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Raised Beds Gardening

Updated on November 11, 2015

Gardening With Raised Beds

Raised beds gardening can be an important alternative for those with soil or climate conditions that aren't conducive to growing a healthy garden.

Living in the Pacific NW our growing season is relatively short. Planting a raised garden would help address that fact and turn it to our advantage.

Raised garden beds come in all shapes and sizes and you get to decide which type suites your needs. There is no reason you can't take some of this information and develop your own style of raised beds.

I will share some of the advantages of raised bed gardening in this article and some resources for more information.

Image Courtesy Of Dan Malec

Raised Garden Beds On Legs
Raised Garden Beds On Legs

Some Advantages Of Raised Bed Gardening

Raised Beds Gardening

Whether your raised garden beds consist of contained areas or mounds of dirt, there are distinct advantages to this method. Soil improvement, better drainage, and the ability to plant earlier in the growing season are just a few of the advantages.

If you do plant in contained areas, you will probably have even more of an advantage in the end. There is less chance of soil erosion in contained beds but gardening on mounds or slight hills of dirt can work as well.

As stated earlier, where I live, we usually cannot plant until late June. If we plant in raised beds, the planting ground would warm up much earlier and make for a longer growing season.

Raised bed gardening also means less chance of weeds since you can put barriers between the bottom of the ground and the dirt placed on top for planting. The weeds and grass that do take root can be easier to remove and keep in check, as the dirt is not as tightly packed as in traditional gardening.

I really like the idea that you can build your raised garden to any height so that there is less bending and stooping while tending the garden. It would be much easier on the back and joints which I am all for. If you plan properly, you can even make your beds wheelchair accessible.

Lastly, if you raise your bed high enough, it can be a great deterrent for dogs and burrowing rodents that may otherwise harm your garden.

Here is a great article that talks about how the raised gardening beds in the above image were constructed.

Raised Bed Gardening Book - Books About Gardening with Raised Beds

It doesn't have to cost a fortune to build a raised bed garden. This book offers some very cost effective options for creating your garden.

Raised Bed Gardening - low cost, high yield and simply done
Raised Bed Gardening - low cost, high yield and simply done

The authors shares from their wealth of knowledge from growing in raised beds by listing alternatives to some expensive raised beds gardening kits. Written for the budget conscious and do-it-yourselfer, this book shows how to get started from 25 popular vegetables and takes you through to recipes.

 

Raised Beds Gardening

Raised Beds Gardening
Raised Beds Gardening

What Can You Grow In Your Raised Beds?

Raised Beds Gardening Planting Ideas

Image Above Courtesy Of Popular Mechanics

You can grow pretty much any type of plant in a raised garden bed as you could in the ground or in containers. The one consideration you need to keep in mind is planting and growing space.

Many squash plants for instance need a lot of space to spread out and grow. Our zucchini plants need about three feet on either side to sprawl according to the seed packets. Unless you have a lot of raised bed space, you might want to consider planting your squash in other areas of the yard.

You will need to take into consideration placement for your different plants so that the tall and climbing plants can have the support they need and room to grow vertically without over shadowing smaller plants.

You can plant vegetables, herbs, flowers or a combination of all of these plants in one bed. Companion planting would be great for raised beds gardening.

As long as your plants have the appropriate amount of sunlight and your raised garden beds are well drained, the sky is the limit as to exactly what you can plant in your raised beds.

Lasagna Gardening, by Patricia Lanza - Another Way to Raised Beds Gardening

If you would like to read more about the Lasagna Gardening style, you can read my Lasagna Gardening Method article. I share more tips and photos to help you understand how you can start your own Lasagna Garden.

Lasagna Gardening: A New Layering System for Bountiful Gardens: No Digging, No Tilling, No Weeding, No Kidding!
Lasagna Gardening: A New Layering System for Bountiful Gardens: No Digging, No Tilling, No Weeding, No Kidding!

Another easy way to build a raised bed for your gardening needs is using the Lasagna Gardening method. There is no digging, weeding, or tilling and it's easy on the back too! I've done this method for several years now and truly love it. Our soil is very rocky and hard. This method of raised bed gardening was the perfect solution for our gardening needs! Your bed can be framed or sloped on the edges. Choose whichever way works best for your gardening needs and give it a shot!

 
Layered Compost Pile
Layered Compost Pile

Make Health Food For Your Soil

Make Your Own Compost Soil For Your Raised Beds

The Growveg.com site offers many articles that can help with your gardening projects. Here is an excerpt that is used with permission -

"Fall is high season for making compost, the finest of all foods to feed your raised beds gardens.

Compost-worthy materials abound this time of year, so all you must do to make a batch is to pile up dead or dying plants, cool-season weeds, fruit and vegetable waste from your kitchen, and maybe some shredded leaves.

Will such a simple project really make a difference in the performance of your veggies next year? You bet it will!..."

Read the rest of this article and check out more gardening posts while there.

image and article excerpt from growveg.com

How To Build Raised Beds Gardens

Here are several How-To videos to help get you started building your own raised garden beds. Click any video for larger view and to watch!


Walks you through building a raised garden bed.

Building a raised bed box to use for your garden.

A simple raised garden bed.

Building a raised garden bed out of fir or redwood, and cedar

Repurposing and recycling to build raised bed gardens for free or very inexpensively

Building a raised bed

Growing food in your raised bed.

Things to consider when building your raised bed garden.

Creating An Edge For Mowing - For Your Raised Beds Garden

A Mowing Edge For A Raised Bed Garden
A Mowing Edge For A Raised Bed Garden

I like the look of this mowing edge for a raised bed garden in the photo above! Not sure if I will do it or not but I thought I would share this link here in case there are others that want to go that extra step with their garden.

Visit the article on Home and Garden TV about building a raised bed vegetable garden to see more photos and get the instructions. Be sure to visit the second page for the whole article.

Square Foot Gardening 101 - A Very Popular Raised Bed Style

These ladies take you through the steps of square foot gardening on this Youtube video.

Raised Bed Gardening Kits

Amazon has a lot of gardening kits and gardening supplies to help get you started with your raised beds gardening.

Click on any link below to see lots more options to choose from!


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Raised Bed Gardening Kits On eBay - More Raised Bed Gardening Kits To Choose From

If you would rather purchase a kit for your raised bed garden than do it yourself, here are more options to consider. You can also click on any item below and browse for more options.


How Do You Feel About Raised Beds Gardening?

What has been your experience with raised beds gardening?

No Way! Gardens were meant to be flat and on the ground. It just doesn't seem right to me.

No Way! Gardens were meant to be flat and on the ground. It just doesn't seem right to me.

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    Absolutely! Raised garden beds all the way! They work just as good as the in ground gardens if not better in some climates.

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      • John Dyhouse 2 years ago from UK

        I use a lot of containers, do these count as raised beds? I find that I can move them around the garden as required, I have a lot of shade and put plants where they will most benefit from shelter / full sun / etc.

      • Scott A McCray 3 years ago

        Yep - love raised beds. Higher yield, easier to tend...win/win.

      • Christine and Peter Broster 4 years ago from Tywyn Wales UK

        I have only dabbled so far but I plan to buy a vegetable trough on legs to grow salad leaves and herbs. It will make it much easier to garden without the wear and tear on your back.

      • LadyDuck 4 years ago

        Great Idea!

      • Fox Music 4 years ago

        Great Idea !!

      • WindyWintersHubs 4 years ago from Vancouver Island, BC

        Our strawberry patch works well in a rectangle raised bed. Would love to one of those tier ones.

      • martycarlton lm 4 years ago

        raised beds make it easier for people who aren't as mobile to keep on gardening. If built for wheelchair access, pretty easy to do, someone who had to give up gardening can enjoy playing in the dirt again.

      • Judith Nazarewicz 4 years ago from Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

        Raised gardens are good all around! Very informative lens! Thanks

      • Ursel001 4 years ago

        Great idea for my mother!

      • Tony Bonura 4 years ago from Tickfaw, Louisiana

        I think this a great idea. In addition, the raised beds would make it easier to make it into a "greenhouse."

        TonyB

      • Cara 4 years ago

        We built them for my folks. They're not as agile as they used to be and can now spend time gardening again.

      • Allison Whitehead 4 years ago

        I actually like both - but there isn't a choice for sitting on the fence! lol

      • BrightDaysAhead 4 years ago

        They are perfect for this area of the coast! We have a lot of sand here and salal growing everywhere, so that makes it hard to grow anything around here. Raised beds are the way to go! Thank you for all of the great information you offer on your lens!

      • Judy Filarecki 4 years ago from SW Arizona and Northern New York

        I started doing raised beds about 3 years ago and have them on my patio just outside my dining room door. It is really handy and great to be able to just walk out the door and get your fresh veggies. Today it is some swiss chard for lunch.

      I would love to hear your thoughts and comments!

      Will You Be Using Raised Beds For Your Gardens This Year?

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          anonymous 5 years ago

          I enjoyed learning about raised bed gardening. Very good information which will come in handy for me too.

        • profile image

          MintySea 5 years ago

          I need to try again with gradening I am so bad

        • Wbisbill LM profile image

          Barbara Isbill 5 years ago from New Market Tn 37820

          Thumbs up on another great lens. This topic interests me, as we love gardening.

          P.S. Thanks for visiting my Christmas Traditions lens.

        • profile image

          nwills90_123 5 years ago

          Great lens lot of info for growing vegetables thanks, I have just started out in growing www.squidoo.com/growing-vegetables-easy-tips

        • annleecakes profile image

          Trulee Ann 5 years ago from Arkansas City, Kansas

          Osiyo:

          Truly enjoyed you interesting lens sharing.

          I use and have many raised gardens in my Water Fountain garden areas.

          Blessings......Annlee

        • profile image

          anonymous 5 years ago

          What a great idea thanks for sharing the info. It would be a great idea for an apartment

        • profile image

          anonymous 5 years ago

          thanks for sharing

        • profile image

          anonymous 5 years ago

          Raised bed gardens do make gardening easier, and the plants love them. Great ideas for everyone interested, and a good resources. :)

        • TheArtLibrarian profile image

          TheArtLibrarian 5 years ago

          Yes, I do already. Nice lens -- very thorough! Thanks.

        • tvyps profile image

          Teri Villars 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

          I love this kind of stuff. I wish I lived in a more temperate climate so I could do these. The second you plant something here in Phoenix, the sun roasts it away! Squid Angel blessed!

        • Blkeeslar profile image

          Billie Keeslar 5 years ago from Mississippi

          Last year was my first year to garden - I did tomato plants and herbs in containers. Yesterday I was at Sams and they had raised garden kits - I bought one cannot wait to get started. I am so glad I started my compost.

        • profile image

          anonymous 5 years ago

          Enjoyed reading this, this is an item for my wife and I to do this spring! *blessed*

        • Rosaquid profile image

          Rosaquid 5 years ago

          I'm getting jazzed for the coming season! Thanks for the info.

        • suzy-t profile image

          suzy-t 5 years ago

          So many benefits to raised beds...Nice and neat...good drainage...Thanks for sharing some of your ideas here.

        • orange3 lm profile image

          orange3 lm 5 years ago

          I like to use my raised bed to contain things like strawberries and anything else that can easily take over my garden area. Great ideas here...thanks.

        • kindoak profile image

          kindoak 5 years ago

          This is a lens to my liking! Spring is coming, time to plant the seeds!

        • Einar A profile image

          Einar A 5 years ago

          Very informative article! I have used raised beds in the past and had a lot of success with them.

        • DrBillSmithWriter profile image

          William Leverne Smith 5 years ago from Hollister, MO

          This is something I really do want to do. Thanks for the info! ;-)

        • Diana Wenzel profile image

          Renaissance Woman 5 years ago from Colorado

          This was a great introduction to raised bed gardening. I learned several new techniques that I can use immediately. I like the strategy of introducing the seedlings to the outdoors over several days. I've never tried a square foot matrix before but I appreciate the ease demonstrated here. Thank you for all of this food for thought. Valuable information, for sure.

        • Lee Hansen profile image

          Lee Hansen 5 years ago from Vermont

          I have two big raised box/raised bed gardens in my former home and one ground level raised bed hoop house at my new home. This season my daughter and I will be building a complete raised bed garden system in the back yard. It will be lots of fun and we get organic veggies for almost free.

        • Brandi Bush profile image

          Brandi 5 years ago from Maryland

          I had to stop back by as I'm planning on doing my raised beds sometime next week. Great tips you have here! Hope you had a lovely Easter! :)

        • lesliesinclair profile image

          lesliesinclair 5 years ago

          You're really smart to share that square foot gardening idea. Raised beds is the only way to go.

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          JoshK47 5 years ago

          Very cool, indeed!

        • cajkovska lm profile image

          cajkovska lm 5 years ago

          Nice idea... maybe I will try using it next year.

        • DIY Mary profile image

          DIY Mary 4 years ago

          The raised gardening kits look like they'd be fun to try.

        • junecampbell profile image

          June Campbell 4 years ago from North Vancouver, BC, Canada

          A friend let me use a raised bed garden in her yard last year because I do not have a garden. It was a lot of fun.

        • Judy Filarecki profile image

          Judy Filarecki 4 years ago from SW Arizona and Northern New York

          Best way to go for one or two people.

        • jcairney profile image

          jcairney 4 years ago

          Raised beds make any garden look great. Really good to work with too...saves a lot of bending. Well done for a great lens.

        • senditondown profile image

          Senditondown 4 years ago from US

          We have in the past, but not this year. However, my back really enjoys it when the plants are off the ground!

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          anonymous 4 years ago

          I still have a regular garden in the ground, but I would love to do some raised beds for flowers. I love the brick around the beds, it would definitely cut down on trimming.

        • Allison Whitehead profile image

          Allison Whitehead 4 years ago

          Lovely lens. I like the mowing edge for the raised bed too.

        • RyanBlock profile image

          RyanBlock 4 years ago

          Liked the lens, another great thing about an elevated raised bed is it is accessible to those people with bad backs or disabilities.

        • kristalulabelle profile image

          Kristen 4 years ago from Wisconsin

          I loved all of the great pictures and the benefits of raised bed gardening. Great read!

        • tonybonura profile image

          Tony Bonura 4 years ago from Tickfaw, Louisiana

          I don't think that I will be using raised beds myself, but I still think it is a great idea. Thanks for sharing.

          TonyB

        • onyesvic profile image

          onyesvic 4 years ago

          Great work

        • Judith Nazarewicz profile image

          Judith Nazarewicz 4 years ago from Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

          Awesome lens!

        • WindyWintersHubs profile image

          WindyWintersHubs 4 years ago from Vancouver Island, BC

          We have a strawberry patch in a raised bed. Would love to add a few smaller ones for vegetables. The redesign and relocate would be ideal as we always seem to be moving something around in the yard. Thanks for these great ideas. Blessed!

        • Gypzeerose profile image

          Rose Jones 4 years ago

          You have done such a nice job on this important topic. I am going to try the lasagna gardening if it is easy on my back! Pinned to my "How does Your Garden Grow" board, out by digg and blessed.

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          anonymous 4 years ago

          I certainly doing raised beds this year. Thanks for the info

        • Fox Music profile image

          Fox Music 4 years ago

          Another Enjoyable Lens "Raised Beds Gardening" full of valuable information !!

        • Holly22 profile image

          Christine and Peter Broster 4 years ago from Tywyn Wales UK

          Yes, I will for sure.

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          ajmac 4 years ago

          I like the idea on raised beds for your gardens. Great work and I will use raised beds for my gardens.

        • John Dyhouse profile image

          John Dyhouse 2 years ago from UK

          To be absolutely brutal I started using containers because of a plague of cats. The neighbours simply let their pets roam and I am or was the only person who dug the garden regularly for veggies, etc. I gave up and invested in containers.

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          Itaya Lightbourne 2 years ago from Topeka, KS

          @John Dyhouse: I love using containers myself! I don't see why containers wouldn't count as raised beds. They work for me. :)

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