In the last two posts, we defined a raised bed square foot garden and talked about the advantages of a square foot garden. Today we will discuss the disadvantages.
- Raised beds tend to dry out more quickly in the hot summer time, thus increasing the need for more frequent water. However, keep in mind that it takes less water for the smaller space, and this small increase in labor is still much less than the overall labor to keep up a traditional garden planted in rows.
- The frame and the soil can be expensive, but it is a one time start up cost that can be spread over ten or fifteen years. I have two beds that are 12 years old and are still working great. Amend the soil with compost and Purely Organic each year to replace the nutrients that are used by the plants.
- Square foot gardening will need better management because increased plant density may result in some pest concerns, especially foliar diseases.
- I have had good crops of snow peas, green beans, and limas on a fence or trellis along one side of the bed. I think you could do musk melons cradled and tied to the fence or trellis with old pantyhose, but not watermelons, which would be too heavy. Raised beds are not very user friendly for vine crops except beans, cucumbers, peas, and maybe musk melons.