Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Why Build Grow Boxes?

What is the reason to put in grow boxes versus the conventional method of planting on flat ground with rows?
A view of one of my grow boxes
When my husband first presented the idea of building grow boxes for our garden, I was sceptical. I grew up tilling up the whole garden with our tractor and then planting in rows and sections of the garden, with walk ways in between. This might be a good way for a big farm that grows massive amounts of corn or pumpkins and the such, but if you just have your back yard, and are growing food for your family like me, then you might want to consider grow boxes. Here are some of the benefits that I have seen.
  • Less weeds. Because the beds are raised up, weeds don't get blown in as much, and I notice a big difference on the amount of weeds I have to pull up in the grow boxes.
  • Looser, more friendly soil. One of the ideas of the grow box, is you don't have to walk in them, or drive on it, or use any equipment on them. This helps to keep the soil loose, which help the plants to have an easier time sending out the roots.
  • The good soil is deeper, and more fertile than if on the ground. When you put the grow boxes together, you add good top soil, and many other soil amendments to make it nice fertile soil. In many places, the soil is less than ideal. This way you can guarantee that the soil in your garden is nice, deep, loose, and fertile.
  • It looks nice and clean in your garden. With grow boxes, you garden will have distinct walking paths, the dirt stays in place, and gives your garden a clean, orderly look. I have also tried raised beds, which is similar to the grow boxes, just with out the sides to support the dirt. I prefer the boxes because the dirt is held in place, and will not erode into the walking paths, I also helps to keep the kids from walking on them and packing them down.
  • The soil warms up faster in the spring, allowing you to plant slightly sooner than if on the ground.
  • The soil retains moisture better partially because you have added nice organic matter every year, and have a loamy soil that retains the moisture better.
  • When weeding or harvesting, you can sit on the side of the box- instead of kneeling or bending over. I experience less back problems because I am able to just sit next to the plant and harvest the vegetables.
I am sure there are many more that I cannot think of. Please comment and let me know what you like about grow boxes, or if you have any questions.
Happy Gardening!

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