Have you ever seen a raised bed in a forest? raised beds become irrelevant with the Shredded Woody Mulch (along with vermiculture, soil-testing, compost tea, most composting setups, swales ). actually, they were always irrelevant to micro-organisms as their homes were always being disturbed. and there are other disadvantages, one being that raised beds require ongoing maintenance several times a year.
this evening i was having a conversation with a grower. a long term growers. she was saying, well here in this part of the world, you have to have raised beds because it is so wet, the plants drown in the high rainfall. yes i would have agreed with her any time over the last 20 years. but that was because i was forever “building soil”. with woody mulch, the soil does not become water-logged. nor do the nutrients leech out.
do you want easy, maintenance free OR do you want a rod for your back? Most growers will agree that raised beds are a good idea, if you like that sort of thing – personal choice. Yet there were sound reasons for raising beds, before you got up-to-date with Woody Mulch Method. Once upon a time, I also recommended raised beds, along with Colby-Smith. He says:
Raising beds is a simple way to prevent diseases that can affect plants during prolonged wet weather. Low lying ground, clay soils and high water tables all risk water-logging. Raised beds drain freely and assist air percolate into the soil. Conversely, poor drainage increases the risk of roots becoming weakened in saturated, airless soil and vulnerable to disease. Installing drainage is another solution. However well prepared soil is, it’s essential to limit the time it remains saturated. Even moisture-loving plants benefit from drainage.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Raised Beds LINKS – i have not yet read