A raised bed is exactly what it sounds like – a place for plants that is higher than the surrounding ground. There are a number of advantages to raised beds.
First, when plants are grown on a higher level, it is easier for the gardener to reach them. Raised beds reduce the need for bending, squatting, or kneeling.
Second, raised beds are established by building up instead of digging down. This is generally an easier way of replacing a section of lawn.
Third, by working up from ground level, raised beds build soil. Healthy soil helps plants grow quickly.
Fourth, ground-level beds are tempting to walk on, but raised beds aren’t. Resisting the urge to walk on a planting bed helps avoid soil compaction, which is bad for soil quality.
The easiest way to establish a raised bed is to place a frame in the desired location, and fill it with store-bought soil. Frames can be bought at a gardening store, or built at home from scrap wood. Be sure to use wood that is not treated with chemicals, as the chemicals can leach into the soil and harm plants.
The next post will look at a special type of raised bed that supercharges soil and reduces work throughout the gardening season.