages of planting beds to consider?
Easy gardening operations
Plants grow better
Keep your garden clean and beautiful
Stop weed invasion
increase the cost
Faster warming and frequent watering
Pros of Raised Vegetable Garden Beds
1. Easy gardening operation
Elevated planting beds reduce the strain on your lower back, so you don't have to bend over to tend to your plants. If the walls are slightly below waist level, you can even sit on the edge and operate to harvest your bounty and better enjoy the planting process.
2. Plants grow better
Soils in raised planting beds typically begin to warm earlier in the spring than surrounding soils. It also dries faster, so you can grow cool-season crops faster, extending vegetable growing seasons and increasing crop options simply by using a raised garden.
3. Healthy Soil
If the soil is sandy or clay, the process of amending the soil is slow, you can choose raised planting beds to create healthy soil faster, fill your planting beds with compost, other organic matter or a high-quality topsoil and start gardening, Instead of struggling with bad topsoil.
Raised planting beds also provide a healthier environment for beneficial microbes and earthworms, and because there is no back and forth to compact the soil, nutrient-rich soil can improve your vegetable growth.
4. Keep the garden clean and beautiful
Spread mulch between planting beds and your feet will stay clean no matter how wet the weather gets, and you won't have to worry about soil compaction. A series of small planting beds arranged neatly or in a pattern, and the vegetables grown in various postures are stored in the planting bed, which has a neat aesthetic and visual appeal.
5. Prevent weed invasion
Turfgrass has a spreading root system that often invades vegetable gardens and becomes a weed. When you build raised vegetable beds, nearby turf cannot spread to your vegetable crops, ensuring a healthy and happy raised vegetable garden.
Once the soil in your raised vegetable garden is bare, cover the surface with 3-5cm of organic mulch. This reduces weeds and slows the evaporation of water from the soil.
6. Deter pests
Even with raised vegetable beds, small animals like pets or mice can mess with your vegetables, and designing and building raised vegetable gardens that are at least 1 metre high is one way to keep them from invading.
Disadvantages of Raised Vegetable Garden Beds
1. Increase the cost
Compared with not moving anything, planting directly on the land, planting beds and filling soil, all require costs, and the use of materials with poor durability and easy damage needs to be repaired and replaced. It is recommended to use low-cost and durable materials as much as possible, and make a large amount of organic compost in advance, so that when the planting bed is actually filled, there is no need to buy additional soil.
2. Faster warming and frequent watering
If your planting bed is higher, it will change faster than the surrounding soil temperature, the temperature will rise higher in the summer, the water will evaporate more quickly, and you will need to water more frequently and add organic mulch to retain moisture .
Materials and characteristics of planting beds
What materials should you use to construct a raised vegetable garden bed?
Which materials are safe and which are unsuitable?
It is recommended that you mainly refer to the following elements:
Local Sourcing and Sustainability
Relatively economical and low cost
As with any building material, thorough research must be done in person to ensure the choices made are safe, environmentally friendly and sustainable, and suitable for your own situation.
The following will introduce the characteristics and advantages and disadvantages of different materials from organic to inorganic materials, for your reference when choosing.
Material characteristics and advantages and disadvantages
l planks or slats
It is the first choice for building planter boxes because it is relatively inexpensive, readily available, and lasts for several years. But care must be taken to ensure that the wood has not been chemically treated, such as preservatives, stains or paints, to avoid contaminating the soil.
Here are some popular wood species: cedar, yew, catalpa, chestnut, cypress, fir, pine, spruce, etc. Slow-growing trees have tougher woods and are more resistant to corrosion.
To be discreet, some gardeners put a protective plastic layer over treated wood beds to create a barrier between the wood and the soil. Likewise, plastics need to be studied to ensure food safety, and the effects of condensation forming between plastic and wood need to be considered.
It is untreated and more ecological, but it is also more expensive and more durable than wood.
2. Rattan weaving
Weaving with branches is an environmentally friendly and economical way, and it is also more beautiful. The material is pruned branches or wicker in the garden. The disadvantage is that the durability is low and the production is time-consuming.
3. Straw bag
Straw beds are inexpensive but not readily available in cities. The straw will slowly decompose as it is planted, providing nutrients to the crops, and at the bottom of the planting bed, providing powerful water storage for the plants. But it can't be used for a long time, and the aesthetics are also average.
4. Concrete or brick
The overall thermal insulation and moisturizing effect is relatively reasonable, the durability is good, the materials are easy to obtain, the construction is relatively easy, the volume is small, and it can be made into various shapes, which is a good material.
More decorative than wood, more expensive than wood, but very durable.
5. Pottery or tile
The old tile removed from the house is also an economical choice. It needs to be inserted into the soil to a certain depth, otherwise it may not be able to stabilize the soil when it is erected. Soil moisture will also be lost relatively quickly in tiled planting beds. But after a long time, the poor quality ones are easy to crack or break.
Rocks of various shapes and sizes such as blocks, slates, and granite can be used to form planting beds. Such materials have moderate effects in terms of heat preservation and water retention, but their disadvantage is that they are heavy and need to be measured in places such as roofs The load is not low, but the cost is not low, but it can be used for many years.
Granite slab is an economical, convenient and effective choice. The main link is that the connection between the slabs needs to be drilled in advance.
The above methods require certain construction techniques and are time-consuming and labor-intensive, unless the materials are very common locally.
●Metal plating tank
Advantages: relatively light in weight, easy to move and adjust, suitable for a variety of shapes; rust over time. Metal temperatures can get too high in summer, burning leaves and heating the soil too much.
rust steel plate (weathering steel)
Trace elements such as phosphorus, copper, chromium, and nickel are added to weathering steel to form a protective film on the surface of the steel to slow down the rate of corrosion, but it will rust in the soil, and it is uncertain whether it is safe for soil and food.
Materials to Avoid
1. Old railway sleepers
In order to prolong the service life, sleepers must be treated with preservatives, which are generally composed of a mixed solution of coal tar and anthracene oil or sodium pentachlorophenate, which are not suitable for growing food.
There are many chemicals such as rubber, carbon black, petroleum additives, chemical mixtures, etc., which will decompose and volatilize into the soil and air.
3. Stained or painted wood
Most paints, no matter what they are, contain some harmful substances that you don't want to seep into the soil and into the food.
4. Old-fashioned blocks/cinder blocks
Cinder blocks are made of cement and cinder, and it is difficult to ensure that all indicators meet the standards during the production process, and can be used to grow flowers. Or make sure the material is poured with concrete.
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