Raised Bed Gardening

Raised bed gardening utilizes elevated boxes filled with soil to grow, instead of directly planting into the ground.

They are most often constructed of wood, but can also be built out of stone, brick, or rocks. Sizes of raised beds vary, but they should be it least 12 inches in height to allow for proper root growth, especially when growing vegetables. They should also not be wider than 4 feet, or else you may not be able to reach the middle of the bed.

Growing in raised beds provides many advantages when compared to in-ground planting, especially if you are gardening in an urban area. 

  • The soil mix in raised beds will be looser, lighter, and more full of nutrients as opposed to heavy clay soils that would need to be tilled and amended before planting.

  • If you are gardening in an urban area and are concerned about harmful materials in the soil, growing in a raised bed will ensure your soil is healthy and free of contaminants.

  • Drainage is also improved, permitting better root growth, resulting in larger plants and thus higher crop yields.

  • Soil in raised beds also warms up more quickly, allowing you to get a faster start on the growing season.

  • It is also easier to keep weeds from overtaking your garden since your soil is separated from the ground.

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Bed Sizing

It least 12 inches in height

No more than 4 feet wide.

Common dimensions are 8'x4'x12" or 4'x4'x12".

Building Materials

Rot resistant wood such as cedar. 

Brick, stone, or other masonry.

Do not use pressure treated wood or railroad ties.

Advantages

Improved soil health.

Free of contaminants.

Superior drainage.

Extended growing season.

Less weeding.

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Raised Bed Building Guide