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Raised beds have been around for centuries. It is known from medieval records, for example, that raised beds surrounded by plaited willow branches were common in many monastery gardens. But also terraced gardens such as the famous Hanging Gardens of Babylon - one of the seven ancient wonders of the world - were built thousands of years ago. Nowadays, raised beds usually consist of a rectangular box and are filled with compostable material. But there are many very different variants of this principle.

Raised beds can be made from a variety of materials

What is a raised bed?

Raised beds have probably been around for as long as people have been growing vegetables, which is thousands of years. They probably emerged from the so-called hill beds, which function according to a similar principle - but who built the first raised bed, when and why is unfortunately not known. A raised bed is a "high bed", i.e. the higher variant of a normal garden bed. However, a classic raised bed offers many more advantages than just a more comfortable working height: Due to the special filling and the constant rotting process inside the bed, raised beds also contain many nutrients and also radiate much more heat - this is of great benefit to the plants growing on them .

What types of raised beds are there?

Raised beds can be made from a variety of materials. For example, variants made of wood, stone, metal, plastic or even material mixtures such as the popular combination of wood and stone are conceivable. In addition, numerous materials and vessels can also be used for other purposes and transformed into a raised bed with little effort. For example, resourceful gardeners have built upcycling raised beds from concrete shaft rings or old Euro pallets (€29.99), discarded water or wine barrels and potato sacks have been repurposed, or used paving stones have been reused. Furthermore, raised beds can not only be rectangular, but can take on many different shapes: They are round, curved, curved, polygonal or concave… They are available with legs (and thus a possibility for wheelchair users to drive underneath) or without, with seating or without. There are no limits to your ideas!

Classic raised bed

The classic raised bed is rectangular, around 80 centimeters high, 140 centimeters wide, 200 centimeters long and filled with a carefully thought-out composition of compost material. This raised bed has an open bottom and is always in contact with the ground so that excess irrigation water can run off and beneficial microorganisms can get into the raised bed from the soil. From this basic principle - which is borrowed from the original hill bed - a wide variety of raised bed shapes have developed.

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Another variant are raised beds that have been converted into a greenhouse or cold frame. With the right attachment, this can be done in no time at all and ensures a longer gardening season.

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