I love to garden. Anything that prevents me from doing so would be most unwelcome. There are many benefits to be gained from the garden, above and beyond growing your own food. Gardening gets me outside to enjoy the wind and sun. In addition, working in the garden exercises the mind, body and spirit.
However, if you have a bad back or knee problems for example, garden related activities can be painful, no fun at all.
I have osteoarthritis in both knees. This makes standing up difficult and kneeling down impossible. However, I can continue to enjoy the multi-benefits having a garden brings by using raised beds. There are many ways to raise the garden up.
A garden does not have to be a patch of earth on the ground set aside for the specific purpose of growing plants. A garden can be a series, or even one container, placed upon a table or a bench high enough so a chair can slide in and out under that table. Keep the length and width of the table to dimensions that allow the gardener to reach across it from any side.
If you are a do-it-yourself person build your own raised beds. using wood, bricks, concrete blocks, rubber tires, or compost and earth piled up above the ground.
If you have little time, then, buy some organic soil, cut a slit into the bag and plant right into this, if you want it higher, put it on a table or bench.
One of the advantages to using a raised bed, besides the ease of gardening, is that the soil in the raised bed will warm up faster in the spring so you can get an early start. Another advantage to a raised bed is you can build a seat or two along the edge of the bed so that the gardener can sit down while planting, weeding or harvesting.
The ease of access means that the various gardening chores, such as planting, weeding, deadheading, watering and perhaps the most fun, harvesting require less effort.
A major expense, depending upon the size of the garden, will be soil. The plants need healthy soil and this may need to be bought, the first year.
The raised bed will need to be placed where the plants you choose get that light they need. A second location consideration is putting the bed as close as possible to the water source should the rain be insufficient to meet the plants’ needs.
It is also a good idea to keep the bed as close to the house as possible, in order to cut down on the number of steps needed to reach it.
If you are putting in a new garden take a close look at the raised bed garden, you may just appreciate the advantages. Next week we will begin to look at the best vegetable to plant. The ones that provide the most nutrients in return for the work done. Planting season is coming, be patient and happy gardening.