How to Plan a Raised Bed Vegetable Garden

A raised bed vegetable garden consists of boxes made of wood, stone, or recycled materials and filled with soil and compost. Plants are grown within the raised beds. Because you never walk on the soil around the plants, it never compacts. Raised beds are great for the elderly, since you can remain seated while gardening; the extra height of the bed makes it easier to tend the plants. They are also easier to
how to plan a raised bed vegetable garden, gardening, how to, raised garden beds
My raised bed vegetable garden.
how to plan a raised bed vegetable garden, gardening, how to, raised garden beds
Build only as many beds as you will need for your family. Focus your gardening efforts on growing vegetables such as tomatoes which always taste better when fresh from the garden. Don't waste time, space or money growing vegetables that are less expensive at the store. Plan your garden around what your family wants and needs.
how to plan a raised bed vegetable garden, gardening, how to, raised garden beds
Always build your raised bed vegetable garden where it will receive plenty of bright, direct sunlight. Light is the most important quality to look for since you are going to fill the beds with fresh soil anyway, and irrigation can be added, too. Vegetables grow best in full sunlight, defined as six or more hours of light per day.
My husband and I built this raised bed vegetable garden using pine lumber coated with environmentally-friendly preservatives to prevent rot. We stapled landscape fabric across the bottom of the bed to prevent grass from growing through, then turned the bed over so that the landscape fabric is on the bottom. The soil you see piled up in the bed at left was then added to the raised bed. Our soil is a mix of bagged garden center soil, compost and manure, peat moss, and a special garden compost we buy in bulk from the local mill. It's basically composted bark and scrap wood.
how to plan a raised bed vegetable garden, gardening, how to, raised garden beds
Asparagus in the raised bed.
Asparagus in the raised bed.
Jeanne Grunert

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

1 question
  • Sus4744758
    on Feb 23, 2016

    Hi! I am very new to vegetable gardening, and want to do it right. Here are a few questions I have, if you don't mind taking the time to answer. What is the benefit of raised gardening? Is it something I should do? What do I do so that my plants don't get eaten by the wildlife in our area? (Deer, raccoon, skunks, groundhogs...) How do I keep my plants to grow straight and high? Thank you!

    • Jeanne Grunert
      on Feb 23, 2016

      Please see my blog post series on raised bed gardens here: . These and other posts on my blog about raised bed gardens will tell you the benefits, steps to build, etc. A fence is the only way to keep deer out of a garden. "Keeping plants growing straight and high" - not sure which plants you are trying to grow? Learn all you can about soil right now, since soil is the building block of a healthy vegetable garden. Make sure your garden is in FULL bright sunlight. Other than that, read, read, read online. Look for gardening information from your local Cooperative Extension office which is scientifically based. Good luck!

Join the conversation

2 of 6 comments
  • Dfm
    on Feb 16, 2017

    Hi! how did your do last year? the best advice i got for my raised beds were to make the width narrow enough I didn't have to get in the box to plant or harvest. about 4 ft wide was a good distance for me. rabbits are always a threat to garden, and man can they jump. not to mention deer. in town, not so much deer. lots of rabbits. they only way i've found to keep them from nibbling was to take a plastic small mesh fencing and make sleeves for each the plants, high enough the the bunnies cant reach- about 12-18 inches. esp if you leave the rough cut edge up, secure the bottom with landscape staples. if you use twist ties, you can untie and lay them flat for over winter.

  • Suanne
    on May 2, 2017

    I did a container garden last year for the 1st time and did pretty good. This year I am expanding to a raised bed also and in the corner of my yard a few vines for my Mom and my grill, in a fenced in corner. I am still trying my hand at different flowers. I have a new place to call home, so I have some big dreams to come yet. Wish me luck. SD Nebraska

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