Raised Beds Versus In-Ground Gardening

'Saves my aching knees'. This was the immediate answer from one person who was recently asked by one of our Vegepod team why they had decided to invest in some raised beds for their backyard. Another of our team was also told by a friend that 'gardening is a ground-based activity and always will be'. These are just two of many views taken by people when asked about this often emotive subject - especially among the keenest of gardeners. pr3 The first comment does take us to one area where raised beds have a lot going for them. For folk who have problems with their mobility, either through simple age catching up or because of illness or serious injury, the convenience of raised beds does make it possible to garden effectively. This might be the chance to carry on with a life-long passion while for others it has provided a fresh opportunity to develop a new interest when it might now not be possible to continue with past hobbies or enthusiasms. Of course, some crops tend not to lend themselves to raised beds. A couple of possible examples: sweetcorn tends to need blocks of plants for proper pollination; and larger fruits or veggies, such as watermelons, might overwhelm a smaller raised bed. There are sometimes plant variations that help to overcome this, for example, where it's possible to grow miniature varieties of larger fruits and veggies. Raised beds are a terrific and easily manoeuvrable solution where space might be limited, or the existing growing conditions in your backyard or other space are simply not favourable, particularly if you have certain crops that you would like to cultivate. Our Australian climate can be quite harsh relative to allowing plants and crops to flourish. Again, raised beds come into their own here. They can provide the protective cover needed, both from the elements and from possible pests. Another hugely important benefit, still connected to our climate, is that they can be self-watering, and make much more effective use of this precious resource, compared to it being spread much less effectively over a larger area. Of course, the above is just a summary of some key arguments on this subject. You can find a wealth of examples of raised bed gardening on our gallery page and our features page. If you have a preference for raised beds or in-ground gardening, why not let us know your opinions?

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