Is a vegetable garden in a box right for you? It’s a question I’ve been considering myself lately. My own passion for gardening is well-known among my social circle, and I’ve visited enough fellow gardeners to personally witness some extraordinary applications of raised beds.
I’ve looked into this in detail already, so I hope what I’ve learned so far helps you decide for yourself whether or not one makes sense for your home.
Vegetable Garden In A Box Considerations
While these box gardens generally let you plant things that might not grow otherwise, you still need to consider several factors. First, how much rainfall do you get where you live? What kind of soil do you have? Do you face certain terrain challenges? What would be underneath your box garden?
If you’re going to do more than one box, what path material will you have between each box garden?
The Pros Of Vegetable Garden Beds
Raised box beds have numerous advantages, many of which I’ve already seen employed effectively with my own eyes. For starters, they’re a great chance to improve the soil. The physical barriers of the box keep soil amendments in place.
Next, life no longer has to be rocky. Deep roots can happen without the need for shoveling or tilling. You can even use them on top of cement, concrete, wood, and pavement.
Do you have a cold spring? Raised beds warm up faster for a longer growing season. Does your spring or winter have lots of precipitation? Raised beds have better drainage and aeration so your plants don’t drown.
Raised garden boxes also let you plant a level surface into or onto a slope where soil would otherwise just wash away. You can also prevent soil contamination in nearly any location you put one of these.
The physical realities of garden boxes make life easier for your own body and health. You don’t have to do any weeding most of the time, and even if you do, looser soil means the few weeds come out much easier.
Also, the raised elevation of the garden box means you don’t have to bend over as much. My own back would thank me for that.
Other benefits include less soil compaction, less issues with pests, and no problems with rooting out surrounding trees.
It’s Not All Roses
If you live in an arid climate, especially one that’s hot and dry, then these might not be great for you. They heat up faster, so they can dry out and even scorch your veggies.
Bed construction can also be impractical. If construction isn’t something you’re adept at as much as you are gardening, then building something might intimidate you. Having said that, there are retail kits you can buy that are much easier to build, and possibly more attractive visually. Still, you have a financial investment to make either way.
If you do make a raised bed, you’re probably going to want the natural look and feel of wood. However, wood can rot, leading to bacterial or fungal growth. Try to stick with something resistant like redwood, black locust, or cedar.