Many people are building raised beds on their plots.
These constructions have been made popular by TV gardening and
make-over programmes, but are they a good idea?
Like most things, it depends on the circumstances and
raised beds have many disadvantages as well as some contexts
where they are useful.
Below is a summary comparison between raised and sunken
beds. There are also some links to websites with both the pros
and cons of raised beds.
|Advantages of raised beds||Disadvantages of raised beds|
|useful if your soil is waterlogged, or poorly
||soil dries out quickly in droughts and
|useful if your soil is contaminated
||needs a lot more watering
|slightly less bending (depends how high they
||treated wood contains heavy metal
preservatives that may poison soil and contaminate crops
|gives some structure to a plot
||you have to buy soil or compost to fill them
|require money to build
|will eventually rot and need safe disposal
|less sustainable as you need to buy and
transport them and the soil and water them
Kettering soil is know for its fertility so cannot easily be bettered by importing soil into a raised bed
If your plot dries out quickly and
requires a lot of watering in heatwaves, a sunken bed may
In a sunken bed the vegetable bed is lower
than the surroundings, so water stays in the soil and stays
moist in dry weather.
If in doubt, the level-headed may decide to stay
level-bedded and get the benefits of our amazing Kettering
soil and temperate climate.
(equal opportunity note - you can try this
challenge whatever colour your hair is, no need for golden locks)
Carry out an experiment to find out which beds work best on your plot. Create 3 equal beds, one raised, one sunken and one level. Grow identical crops in each and treat them the same (eg feeding, weeding, watering) and measure your crop. Like Goldilocks and her porridge, you will find out which bed system is just right (for your plot).
and cons from gardening know-how
pros and cons web page
webpage on sunken beds