Grow boxes are container-based gardens which can be both soil or hydroponically based. They are usually square or rectangular and can be constructed using plastic, wood, concrete blocks or you can purchase a ready-made setup.
Grow beds, also called ‘raised beds’, is a popular type of grow box. They are self-built rectangular grow boxes and they have become very prevalent due to the ease of growing vegetables and allow for better control of pest and weeds. You can grow almost any crop in grow beds by adjusting the depth of the bed when constructing it.
Traditional grow beds can be filled with soil as the growth medium and are manually watered and fertilised. They are usually not lined with any ground cover which gives more space for root growth.
Hydroponic grow beds can be categorised under the drip systems. The base is lined with ground cover; the growth medium can range from coconut coir (the natural fibre from the husk of the coconut), sharp sand, or a perlite and vermiculite mixture (both of these are lightweight volcanic stones filled with air and are used in potting soils).
The surface of the bed is lined with irrigation tubing so that watering and fertigation (injection of fertilisers) can be done automatically with the use of a timer or lock-off valve connected to a small reservoir.
Grow beds can be built for commercial crop production or for households as an outdoor kitchen garden. Leafy vegetables such as lettuce, kale, patchoi and cabbage are preferentially grown however tomato, sweet pepper, melongene and other taller vegetables can be grown with a greater depth bed.
For vining crops such as cucumbers and sweet potatoes, a trellis can be designed to canopy the bed for the vines. Grow beds can even spruce up your landscape by building smaller versions for your ornamentals.
It is not advised to grow large trees (fruit trees) in your beds however dwarf hybrids (e.g. dwarf citrus plants) can be grown well.
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