There are a lot of beneficial properties that traditional direct dug garden beds cannot typically provide that a raised garden bed can. A raised garden bed can be more beneficial to your plants, to the environment, and more importantly, to you.
So let’s dig in deeper to my personal top 10 benefits to utilizing raised garden beds on your homestead.
Good Aeration – Your plant’s roots need to be able to breathe. When your soil is too compacted, the roots do not get the proper air circulation which will not allow them develop properly. Aeration is necessary for the roots to be able to absorb essential nutrients; pockets of air in the soil help hold in the nitrogen which is converted into beneficial nitrates by the soil bacteria, making it available to the plant to feed upon.
Root Spread – They need room to grow. We have already stated that good aeration is important for any plant and its roots; in the same manner, the raised garden beds soil is looser than traditional direct dug beds which allows for your plant’s root system to extend further with less effort than that of a tradition bed.
Amending your Soil – Feed that which feeds you. Adding amendments to your soil has never been easier than doing it to a raised garden bed, due to the fact that you will have a potentially smaller area to be able to calculate how much of the amendments you will need. Additionally, because your soil is not compacted you have a far lesser chance of your amendments getting washed away and wasted in areas of the garden that you do not need it.
Save Seeds – Plant only what you need. In a traditional direct dug garden, you typically sow your seeds in a line and then thin the plants as they grow, this wastes valuable seeds. Utilizing a raised garden bed you will only plant what you need, therefore saving the extra seeds for another year’s cycle and in turn saving you money.
Higher Yields – The more the better. The soil in a raised bed can be healthier than that of a direct dug bed for the reasons stated above and more. Because of the sometimes healthier soil, it allows for your plants to grow more vigorously and healthier than what you may typically find in a direct-dug bed. Being able to have a healthier soil due to more precise soil management practices, in turn helps to create healthier plants which then leads to a higher yield of crops during the harvesting seasons.
Utilizing raised beds in your garden is a fantastic way to help feed yourself and your homestead with much less time and work from you. By utilizing a raised bed garden, you will save yourself from at least some of the physical demands of running a homestead; save yourself some money with less watering, waste and achieve better results for yourself and your plants.
I would love to hear from you on your experiences using raised garden beds, please leave me a comment below.
Shane Floyd has been passionate about homesteading and sustainable living for more than 40 years. Now located in Oklahoma, he is using his experiences and passion to create his own sustainable homestead on 7 acres of land, using the same principles and ideals of his ancestors with a modern-day twist. Read about his adventures on the Floyd Family Homestead website, or connect with Shane on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram, Youtube, and Amazon.
Read all of Shane's MOTHER EARTH NEWS posts here.
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