Raised Grow Bed vs Straight Ground

what is your preferred way to grow out stock?

  • In a raised bed with soil of your choice

    Votes: 6 46.2%
  • In the ground with amended soil

    Votes: 2 15.4%
  • In the ground with native soil

    Votes: 2 15.4%
  • In a pot/planter

    Votes: 3 23.1%

  • Total voters
    13
Messages
468
Likes
609
Location
Netherlands
#4
I'm doing all of the above. But I have to say that straight up soil has my preference.
I don't like to have to water ground growing plants daily (like with amended soil) until they've rooted deep enough.
Full regular soil seems to work best for that need. I could do a regular soil raised bed, that would make it easier to work the roots later. But them again, I'm going to dig my plants up next spring, and throw a tile or fine mesh under them.
 
Messages
3,119
Likes
4,816
Location
on the IL-WI border, a mile from ''da Lake''
USDA Zone
5b
#6
I tend to use large nursery pots, or Anderson flats or other large containers. The media is recycled bonsai mix with added organics, like used orchid mix. Pots usually only need to be watered once a week. I use 1 gallon thru 20 gallon sizes. My native soil is heavy clay, once a tree roots in, you are never going to get it out. The thought of building a propper grow bed always made my back hurt. And should roots go deeper into the clay below, the tree could be a permanent feature.

Pots have advantage of being able to be moved to work table for pruning.

Down side of pots is growth is not as rapid as ground growing. But it can be fast enough to get reasonable results.
 
Messages
7,111
Likes
10,525
Location
OC, CA
USDA Zone
10A
#7
Does anyone's have a preference between growing out pre-bonsai in a raised bed vs just straight in the ground? If so, why?
Here people use raised beds because our soil is clay and does not absorb water quickly. You have to be careful when digging out a garden bed and filling it with garden soil that you aren't creating a swimming pool/swamp.

Having a raised bed allows the water to percolate through the soil and drain out the bottom of the bed, rinsing the soil. It also generally allows for higher oxygen levels in the soil than ground growing. Downside - soil dries much more quickly and is not as protected from temperature swings - high or low.
 
Messages
858
Likes
3,104
Location
London, England
#8
Here people use raised beds because our soil is clay and does not absorb water quickly. You have to be careful when digging out a garden bed and filling it with garden soil that you aren't creating a swimming pool/swamp.

Having a raised bed allows the water to percolate through the soil and drain out the bottom of the bed, rinsing the soil. It also generally allows for higher oxygen levels in the soil than ground growing. Downside - soil dries much more quickly and is not as protected from temperature swings - high or low.
top laying the bed with weed matting will help to keep it moist for longer.
 

Dav4

Imperial Masterpiece
Messages
9,022
Likes
13,339
Location
North Georgia/lived in MA until 2009
USDA Zone
7b
#9
I do both here in GA. Generally speaking, when landscape trees are concerned, I feel it's best NOT to amend soil if you're planting in the ground as getting the roots growing into the native soil immediately will lead to a faster establishment, and I've carried this belief over into growing out pre-bonsai stock. GA red clay is actually a great soil to grow things in, so where it's diggable, I'll plant directly into the native soil, and apply a 2" layer of wood chip mulch around the planting area. Where it isn't diggable, I'll plant on top of the soil, with lot's of compost and topsoil recovered from other areas of my yard. Both my tomatoes and my tridents agree with these measures...;).