Raised beds can make the whole experience of growing vegetables, herbs, and soft fruit more enjoyable. After a raised bed is built, a gardener's work is much reduced, allowing the gardener to focus their attention on growing and nurturing their plants. The beds are at a more convenient height for sowing, weeding, and watering, and there is no need for the labour intensive work of digging over the beds.
To get the most out of raised beds, it is worth planning how to minimise the effort of maintaining the paths around them. If the plan is to install the beds on a patio this will not be a problem, but the beds will need to be taller than if sited on open ground to allow a good depth of soil, and a raised bed liner should be fitted at the bottom of the bed to stop the soil being washed away. If the beds will be positioned on open ground, low maintenance paths (gravel or wood chip) can be made between them, or grass can be allowed to grow. If opting for grass, enough room should be left to allow a lawnmower to easily pass between them.
When filling the beds with soil, it is best to use fresh compost from garden suppliers. Re-using garden soil will likely be full of seed, which will likely lead to rapid weed growth in the ideal conditions of a raised bed. This problem can be mitigated by planting crops through biodegradable weed control fabric.
Having a number of raised beds is ideal, as this makes it easier to rotate the position of crops each year, to lessen the risk of a build up of pests and diseases in any area.
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