6 Benefits of Raised Bed Gardening

raised garden beds

Raised bed gardening can help to simplify the control of pests and weeds, increase yield, use space more efficiently, and improve drainage.

Here are six of the benefits associated with raised bed gardening:

1 – Access

A raised garden means less time is spent stooping to complete the garden work. The extra height of these gardens makes them a practical choice for those with back or knee problems. Also, a raised bed at 2-feet by 3-feet is a practical size for those confined to a wheelchair. A sturdy frame for the raised bed with large timbers even offers the benefit of being able to sit next to the growth space to complete the regular maintenance.

2 – Drainage

A raised garden bed can be constructed to match the specific needs in relation to drainage. Certain soils can drain too slowly or too quickly, so a purpose-made garden can help to minimize these issues. Mixing the soil to match the specifications – clay or sandy soil – is certain to help maintain a reliable drainage system.

3 – Pests

Most pests are easily controlled should they get established in a raised bed. Birds are easily blocked from attacking the plants using row covers or netting, while metal screen are another preventative measure. Protecting the raised bed within its self-contained space is much easier than a conventional garden. Plus, the extra height of the beds makes it more convenient to remove slugs or snails should they appear.

4 – Soil

Soil quality in the raised bed garden is often at a higher grade compared to the traditional gardens because it is a lot less compacted (no need to step in the area of the plants). Plus, the raised bed can be filled with high-quality soil amendments and fertilizer to ensure it promotes the growth of the plant life. Plus, the nutrient-rich soil is kept within the confines of the raised bed to ensure none is wasted.

5 – Weeds

A raised garden is usually dense with plant life which makes it possible to crowd out the growth of weeds. Plus, raised beds with high sides are practical for blocking rhizomous plants to blowing seeds. But, if there are problems with weeds, a weed cloth can be applied to help with blocking most. By minimizing the areas of bare soil in the raised bed, there is much less likelihood of weeds colonizing the area.

6 – Yield

Soil in a raised bed can heat up at a faster rate compared to standard garden soil. A benefit of this is the ability to plant earlier in the season. Plus, the less compact soil means roots can easily move through the bed in search of nutrients. Also, this gives the option of being able to plant the fruits, vegetables, or flowers more densely.

A further reason for a higher yield with raised beds is the ability to devote more space. A regular garden relies on paths or similar areas to move about. This redundant space is much smaller with the raised bed which creates more space for the plant life to grow.

9 Great Rock Garden Ideas

rock garden ideas

A rock garden design can provide a rugged, natural beauty to a plain backyard area, including areas that cause difficult growth conditions like steep hillsides.

Here are nine ideas for effective rock garden designs:

Color and texture

More interest can be added to the garden with the introduction of colorful blooms and striking foliage. Colorful plants like the petunia and candytuft are perfect to complement the green foliage of the juniper or similar low-growing plants. An all-season groundcover can provide a variety of benefits from its drought-tolerant abilities to fill-in spaces among the rocks.

Cottage garden

A cottage garden inspired look is achieved with the addition of flowering plants that appear among the rocks. Use warm colors like yellow, red, and pink to help create a more cohesive look. A low-maintenance garden is possible when planting the right types of plants.

Front yard

Even with a plain landscape it is possible to create a site that appears naturally rocky with a foundation of boulders. Blend in low-growth alpine plants like the Potentilla, Phlox subulata, and Aubrieta ‘Royal Blue’ to create more interest. Plus, use plants like the Dianthus ‘Tiny Rubies’ and Gypsophila franzii to fill any sizable crevices between the rocks.

High-altitude

The majority of rock garden plants is able to naturally grow in high-altitude locations such a high up on mountains. This means the plants are more resilient to the difficult climate conditions like drought, winds, and sun. A design for the yard can consist of wildflowers to create the desired scene with a choice of complementary hues. Combine groundcovers with mounded plants to help achieve more vertical interest.

Hillside solution

A yard with sloping surfaces is easily transformed with a diverse arrangement of rock garden plants and boulders. An eye-catching display is achieved with the introduction of cannas, ornamental grasses, Japanese maples, yucca, pines, and creeping cedar. A natural display of this nature is appreciated for the ability to stay colorful and vibrant year-round.

Plants

When designing the rock garden it can benefit to divide the overall landscape to create distinct landscape areas with vibrant colors to neutral stones. Bright and colorful plants are certain to stand out against the standard gray-green foliage. Plant the low-maintenance and drought-tolerant plants to minimize the work needed to maintain the attractive appearance.

Sculpturally pleasing

In the process of picking and choosing plants for the garden design it makes sense to look at color and form. Combine dwarf conifers and perennial plants to help add height and texture year-round. Softly enhance the large rocks to give a more interesting look.

Textural displays

A rock garden displays more visual interest when combined with rocks and plants at different scales and textures. A combination of perennials, shrubs, and conifers is certain to help with creating the vibrant landscape that offers colorful blooms and foliage. A winding pathway, dry creek bed, or Mexican pebbles are the practical choice to introduce more drama.

Year-round appeal

A rock garden is easily extended to offer all-season appeal by including a variety of evergreens and fall foliage.