The Pros and Cons of Raised Beds (2024)

The pros of raised beds

One of the biggest benefits of raised beds is that they can be filled with loose, rich, well-drained soil mixes that are ideal for plant growth. The same potting mixes that can be bought for use in containers can be used to fill raised beds. Or you can tailor your own, using ingredients such as topsoil, compost, perlite, vermiculite, rotted leaves, and/or rotted cow or horse manure. If you limit your raised beds to widths of four to five feet, you can work the garden without having to step into the boxes. That prevents compacting the soil and eliminates the need to till. (Raised beds can run any length so long as the width allows reaching all plants from one side or the other.)

The loose soil mix also allows closer planting and encourages planting in blocks, which gives better yields than planting in single rows with paths between. The beds also dry quicker in spring, allowing an earlier start. Close planting, in turn, means less space for weeds. Any weeds that do sprout come out easily in the loose soil mix. And finally, raised beds sometimes discourage animal damage – especially beds raised to waist height. If animals do threaten, fencing can be added around the box perimeter.

The Pros and Cons of Raised Beds (2024)


The Pros and Cons of Raised Beds? ›

The cons of raised beds

The soil mix also can be a significant, albeit one-time, expense. Raised beds need water more often since the soil is more exposed to air and dries quicker. Similar to growing in containers, the extra watering can leach nutrients out of the soil quicker than in-ground gardens.

What are the downsides of raised beds? ›

The cons of raised beds

The soil mix also can be a significant, albeit one-time, expense. Raised beds need water more often since the soil is more exposed to air and dries quicker. Similar to growing in containers, the extra watering can leach nutrients out of the soil quicker than in-ground gardens.

What are the pros and cons of elevated beds? ›

Planting in raised garden beds helps ensure great drainage, warmer soil temperature in early spring, and loose soil that's easy to mix up with compost and amendments. The downside is that you need to construct a raised bed, buy lots of soil to fill it, and you won't be able to move it around.

Is a raised garden bed worth it? ›

In many of the places I've lived and gardened, the local soil has often been filled with too much clay to keep picky plants happy. Raised beds are easy to maintain. The added height prevents weeds from taking over. You don't need any expensive tools to tend or harvest when you're growing in raised beds.

What are the side effects of the elevated bed? ›

Although inclined bed therapy may be beneficial for those with certain health conditions, a person should never use it for their infant. Research has shown that inclined sleep products increase the risk of suffocation. If an infant rolls onto their front on an inclined sleeper, they may be unable to roll back over.

Why do people prefer raised beds? ›

Raised beds offer soil control.

Whether you battle clay soil, or you've experienced a soil-born disease in your garden, these beds allow you to control the content and structure of the soil, ensuring a nutrient-rich environment for your plants.

What are three mistakes to avoid when gardening with raised beds? ›

Seven Beginner Raised Bed Gardening Mistakes to Avoid
  • Picking The Wrong Spot.
  • Not Thinking About The Water Source.
  • Raised Beds Placed Too Close Together.

Should I put landscape fabric under a raised bed? ›

Landscape fabric is beneficial for raised garden beds, here are just a few of the many reasons why you should use landscape fabric for raised bed gardening: Prevents soil erosion in a raised bed: As a liner, landscape fabric lets water drain away from the soil while leaving the soil intact.

How deep should a raised garden bed be? ›

They should have at least 8 inches of soil depth to accommodate the root systems of plants, because the majority of plant roots require 6 – 8 inches of soil for healthy root growth. A depth of 8 – 12 inches will suffice for most gardening situations.

What do you put in the bottom of a raised garden bed? ›

Layer the bottom with cardboard or newspaper as a weed barrier, which will decompose over time. Then, use a mix of yard waste, leaves, grass clippings, and kitchen scraps layered with soil and compost.

Is it cheaper to build or buy a raised bed? ›

A homemade raised garden bed might be cheaper in the short term, but it will cost you far more time and money in the long run.

Should I put gravel around my raised garden bed? ›

If you're going to pay for a product to fill your raised beds, again, it should just be really good soil and compost. I only recommend a thin layer of gravel at the bottom of your raised bed and under the edges to help you level the area. Save the rest of your gravel for your garden pathways.

Is it healthy to sleep with your bed elevated? ›

Elevating the head of your bed can significantly aid in the reduction of sleep apnea symptoms, leading to a better, more restful night's sleep.

What are the disadvantages of a high bed? ›

Disadvantages of High vs. Low Beds
  • Take up a lot of space and can make a small room look crowded.
  • Require more extensive assembly.
  • May increase your risk of falls (especially if you're a restless sleeper)
  • Some high bed frames look old-fashioned.
  • Not suitable for small children and pets.
  • May be difficult to get into.
Mar 21, 2024

Is it better to sleep with a raised bed? ›

Sleep In Luxury

Sleeping on an incline can solve this problem, particularly with an adjustable bed. Many benefits are tied to elevated sleeping, including reduced acid reflux, improved heart health, and better circulation, which can improve restless leg syndrome symptoms.

Should raised beds have a floor? ›

A: It's not necessary to line the bottom of your raised beds, but you may choose to do so if you are experiencing pest or weed problems.

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