As I mentioned in our Garden Plan post for this year, one of our huge undertakings for our 2018 vegetable garden is building brand new galvanized steel raised beds. This will be our sixth growing season working this space, and this year, we decided it was time to invest in our “forever” beds.
When we first started growing in this space, we had planned on growing in wide raised rows in our garden space like is suggested in one of our favorite gardening books—in fact, we even spent one fall digging them throughout our entire growing space—but it didn’t work out for us for a few reasons. The main issue was that we have a wicked weed seed infestion in our garden soil. We’ve tried fighting it with mulch and a lot of back-breaking weeding, but we ended up losing the battle every year. We decided something had to change—and building raised beds with fresh soil was it.
Of course, weed control isn’t the only benefit of raised beds. We’ve always had amazing success growing in raised beds because you have so much control over the growing environment—it’s easy to control the watering, the fertilizing, and the pests. They also look beautiful, and since we ended up making our raised beds so high, they make any garden work easy on the back and the knees.
There are some negatives to raised bed gardening though. The main one being that it dramatically reduces your growing space. You just can’t cultivate the same number of plants you would be able to if you took the same space and make wide rows.
The other big hiccup: it’s expensive to build raised beds. Tilling up a plot of land and planting some seeds is relatively cheap (or even free), but once you start adding in building materials to build raised beds and soil to fill them up—it can get pretty pricey. Read the post »