A Guide to Raised Garden Beds

If you’re a gardening aficionado, then you’ve probably heard of raised garden beds. But in case you’re not familiar with the term, raised garden bed (also known as a garden box) is a planting bed that sits on top of your existing soil. The height can vary from just several inches tall to waist-high ( or even higher! ) and can be made of numerous different materials. Garden boxes are ideal for growing vegetables and flowers in small plots.

Benefits of Raised Bed Gardening

Garden boxes keep away pesky weeds from your garden soil, provide adequate drainage, and act as a barrier to annoying pests like slugs and snails. The sides of the beds will keep your garden soil from washing away and eroding during heavy rains.

A lot of times, gardeners can plant earlier in the season because the soil is warmer and more drained when it’s above ground level.

Raised garden beds can also be further elevated to reduce back strain. This is especially helpful if you’re a more senior gardener or if you have a bad back. 

In some well built raised garden beds, there’s a place to sit while gardening, which is a huge plus.

Factors to Consider While Choosing a Raised Garden Bed

Shape: The most popular shape for a raised garden bed is rectangular, but you can also pick from round beds, square beds, and beds with rounded corners.

 

Width: To eradicate soil compaction, choose a width that allows you to reach all plants without stepping into the bed. If you can reach plants from both sides, a width of 3′ to 4′ is recommended. If your access is limited to one side, consider choosing a 2′ wide raised bed.

 

Length: Most beds are between 4′ and 8′ long, with paths between beds so you can easily tend to them.

 

Depth of planting area: A soil depth of 6″ to 8″ is sufficient for most vegetables. Large plants, like tomatoes, as well as shrubs like blueberries, need deeper soil, especially if the original soil underneath is compacted or of poor quality.

 

Materials to choose from: There are an infinite amount of options to choose from when it comes to the material of your garden box. Wood is a common material for raised beds. Cedar is a wonderful choice because it is long-lasting and highly resistant to rotting. 

 

Metal beds are another great, stylish option. They look super sleek and are exceptionally durable. Unlike wooden raised beds, you don’t have to worry about it rotting or shrinking with moisture.

 

Other than metal and wood, you can use things like:

 

  • Bricks 
  • Cinder or concrete blocks
  • Felled logs
  • Poured concrete
  • Wine barrels
  • Straw bales
  • Large natural stones
  • Pallets, fence boards, or other upcycled wood

 

Overall, a raised garden bed is a fantastic alternative to normal garden beds and offers a range of benefits. You can customize them as per your wish and budget, and they are a great investment. Hopefully, this article helped you with the buying decision!