A raised garden box offers many benefits and can be a good alternative for planting in less than desirable or difficult ground conditions. You can use a garden box for planting herbs, vegetables, flowers, plants and decorative shrubs in areas that you would have never considered planting in. If you live in a townhouse, have challenging soil conditions or just don’t want the hassle of digging down into the earth, an above ground garden box can be a great solution.

Garden boxes are often synonymous with raised garden beds, as both require some sort of retaining wall or structured material to maintain the integrity of the bed over time. There are many benefits to planting your favorite blooms in a box. They have less weeds, the soil is less compacted – allowing better root growth, and there is no tiling necessary. In addition, you can typically place your plants closer together because the nutrient dense soil can handle the close proximity of the plants.

Have back problems and gardening has been off your to do list for a while? A raised garden bed can be the answer to your next home project.

Although some garden beds are not permanently installed into the ground, you definitely don’t want to move them once they are in place, especially after you’ve added soil and plants. Before you start building your garden box, you should carefully consider where you will place the bed(s), how many you will need, how large you will make it (them) and what type of materials you will be using.

Things to consider are the amount of sun/shade in the area you are building your box and what type of plants you will be using. Most plants and seed packages will disclose how much sun is recommended, so some advance planning is required. You will also need to consider garden box management. A garden box that is more than 24 to 36 inches wide can be difficult to maintain. There are benefits to using wood or recycled materials to build your garden box, but if insects or water conditions are an issue, concrete blocks may be a better solution.

There is no limit to the type of garden box you can make. Whether it is a single tier, two-tier, a raised garden box or one with benches around it, you can easily create the garden box of your dreams. If you’re not very handy or just can’t seem to come up with a good plan, use an old tire, a wooden crate or buy one in a home improvement store.

Or, have a professional make one for you.

A raised garden box is a great way to create the best soil conditions for your plants, making gardening an ease. Instead of tilling your ground from year to year, gardeners usually maintain their raised beds by simply adding nutrient materials on top of the prior season’s soil. Compost, mulch and other soil conditioners are just placed onto the top few inches of the soil without the need for back breaking work.

If your property is prone to flooding or has drainage challenges, a raised garden box may be the best way to maintain vegetation on your property.

A garden box used to grow your own fruits, vegetables and herbs is an important part of living a more self-sustained lifestyle and can save you money at the grocery store. As long as you have the right soil conditions and the time to water and feed your plants, there is no doubt any novice gardener can reap the benefits of a vegetation garden.

An interesting fact about raised garden beds is that you can plant them earlier is the spring and maintain the vegetation longer into the fall season due to the better drainage of the soil and the ability for it to warm more quickly during daylight hours than that of nutrient poor soil found in the ground.

A raised garden box is a great starting point for new gardeners. Add a box, some soil, some compost, seeds or seedlings, some water and something will grow. With a little help and advice from a professional landscaper, someone with a black thumb can easily have a green thumb by the start of the coming growing season.

Gary Malandro, Owner – Gary’s Landscaping
(718) 761-2475 www.garyslandscaping.com