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What are Raised Flower Beds?

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  • Written By: Allison Boelcke
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 26 September 2016
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Raised flower beds are constructed frames that are filled with loose soil and used as an alternative to digging into the ground to plant flowers. A raised flower bed has four short walls and can be can be made from a variety of materials, such as stone, brick, recyclable plastic, or treated lumber. Since this type of flower bed is elevated, it typically has different uses and benefits than traditional gardening.

Soil conditions can be more easily monitored when they are in raised flower beds. When plant soil is compacted by being walked on, it can prevent flower roots from growing properly. Raised flower beds may be used to avoid soil compaction, since the soil and flowers are enclosed within the box, rather than on the ground. The added height of the beds can allow flowers to be planted sooner and grow faster because sunlight reaches the soil sooner than it would on the ground.

Areas that have tend to have insufficient soil conditions, such as drought or excessive rainfall, can have difficulty growing flowers because the soil doesn’t have proper water drainage. Soil that is too dry will not allow enough water to plant roots, while excess water can wash away vital plant nutrients. Since raised beds are taller and use loose soil, they can be used to control water drainage.

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Raised flower beds are often utilized as barriers to protect flowers. Snails and slugs eat leaves and stems and can potentially destroy flowers, but raised beds can make it more difficult for them to reach flowers. A raised bed can also be used to keep delicate flowers from being trampled.

Traditional ground gardening requires a gardener to bend over for extended periods of time. Gardeners with back problems may choose to set up raised flower beds to prevent back strain. Ready-made flower bed frames come in a variety of sizes and materials and are positioned directly on the ground or within trenches dug in the ground. The beds are then filled with the soil so flowers can be planted.

Raised flower beds can also be homemade. Four pieces of lumber or plastic are drilled together to form a square or rectangular frame, then placed on the ground and filled with soil. Stakes are often built into the bottom corners of the frame for added stability. Raised beds can also be made from stackable materials like stones or bricks that are layered to make a frame. Some gardeners also convert old tires or railroad ties into raised beds.

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