Last Updated on January 26, 2022 by Fabiola L.
Many gardeners use raised garden beds in their gardens, but filling them with soil can be expensive, which is why some wonder what do you fill a raised garden bed with. Soil isn’t the only option in this regard! In today’s article, we’ll be learning exactly what raised garden beds are, when they are useful, and what you should fill them with.
What is a Raised Garden Bed?
A raised garden bed is a garden encasement that's, as the name suggests, lifted above the ground. Many gardeners commend their useful traits!
A raised garden bed allows you to control the health of the soil much more easily as it allows you to create a more controllable environment. Another reason why gardeners love raised beds is because of the height of the flowers. They're much higher than they would if they were growing from the ground, allowing viewers to see them better.
This also makes it easier for you to work on those plants! Not only do you have less work as the soil is more accessible, but you also don't have to keep bending down! Working the soil is much more convenient.
Additionally, some experts suggest that raising your plants above the ground will resolve all problems with problematic soil, like clay or sand. There are also much fewer surface issues that you should be bothered with.
Lastly, we have to mention pest. There are many animals that can only eat your plants if they're on ground level. If you use a raised bed, this isn't a problem.
How Do You Fill a Raised Bed Cheaply?
This is possibly the biggest worry when it comes to starting a raised bed - the cost. Many raised beds are expensive, but there are tricks you can use to cut down on the price. It's important to weigh in the benefits with the price to figure out whether this is the right choice for you.
You might be wondering what kind of dirt do you put in a raised bed and how can you save money on that. One way to save up on filling the beds with soil is by preparing the compost yourself. Many gardeners opt for the commercial compost, but you can make high-quality compost at home if you want to.
You should cover that layer of compost with top soil - this is something that you should definitely buy, and there's no way of going around it.
What Are the Cons of a Raised Bed?
There aren't many disadvantages to using a raised bed.
The most obvious one is that you have to buy or build one on your own, while a regular garden bed is just there. Additionally, there might come a time when you have to move your raised bed. In this instance, you'll have to disassemble the bed and reassemble it at another spot.
It's also possible for your plants to freeze because of the cold. The best way to do this is by building thick walls. Since the plants are raised, they're much more exposed to both heat and cold!
Lastly, they're not a good option if you don't have enough moving space in the garden. There needs to be some free walking space between the beds, and if you're just planning on squeezing as many beds as possible in your garden without leaving room for walking - your garden won't look as beautiful.
Do I Need Raised Flower Beds?
This depends mostly on what you're looking to achieve with your plants and what's the environment like in your home. Raised garden beds can be a great solution for display, as they allow you to take a closer look at your flowers. Because of this, many gardeners love using them in their gardens.
However, there are also certain requirements that you have to fulfill. For example, you need to have access to water in order to keep a garden bed. And this doesn't only entail a sprinkle or two - you need to be able to water every single garden bed you make.
Next, you don't want to put your garden beds too far away. If the outline of your yard doesn't allow you to put your garden beds close enough to your house, it might be pointless to even use them. You won't see them from your home and it'll take a hike to get to them.
What’s a Good Environment for Starting a Garden Bed?
Firstly, most gardeners suggest that you don't even bother starting a garden bed until you've flattened the soil. This is especially important if you're going to build a tall garden bed. There are going to be a few visible height discrepancies in the bed if you haven't flattened the ground first.
Secondly, consider the amount of rain you have each year and the wood you'll be using for the garden bed. Wood eventually rots from too much water, even if you paint it with a protective coat of paint. Many gardeners prefer using natural looking stones or brick for their garden beds for this specific reason.
Lastly, keep in mind that you don't want to install a raised garden bed if you're going to be moving soon. This is a long-term investment in your garden, both financially and in regard to the time and effort you'll put in to create this, and building it just to leave your home after a year makes little sense.
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In conclusion, garden beds can be a great way to display your plants, but they might be a little difficult and a little expensive to set up. Because of this, use your own compost to save money, instead of buying processed compost in your gardening store. Additionally, think hard before you install your garden bed, as you need to be sure that you actually need them.
Garden beds are a long-term investment in your garden, and you shouldn’t even begin construction if you’re not sure that they’ll be useful.