Some Advantages of Raised Bed Gardening

raised bed gardening

As we get older, we start to develop different physical complaints.  Now some of these can affect our lives if we let them.  For instance, both my wife and my father still like to garden, but both have problems tending plants at ground level.  My wife has some arthritis and my father who is almost 93 has bad knees.  But with a little bit of planning we have made it possible for both to continue to garden by using raised bed gardening.

Now this is the third year we have used raised bed gardening and I have written previous posts on them.  Now admittedly because of cost you probably can’t do large tracts of vegetables.  But by using square foot gardening techniques it is surprising how much food you can produce in a small area.

We have used two different ways of making them.  At my house, we used a number of Rubbermaid horse troughs that we got a good buy on.  These have worked out well and because of the dark color seem to start producing earlier than plants in the ground.  I think that this is due to warm temperature caused by the dark colors..

At my father’s house, we built raised planters out of redwood.  The planters are about 4 feet by 8 feet and about 3 1/3 feet high.  These have worked well for him and he is able to still raise a small garden.

While for many of the younger people this may not seem like a big deal, but it lets him feel like he is still contributing and the extra food is great.  Another good reason for raised bed gardens is that is a lot easier to control the weeds.  They are easier to pull and we don’t seem to get anywhere near as many.

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So if you want to try raised bed gardening and the price of redwood is stopping you, think outside the box.  There are many things you may be able to utilize.  One of my sons is growing some plants in a galvanized tube he found for little or nothing.  Check your local garage sales and Craigslist for ideas.  If you have a good idea write me, so we can share it with others.


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3 thoughts on “Some Advantages of Raised Bed Gardening”

  1. I live in Florida and can get citrus transport plastic boxes for FREE once they are damaged and can no longer be used by the citrus industry. I just put the damaged sides together for support and I’ve built 3 long rows of these boxes in my garden! I have 26 boxes total…they each measure approximately 4’x4′ and are about 30 inches tall. These boxes have lot of tiny holes in the sides, which let out the excessive rains that we have here. PLUS, rabbits don’t jump up into the boxes to eat the vegetables! I love them.

  2. Many businesses discard old pallets. These make excellent raised beds and, since they are generally made of oak, last a long time. Drill holes in the end pieces and fasten together with heavy zip ties. My neighbor has this setup and it works very well. He also uses them to make compost and when thoroughly digested, plants veggies in them. He runs a 2′ high ribbon of chicken wire around the outer perimeter to keep critters out.

  3. I live in Florida and have had raised gardens for 5 years. Lots of trial and error. Two lessons learned.

    1. If you live in Florida, do not use anything made of wood for your raised gardens. Termites will thank you and then go after your root crops. Even the “all mighty” Cypress wood is lunch for termites. Use Cement Block to hold your soil.

    2. Bugs. Bugs in Florida laugh at “organic”, “earth friendly”, Politically Correct pest control. Suck it up and hit the bastards with the strong stuff. You don’t want to grow veggies to feed the bugs.

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