Ask a Question forum: Raised Beds - Yes or no?

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Name: Trevor
Glen Rock, PA (Zone 6b)
Tcarrington
Apr 14, 2018 9:42 AM CST
For the past 4 Years I have planted vegetables in raised beds (4 - 4x8 beds). Next year I'll be moving my garden to a different location and I'm considering whether or not I should moved the beds or just plant in rows?

I know the benefit of the raised beds is a higher quality soil, but do they actually restrict the growth of what I plant?
For example - I don't typically plant things like pumpkins/gourds or melons because they take up too much space.

Another follow up - what is the ideal size (sq ft) for my garden if I want to plant a good variety of veggies? I can list out what I'd like to grow if that would be helpful.

Thanks!
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
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DaisyI
Apr 14, 2018 9:58 PM CST
I can think of two reasons for raised beds:

An attempt to get above areas of poor soil ie: alkaline soil (my problem) or hardpan (my Dad's problem).

Raised beds add definition, interest and borders to your landscaping.

There are probably more.

If you move your garden to a new area, unless you have poor soil or want definition, there's no reason for a raised bed. You need not rototil and fortify large areas of your new garden if you dig 'Planting holes" (about 5 gallon bucket size) and "planting rows" (about 1 ft deep by 1 ft wide).

Calculate how much room each type of vegetable you want to grow takes (draw pictures). Tomatoes and eggplants should be 2 - 3 ft apart. Peppers, okra can be about a foot apart. Melons, cucumbers, squash and pumpkins about 6 ft apart. They will intermingle but that's not a problem. Corn should be planted in blocks to aid in pollination. Add that all up and you will know the size your garden should be. Smiling

Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

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Name: Yardenman
Maryland (Zone 7a)
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Yardenman
Apr 15, 2018 2:33 AM CST
Tcarrington said:For the past 4 Years I have planted vegetables in raised beds (4 - 4x8 beds). Next year I'll be moving my garden to a different location and I'm considering whether or not I should moved the beds or just plant in rows?

I know the benefit of the raised beds is a higher quality soil, but do they actually restrict the growth of what I plant?
For example - I don't typically plant things like pumpkins/gourds or melons because they take up too much space.

Another follow up - what is the ideal size (sq ft) for my garden if I want to plant a good variety of veggies? I can list out what I'd like to grow if that would be helpful.

Thanks!


Raised beds will always have better soil and give you more control over the watering. Mine are 12" high, and most veggies don't need more depth. I can control the fertilization and pH better in raised beds (and specific to the plants I grow in each).

Weeding is easier in them. When I kneel down I am closer to soil height.

The soil in a raised bed is more controllable. It is also usually richer, so you can plant things more closely and that makes up for the paths between the beds.

And my raised beds are spaced just far enough apart so that I can get a wheelbarrow in among them.

There are many advantages.

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