This is certainly my preferred way to garden.
Raised bed gardening is simply gardening done in an elevated and freestanding box or other system that raises the growing soil above the surrounding soil and in a small enough space that one can easily reach every part of the garden bed.
Raised beds help the gardener to effectively deal with a number of gardening challenges:
Poor soil quality.
Raised beds help you get away from poor quality, badly drained, or compacted soils that may dominate your site. The soil quality in your bed can be better customized and controlled to suit your specific needs.
Raised beds allow you to target your water use. Instead of watering the whole area, you can target the areas just where the plants are growing. The more intensive nature of raised bed gardening, also, allows your plants to shade the soil and reduce evaporation. Many irrigation systems exist that are designed specifically for raised beds.
Because well-drained soil heats more quickly, the soil in your raised beds warms up earlier in the spring and maintains warmth further into the fall. Depending on where you live and what you use to create your beds, your raised garden will help you extend your growing season by several days or even weeks. For example, the stones I’ve used for my beds serve as a heat sink, warming in the day and radiating heat through the night.
Tree roots and weeds have a more difficult time getting into raised beds than traditional garden plots. By using a thick layer of newspapers or a layer of cardboard at the bottom of your bed you can further limit weed problems. The elevated nature of these beds, also, allows you to easily get to the weeds. And fortunately, rodents have a harder time getting into your raised beds.
Raised beds can be built to suit the physical needs of the gardener. At the right level, raised beds can help prevent aches and pains. The width of the bed can bed adjusted to avoid over extension and make all areas easy to reach. Elderly or disabled gardeners will find raised beds a distinct advantage.
While your choices for planting depends on how deep you made your raised bed, the advantage is that you can plant your veggies much closer together for a more effective use of space. You don’t need to waste space by creating rows. Instead, plant in a diamond pattern to maximize space. Better root growth from better soil will also improve your yield.
Whether you have a large area to garden or just a small space next to the patio, I find raised-bed gardening to be the easiest and most-effective way to raise vegetables.