Take your gardening to the next level (literally) and consider raised flower beds as your next gardening venture. You may be wondering what exactly are raised flower beds, and what the difference between a raised bed and an in-ground bed is. Summit Turf Services, your lawn care experts of Lee’s Summit, have the answers to all of your raised flower bed questions along with the top benefits and how to build your own.
Top Benefits of Raised Flower Beds
1. Say Goodbye to Tilling
Tilling can be time-consuming, hard on your back, and monotonous. With raised flower beds, you can say goodbye to tilling year after year! Gardeners maintain their raised bed by just adding their fertilizer, mulch, and other materials right to the top. Keep the sod in your yard immaculate, and let the soil in your raised flower beds do the tilling itself.
2. Keep the Critters Out
Many insects and pests can climb, but a raised bed is an excellent way to keep the critters out and protect your hard work. The tall sides of your raised flower beds will slow the pests down and provide an opportunity for you to stop them altogether. Line the bottom of your garden box with hardware cloth to stop a variety of critters including gophers and groundhogs. Plastic hoops and fencing are much easier to install on a raised bed than the in-ground garden beds.
3. Less Weeds
Reduce your weed growth with raised flower beds. Did you know tilling actually creates more weeds? As mentioned before, your garden box saves you from tilling and, therefore, saves your flowers and plants from weeds. Coat your raised bed with mulch in the early spring to kill the weeds that grew during the cold season. If you don’t have mulch, try cardboard or black plastic. When the time comes to plant, all you have to do is simply rake the dead plants and weeds off.
4. Save Your Back
As many gardeners know, weeding, tilling, and planting can cause debilitating back and joint pain. Save your back and build raised flower beds. The beds can be anywhere from 12 inches to 18 inches tall. Summit Turf Services even recommends the raised flower beds for young gardeners who could potentially save their bodies from pain in the future by less leaning, kneeling, and hunching.
5. Take Your Raised Flower Beds With You
Raised flower beds can be temporary. Ready to start gardening but aren’t sure where you will be living in the next few years? Or do you have a lease that prohibits you from growing a garden? A garden box just might be the solution to both situations. Planning is essential, but it is possible to take your garden box with you to your next home. Discuss with your landlord the possibility of a removable, temporary garden box.
6. Avoid Contaminated Soil
Gardening in the city poses a higher risk of being exposed to heavy metals, including lead. A variety of different vegetables, plants, and flowers can be severely harmed when heavy metals are consumed from contaminated soil. Raised beds allow gardeners to bring in new soil that has not been touched by the toxicity of the heavy metals. Placing your garden away from the roads and researching the history of your land are both excellent ways to avoid contaminated soil, but the raised garden beds ensure your plants and flowers will be safe from past contamination.
7. Minimal Run-Off
Run-off is part of the water cycle that, instead of being soaked up into the ground or evaporating, the water flows over the land. Water run-off can poorly affect your soil’s temperature and moisture. Raised flower beds are the key to minimizing water run-off. Because the soil has nowhere to go when being held within the garden box, the soil does not lose nutrients or structure. Even after a heavy rain, your raised flower beds should be in excellent shape.
8. Get Started Early
Throughout winter, most gardeners are itching for the temperatures to rise and the frost to disappear. Raised flower beds allow gardeners to start planting early. Due to better drainage, the soil dries out quicker in the spring and warms up at a faster rate than the soil at ground level.
How to Build Your Own Raised Flower Beds
Building raised flower beds may seem overwhelming and costly. However, Summit Turf Services is here to give tips and steps to building your own raised beds as cost-effectively as possible.
- Wooden planks – Summit Turf Services recommends to use cedar wood because the wood is affordable and naturally rot-resistant.
- Soil – Give your plants and flowers the best chance by picking fresh soil to start with.
- Measuring tape
- Carpenter’s square
- Hand saw
- Phillips drill
- Shovel and Rake
Simple Steps to Building Raised Garden Beds
- Measure – On one 8-foot plank, measure and mark the center point. Summit Turf Services recommends the garden box be at least 12 inches deep and not more than 4 feet wide.
- Cut the plank in half – Using the hand saw, carefully cut the plank in half where marked.
- Set your screws – At approximately 3, 6, and 9 inches of each end of the 4-foot plank, set your screws.
- Attach the side – With a friend’s help, hold an 8-foot plank on its side and attach the end of the 4-foot plank with the screws facing the end of the 8-foot plank.
- Square the corners – Put the other 8-foot plank to the attached 4-foot plank at the free end. Then use the carpenter’s square to line up at 90 degrees and screw in to attach.
- Repeat – For the other end, repeat the process above to complete the bed.
- Add cardboard – Position the bed where you want to garden and place the cardboard to cover the ground in the bed.
- Soil Time – Fill the raised bed with the soil to about halfway up the bed. Level the soil.
- Add plants – Pick your favorite plants and flowers, and get started!
Final Thoughts on Raised Flower Beds
Less tilling, healthier soil, minimal run-off, and decreased back and joint pain are just a few of the reasons Summit Turf believes in the convenience of raised garden beds. Not to mention, raised beds are beautiful and perfect for the beginner gardener. Robbing a bank isn’t necessary to have a beautiful garden box. Summit Turf Services’ DIY steps to building your own raised flower beds are the perfect way to spend the next sunny afternoon. Happy gardening!