Raised Bed Gardening

Raised Planting Beds Provide Form and Function

Environmental awareness is driving the popularity of locally and home-grown fruits and vegetables. Besides the fact that nothing beats the taste of home-grown veggies, producing some of your own food is kind to your wallet as well. Raised beds give your fruit and vegetable garden a neater and more polished look while being much easier to maintain. Raised beds save backs and solve soil problems!

Your design should include several raised beds instead of one large one because smaller beds allow access to all the plants and enable you to group similar plants together. Simple paths between them provide for easy access. Depending on your location (one that gets plenty of sun for produce) a great design of raised beds can easily compliment your current landscape.

Because raised beds are filled with amended soil, your plants will florish. Select an assortment of the fruits and vegetables, herbs, and flowers that you like and you can provide you and your family with fresh produce throughout the growing season.

Many raised beds are made of wood with redwood being the top choice, but you can save money by choosing cedar or Douglas Fir. Be sure to stay away from pressure-treated lumber because of the chemicals used to treat the lumber will leach into the soil. 

Stone circles, low stone walls, like the kind that line old fields and orchards make beautiful raised beds when built in generous proportions on broad stretches of lawn. Remember your raised beds can vary in height to improve sight lines.

Because raised beds drain quickly, an irrigation system is recommended. A professional irrigation system that features emitters are preferred, but a standard drip system could also be used. Remember grouping plants with similar water needs in the same bed simplify the watering process.

​The basic steps to building a raised bed are the same regardless of dimensions. 12 inch sides are tall enough although beds of 2 feet high or taller require less bending over (they are also accessible to gardeners in wheelchairs.) Beds four feet wide can be tended comfortably from either side.