Horticulture/Raised Beds

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Raised garden beds

Raised beds are garden beds which are raised above the level of the surrounding soil. They are used both in gardens and on small farms as a way of making gardens easy to work on, and as a way of preserving soil structure, since raised beds aren't meant to be walked on.

Raised beds are usually contained with a hard border such as logs, timber, cinder blocks, or even concrete. They are usually designed to be from 3 to 5 feet wide, which allows every part of the bed to be within arms reach for planting, maintenance, and harvesting.

Raised beds are particularly useful when there are drainage issues, stumps, or other problems with the soil.

Raised beds can be created at any time of year, including winter.

Designing beds[edit]

Beds should not be too wide to reach across from either side

Inter-rows will need to be maintained. For small interrows mulches or gravel can be used. If interrows are to be maintained as turf, leave plenty of room for the mower, accounting for subsidence.

Logs should be as long as possible, at least 6 inches diameter.

While dumping compost, buttress the siding logs with short logs or stone. Eventually use wedges.

When possible, build the beds when the soil is frozen or very dry to avoid rutting.

Add enough soil to leave a fairly high mound, as the compost will settle over time.

When the logs rot away, either replace them or return the area to tilled soil for a time.

See also[edit]

Making Raised Beds with Tractors