Raised Peds - Knowledgebase Question

Sanatoga, PA
Question by cmcmahon2
March 26, 2001
We are planning on planting rasberries and the article suggested "raised beds". What are "raised beds"? How does one make a "raised bed"?

Answer from NGA
March 26, 2001


A raised bed is simply an area where the soil surface height has been raised above the level of the surrounding area. It can be enclosed in a framework of boards, stones, or cinderblocks or it can be left with a natural edge. It can be any height from 4 to 18 inches. It is a technique used to overcome shortcomings in the native soil and/or to improve drainage and/or for decorative purposes. (Depending on your native soil you might not necessarily need raised beds to grow raspberries.) To make a raised bed, roughen the existing soil, then mix with it any amendments as needed. Usually, the additions are compost or other organic matter and a small amount of sand. It is not generally a good idea to buy topsoil for the beds. You would need to run some basic soil tests to find out if you need other amendments such as lime or fertilizer and to learn more about your native soil. Your county extension (489-4315)should be able to help you with the tests and interpreting the results.

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