Raised vs. In-Ground Beds: The Pros & Cons
In recent years, raised garden beds have skyrocketed in popularity due to their aesthetic appeal and easier maintenance. But just because they're popular doesn't mean they're right for you and your garden. If you're struggling to decide which garden bed is right for you, read on to review the pros and cons of raised versus in-ground beds.
This post contains affiliate links that I make a small commission on with no added fee to your purchase.
The Pros and Cons of Raised Garden Beds
Part of what makes raised garden beds so popular is that they're much easier to access and more ergonomic than in-ground beds. Raised beds are great for gardeners with physical limitations or disabilities that would make using in-ground beds impossible or painful. Additionally, it becomes much easier to remove weeds and manage the overall health of your soil. Raised beds help mitigate one of the most common garden problems: animals. The walls of the garden bed make it much more difficult for smaller critters to get at what you're growing.
However, while raised garden beds are often lauded for their drainage improvement, they can also cause soil to drain too fast, not giving roots enough time to absorb. Roots of larger plants may also need much more space to spread out. Your raised bed may not be able to provide you with. And because crafting these garden beds can be costly, not everyone can simply expand the beds at their leisure.
The Pros and Cons of In-Ground Beds
Because in-ground beds don't require extra building materials, they're much cheaper, easier to create, easier to modify, and last much longer. With raised garden beds, the bed will eventually become damaged, and you may have to replace it entirely. You don't have to worry about remaking an in-ground bed because it uses natural resources already found in your garden. You also have more design options, meaning you can arrange, shape, and layer your beds much more flexibly and with ease.
Unfortunately, in-ground beds aren't as accessible for people with mobility issues, meaning they aren’t always the most accessible option. And due to their low level, it's much easier for pests to get at what you're growing and much easier for weeds to overtake your land if it’s not pulled from the root.
Which Garden Bed Is Right for You?
Both garden beds come with their pros and cons, and to decide which one is right for you, you must ask yourself a few questions.
How large will the root systems of your plants grow? How much water do those root systems need, and how long do the roots take to absorb water? Do you have access to the materials and resources necessary to craft raised beds? Do you have any mobility issues preventing you from maintaining an in-ground bed? Are pests an issue in your area, and do you need to take extra precautions to protect your garden?
Now that you know the pros and cons of raised versus in-ground beds, you can decide which one is right for you and your garden! Just remember and be prepared for each type to have its own set of drawbacks. Other than that, go out there and enjoy your garden!