An alternative to standard raised vegetable beds

Raised vegetable beds are constructed for raised bed gardening. Raised bed gardening involves placing a cardboard or newspaper on which the soil is placed and then the site is prepared by enclosing the bed with lumber. The constructed frame is leveled by a level and then the bed is filled with the required topsoil, compost and manure. The main advantage of raised vegetable beds over traditional garden bed is growing of more crops by utilizing the available space for gardening more efficiently. The other benefit of raised vegetable beds over traditional garden beds is that weeds can be removed more easily. Also, all the parts of raised vegetable beds can be accessed easily. Raised vegetable beds drain better than traditional garden beds. Raised vegetable beds require less maintenance than traditional garden beds.

An alternative to raised vegetable beds is self-watering containers. If the garden space is very small, then this form of raised vegetable beds is best suitable as it combines all the advantages of raised vegetable beds along with the advantage of working in a very limited space. In normal raised vegetable beds, drainage holes are present in the bottom whereas in case of self-watering containers, the drainage holes are present on the sides. The self-watering containers have a false bottom inside the garden bed which separates the soil from the reservoir containing water. There is a plastic tube at the top of the bed which is connected to the reservoir containing water. Water is filled into the water reservoir through this tube and excess water overflows through the overflow hole. The roots of the plants grow through the holes of the false bottom which is present inside the bed. The roots will receive the required water nourishment and the soil will absorb the water flowing out of the overflow hole at the false bottom inside the bed. This kind of design is best suitable for raising vegetable beds in a very less space. For example, if one intends to use the balcony for raising vegetable beds, then self watering containers can be used exclusively.

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