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Building a raised bed — The Grow Network Community
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Building a raised bed

JensJens Posts: 386 ✭✭✭

Today I started my build a raised bed project. 2,5x1,1m for a total of 2,75sqm planting space.

Not yet finished as I have to get the place where it will be sitting prepared.



  • OhiohillsLouiseOhiohillsLouise Posts: 121 ✭✭✭

    Raised beds is my preferred method of gardening but I do plant my tomatoes in a more traditional row method. I wish you success. I hope you can post a pic of the completed project.

  • JannajoJannajo Ms. Pointe-Claire, QuebecPosts: 176 ✭✭✭

    I want to try this....length can be very long, but width and depth watch out: so u can reach well, either side, or just 2.5 ft if near fence, from one side only and deep enough for the root veggies, less for lettuce.

  • JensJens Posts: 386 ✭✭✭

    So some progress on the bed, well on the foundation to be more precise

    @Louise If I remember to take pictures I will post some progress reports

  • JensJens Posts: 386 ✭✭✭

    @Lisa K these just look amazing

  • Ruth Ann ReyesRuth Ann Reyes Managing Director TGN Shy of the Chi - Zone 5bPosts: 327 admin

    VERY NICE! I love it! You did a great job!

  • herbantherapyherbantherapy Posts: 403 ✭✭✭✭
    edited March 26

    @Lisa K your critter guards are awesome!

    @Jens your raised beds are looking good!

    I expanded my current raised bed another 40”. I know this makes the bed a little wider than recommended but for these crops I’m ok, this extension will be a rotation crop bed but the original bed is all perennial veggies (rhubarb, artichoke and asparagus). I’m adding 6 inches of compost and

    Putting potatoes in the new section this week. Plus the newly mulched walkway is so great! We are adding wood planks over the mulch but are still in the process of staining it. #nomoregrass

  • dipat2005dipat2005 Posts: 194 ✭✭✭

    @herbantherapy Your garden is looking great! Some gardens do great at 4' while others do great at 3'. Depending on what is planted I prefer 6" by 3". I also did square foot gardening and companion planting.

  • JensJens Posts: 386 ✭✭✭

    @herbantherapy your garden looks awesome. A bed with only perennials is a good idea. I dot the perennial plants throughout the garden and mix them in the flower borders.

    @Ruth Reyes-Loiacano thank you

  • SherryASherryA Posts: 255 ✭✭✭

    Very well done!

  • JensJens Posts: 386 ✭✭✭

    Finally filled the raised bed with some soil.

    But first we had to clean out our pet rabbits so I used the bedding as fertilizer in the bed.

    Now I will start with planting potatoes and sowing some vegetables.

  • greyfurballgreyfurball Southeastern PennsylvaniaPosts: 592 ✭✭✭✭

    @Lisa K as I was looking at your pictures just now I was thinking I could mention to you to cover your soil line with cardboard before you fill the bed. Of course by the end of the post you had already filled it). I did not do that with the first couple of beds I made and I kept getting grass and weeds growing up in the bed the first year.

    When I started adding beds on year 2-4 I laid cardboard down first (overlap the pieces so no weeds can grow thru) and then lay cardboard about 3" wider than the bed itself (on the outside of the box walls) so weeds won't grow up on the outside edges of your box either.

    It did not take me long to figure out the cardboard lined beds were much easier, neater and cleaner to use every year so I finally emptied the first two and started them all over again with cardboard under them the next time.

    The cardboard eventually decomposes and adds nutrients to your soil but by the time that happens it kills off all the weed seeds in your soil so airborne weeds is all you have to contend with from then on.

    Great job... enjoy your new garden.

  • greyfurballgreyfurball Southeastern PennsylvaniaPosts: 592 ✭✭✭✭

    @Jens , I just sent a message to Lisa K and realized I sent the message to the wrong person.

    So sorry to Lisa but if you have the chance jens, check what I sent to Lisa and if you wish to try it, it does save you a lot of weeding time over the garden season.

  • JensJens Posts: 386 ✭✭✭

    @greyfurball I put down cardboard 😁 been reading and watching a lot Charles Dowding lately.

  • JensJens Posts: 386 ✭✭✭

    First plants are in, salads and kohlrabi

  • JensJens Posts: 386 ✭✭✭

    @Lisa K thank you.

    Next I will put in potatoes at the other end. Some direct sown arugula and radishes.

    Later planning on two varieties of peas (sugar pea and regular) and spinach as well as beets and Swiss chard.

    After potatoes kale and leeks

  • EarlKellyEarlKelly Penn state master gardener Northeastern Pennsylvania zone 5bPosts: 236 ✭✭✭

    @Jens here is the raised bed I have been building in between rain and snow. Wanted to get them in to use this gardening season. Since I have severe joint pain now harder for me to get down. Used some leftover roofing and scrounged up some 2x6 hemlock that I had cut on the old homestead. Getting ready to fill it with some nice compost as soon as it dries out enough and also finish my paint job. Should do the job nicely for me, and help out if we get lots of rain again.

  • JensJens Posts: 386 ✭✭✭

    @EarlKelly these look great. How long are they? Seem to be quite some longer than mine with 2.5m which was the biggest we could agree on 😉

  • EarlKellyEarlKelly Penn state master gardener Northeastern Pennsylvania zone 5bPosts: 236 ✭✭✭

    @Jens since I am in the US still use feet. The largest is 12 feet long and the short one is 8 feet long. They both are 4 feet wide. Still have some of my garden at ground level. Will continue to make beds all summer to get more of my garden up in the air. Much easier on me and get my soil a chance to dry out as we seem to get more rain now. Started to make short hoops to put plastic over them so I can get an even earlier start. Will have to post pictures as my plants take off. Good luck with your endeavors. Where do you garden at?

  • JensJens Posts: 386 ✭✭✭

    @EarlKelly I am over here in Germany.

    So your shortest is round about the length of my bed and the longest is roughly 1m/4 feet longer.

    I will garden with just this one bed for this year and maybe add one next year.

    They are for sure easier on the back and quicker to dry of in spring

    The hoops are a good idea. I have a low tunnel somewhere in my cellar and plan to use it in fall if I can fit it on the bed.

  • EarlKellyEarlKelly Penn state master gardener Northeastern Pennsylvania zone 5bPosts: 236 ✭✭✭

    @Jens nice, I have a lot of family that immigrated from Germany to the US. Hope things a faring well for you and your family during these trying times. Trying to get in as much fresh food for my family as I can. Just don’t know how bad things will get. Doing ok so far. Love my gardening, keeps me active. Will have to post photos as your garden takes off. Always curious how things fare in other countries. Stay safe.

  • vickeymvickeym Posts: 426 ✭✭✭✭

    Just starting our gardens this year but at our old place we had a fairly large garden (50 X 50 foot) On several of the raised beds, we turned them into cold frames using wooden frame work and visqueen. We used velcro on the two long sides. Stapled it to the upright posts and put duct tape on the edges of the plastic to reinforce it then stapled the velcro to it. With this it was easy to completely raise and lower the sides as needed for watering and weeding. The beds we had sweet corn in, could have just the top lowered for circulation and pollination without exposing the entire plant. Living in Alaska we have to cold frame our corn. It worked great using the velcro, and gave us a way to grow in mini greenhouses, things that either would not grow outdoors in our climate or would not have produced as well.

  • JensJens Posts: 386 ✭✭✭

    A short update on the growth right know.

    First radish seed coming up

    And sald and kohlrabi have new growth.

    OK I need to statt adding mulch and work on getting organic matter content up but otherwise looking good.

  • GururajGururaj Posts: 4 ✭✭✭

    Hi all,

    This is my first post, so bear with me and educate me if I am violating any rules of the forum. I have used raised beds since the last 15 years in Japan. I have about 14 plots of size 1.2 m x 2.4 m (approx. 4 ft x 8 ft in size). While most of you seem to be using wood as the material for the boundaries of the raised beds, I found that plastic is preferable because 1) it is cheaper and 2) rains do not affect it. In Japan, corrugated grey and black thin plastic sheets of about 300 mm to 400 mm are available in rolls. I found these very convenient to surround the growing area using this material. Here is a photo:

    I generally divide the plot into 32 squares and grow in these squares. This plot shows corn that raised from seeds in alternate squares. The space between the corn plants will be filled with beans that I'm growing separately at home. I read that corn and bean plants are companion plants and complement each other. Last year this arrangement proved satisfactory to me.

    Hope this information was useful.


    Gururaj Rao

    Kisarazu-city, Japan

  • toreytorey Posts: 1,857 admin

    @Gururaj Welcome to TGN.

  • GururajGururaj Posts: 4 ✭✭✭

    Thank you, Torey. I have also laid out rugged sheets around the raised beds so that I don't have weed problems anymore. Here is a photo taken two years ago. I have added several more raised beds since then.

    I have not seen any other grower in my area using raised beds.



  • JensJens Posts: 386 ✭✭✭

    @Gururaj welcome to TGN. Your raised bed look really good. The whole growing area looks quite organized and effective.

    What about the plastic breaking down in the weather and UV light. Did you have any problems with this?

  • GururajGururaj Posts: 4 ✭✭✭

    Thank you, Jens. The plastic boundary has survived rains, winds and UV too for two years now. Light does not seem to affect it. The sheet is quite thin, so if you strike it with a shovel or other gardening tool, it is easily holed, Otherwise, I find it very convenient. I used pen-cap-like supports at intervals to hold the sheet in place.

  • JensJens Posts: 386 ✭✭✭

    @Gururaj we have something quite similar over here. It is used as borders for the lawn.

  • JensJens Posts: 386 ✭✭✭

    Some progress in the raised bed.

    Salad and kohlrabi growing on

    Still not mulched but going strong and nearly ready for first harvest .

    Pea seedling transplanted into the bed, sugar peas for pods.

    And the potatoes finally start emerging from the ground.

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