Benefits of Raised Garden Beds
There are many reasons for converting your conventional garden space into raised garden beds. Among the most popular reasons:
- Using raised beds, planted intensively can produce 4-6 times the amount of yield than normal row planting.
- The size of the area you need using raised beds is greatly reduced.
- By cutting down on the wasted space between rows you can save as much as 70%.
- Managing your raised garden beds is easier and takes less time. This makes them ideal for gardeners with physical concerns.
- Adding fertilizer to this compact space saves dollars instead of spreading it throughout a row garden.
- Plants that like to spread and take over are far easier to keep confined to their designated space.
- You can have lawn or various groundcovers that can add color and or aroma to your space. Try planted creeping pennyroyal between your beds to help keep out bugs. As you walk on it, you will enjoy the refreshing aroma and flies and mosquitoes will even stay away from the area!
- You may wish to have raised garden beds closing off the entire perimeter of your garden space. The perimeter beds can be planted with plants and herbs that repel insects, such as Wormwood, Mugwort, Pennyroyal, Garlic, Marigolds, Pyrethrin, Hyssop, Rosemary, Sage, Thyme, Nasturtiums, Catnip, Chives, Feverfew, Marigolds, and Rue.
- Less work than a regular garden. Digging the soil to create a raised bed will prepare the beds for several gardening years. The soil does not get compacted down from being stepped on, so maintaining the soil is much easier. Also, the more soil builders you add, the easier the soil is to work with. Roots crops especially benefit from raised beds, as they need non-compacted soil to reach full growth potential.
If you have a row garden now, start converting to raised garden beds, a couple a year. Try planting garlic or onions first and you'll be converted forever to raised beds - just based on the size difference alone! With the savings in money, time and space, what are you waiting for?
A simple landscape design plan using Raised Garden Beds - including a raised bed border
How To Make A Raised Garden Bed
- Design your beds as long as is practical but beds should not be more than 5' wide. You want to be able to easily reach the center from either side.
- Now you're ready to mark off your bed. Use a simple 4 corner post and your garden string to define the area.
- Lightly moisten the soil, remove any top vegetation and add a 3" layer of compost into the top 1' of soil.
- Start digging a row (trench) at one end of your bed about the width and depth of your shovel. Remove the soil and place it in a wheelbarrow for later.
- Inside this ditch, you will dig down another level - loosening the underlying soil in the trench with a spading fork until you are down about 12" deep. Try not to mix the lower soil with the topsoil.
- Dig a second trench the same as the first. Shovel the top level of soil onto the first trench you made (this creates the "raised" part of your garden bed). Go back into the second trench and loosen the subsoil you have exposed. Continue trenching and loosening until you reach the end of your bed. Basically you are digging down two levels and putting the top of your second row onto your first row, etc.
- When the last trench is dug and its subsoil loosened, fill it with the remaining soil from your wheelbarrow.
- Rake the top of the bed smooth and flat. Shape the bed so that the sides slope gently outward at the base. If desired, box the perimeter of the bed using 2x10 lumber fastened with galvanized nails. Be sure NOT to use treated lumber as chemicals can leach into your soil, and then into your vegetables.
That's it! Plant your seeds and enjoy the new look and ease of your garden!
Nothing beats a raised bed for growing vegetables. They keep the soil warm for improved root growth, retain moisture and practically eliminate weeding. Our revolutionary Grow Bed raises soil temperatures even more with energy-absorbing black plastic sides and it costs less than other raised beds too. In our test gardens, five Grow Beds yielded over 50 pounds of sweet, juicy melons, over 100 bell peppers, 54 eggplants, 53 pounds of potatoes and 216 pounds of tomatoes—in just 45 square feet! Extends the growing season. Disassembles easily for storage.
Copper Cap Raised Bed, 3' x 6'
According to many experienced gardeners, the ideal raised bed is a trim rectangle, attractive and easy to tend. These Vermont-built raised beds are made of durable, rot-resistant red cedar. Copper corner caps further inhibit rot, and give the whole bed a handsome, finished look. 10-1/2 inches deep, these raised garden beds are perfect for deep-rooted crops. When looks and durability count, these are the raised beds to use.
12" In-Line Connectors, Set of 2
In-Line connectors keep your Raised Bed straight and true. For raised beds that won't bow out at the sides, use 4-foot planks and join them with these reinforcing in-line connectors. Sized to fit standard milled 2 x lumber
8" Raised Bed Corners, Set of 2
The hardest part of building a raised bed is constructing corners that are square, strong and trim-looking. These ingenious Raised Bed Corners are brackets that cut building time and result in a handsome, sturdy raised bed every time. Can be used with standard lumber, or Composite Lumber, sold separately. For beds that are over 4 ft. long, add In-Line Connectors to prevent bowing.
Stackable Corner Joints, Set of 2
Use these versatile corners to create everything from multi-level raised beds to angled landscape edging. Use singly for 5-1/2" high beds or edging, or stack two corners for an 11" high bed. Use with standard 2 x 6 lumber (fastening screws are included) Your 2" x 6" lumber slides right in.
Self-Watering Raised Bed, White
Now you can enjoy all the advantages of raised bed gardening, plus the added benefit of watering weekly instead of daily. This stylish planter boasts two 4-gallon reservoirs that keep plants lush and green even in a drought. Its crisp lines and realistic wood grain look elegant on the patio, but it's tough enough to use in the garden, because it's made of crack-proof, fade-proof polypropylene.