What is a raised bed?
An area of soil which is higher than the surrounding garden. A raised bed can be edged with timber, or other material, but may just be a mound of soil. The height is not critical and usually varies from 4″-6″ up to a couple of feet. Deeper beds are often used by people with health problems but remember they will need a lot of soil.
Why use them?
- Better drainage
- Warmer soil
- Deeper layer of topsoil
- A few inches higher is easier on the gardener’s back!
What to make raised beds out of?
- Wood but not pressure-treated, old scaffold planks are good.
- Cinder blocks, very cold weather can sometimes break them.
- Cedar or redwood, natural insect-repellant.
The soil in beds becomes raised by double digging the bed and the application of organic matter. There is no need to add soil unless you want a very deep bed, say more than 300mm (12 inches) deep.
These are some new raised beds edged with scaffold planks which are about 230mm (9 inches) wide.
(Click image to enlarge)