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If you're looking for a great gardening idea for your patio or yard area, why not consider raised garden beds? Raised garden beds offer a variety of options and benefits that are ideal for all gardeners. A raised garden bed can be located on the patio or anywhere in the yard.

One of the benefits of raised bed gardening is that the height can be any desired height. This makes it ideal for the elderly or those who struggle to have free mobility such as those who have a bad back or another injury.

These raised beds can be waist height or higher as desired. Most raised beds are three to four feet in width which make them ideal for those who are wheelchair bound or who aren't able to bend or kneel for gardening. They are anywhere from a few inches to a few feet off of the ground.

There are many clever designs available and some will range from a four-foot by four-foot section while others may be four foot in width and ten or more feet in length.

Many people choose to create their own versions and build them themselves with cedar, recycled woods or plastics, two by fours or whatever else they may have on hand.

However, there many great options available ready made which make it very easy to get started with raised bed gardening.

These beds are ideal for designing specific designs, maintaining a smaller garden area that is more productive and for helping to maintain the soil temperature in colder climates.

A lot of people mistakenly believe that raised beds and elevated gardens are the same things. This couldn't be further from the truth.

A raised bed is one that is up off of the ground, an elevated garden is one that is mounted to a railing, house or deck for gardening purposes.

Raised gardening beds offer up the opportunity to maximize garden space. If the soil is bad they can also help by allowing the gardener to create the ideal soil medium for their gardening needs.

Keeping the soil warmer, they work to help the gardener extend the gardening season. Plants can be planted in the early spring and throughout the late fall thus allowing the gardener to extend the gardening season several weeks.

Raised beds are also easier to deer and animal proof as they can have a fencing or cover over them thus making them more challenging to access for the animals.

This type of gardening also works very well for yards that are oddly shaped. They allow the gardener to design the garden as desired and create a unique landscape.

Much easier to keep weeded and growing, the gardener will actually find that they have more time on their hands when they choose this method of gardening.

As the years pass, the garden will actually require less fertilizer and attention. In many cases, gardeners find that they get a higher yield for their crops when they choose this method of gardening.

As they are closer to the sun's rays, they also get more light and thus benefit the plants by providing more light.

They require less water since the soil has been amended and created to maintain the moisture by structuring the garden over the course of time. They won't drain the water as quickly and will thus maintain a moisture level that is conducive to growing healthy strong plants.

Since the gardener is more easily able to keep the raised bed weeded, there is room for more crops as well. Companion planting is easier utilized and crops can also be rotated so that what is ripe in the spring leaves room for cooler fall crops later on in the season.

Thus, more garden space is utilized without having to have more room. It's an ideal solution for growing more crops.

Growing vertically is one of the sneaky methods that a lot of raised bed gardeners choose to utilize their space wisely and grow more. It works well for planting such things as corn and beans or other climbing plants.

Even the smallest patio or yard can greatly benefit by raised bed gardening. Ideal for anyone who has minimal space or mobility.

Jonathan Leger is a gardening enthusiast and a sponsored member of the Garden Writer's Association. He also runs a small site dedicated to the history, education and care of knockout roses.

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