There are several factors that you must consider as you figure out the size of your raised garden beds as you build it. Some of these factors include space limitations, soil conditions, and the physical comfort of one’s gardening.
When searching for the average size of a raised bed for your vegetable garden, there are various sizes that you may consider. There is no specific size that you must follow as you build a raised bed. It all depends on how big or small you want it and the available space in your yard.
the average size of a raised garden bed
The common raised bed sizes that are built by many are 2×3 or 2×4. There is no average size that you can consider since there are various options that you can choose from.
determining the width and length of your raised bed
As you try to determine the dimensions of your raised bed frame, the first thing that you must consider is the space constraints of your garden. You want to leave enough space between the beds for you to walk around.
The next thing that you should do is assessing your reach. It is an important factor to consider since you want to avoid stepping inside your bed. You should be able to reach the center of the bed from all sides. Stepping on the soil will only compress it, which is not good when you plan to grow vegetables.
Most people would have about 4 feet wide limitation for their raised bed. In case the bed you created will only be accessible to one side, limit the width to 3 feet maximum.
When it comes to the length, it will only be limited by the size of the garden as well as the building materials. Sometimes, the length will depend on how long the material you can get, especially with wood.
determining the height of the raised bed
When it comes to the height, most raised beds have a height ranging from 6 to 12 inches. There are even some that build their beds to as high as 36 inches.
Keep in mind that your raised bed must be deeper if your current garden soil is not suitable for gardening. You want to maximize getting more good soil for your plants.
Adding more inches of soil means you are giving more room for plant roots to grow. The deeper the beds, the more soil it can hold which is great for plants with deeper roots. This will give the soil more moisture and improve drainage as well.
Make sure that a taller bed will put more pressure on the bed as the weight of the soil will double. A thicker wood as well as placing cross supports around the bed will help prevent bowing.
Get to know more about the right soil depth for your raised bed here.
factors to consider when figuring measurements for your raised garden
As mentioned, there are things that you need to consider before you finalize the size you want for your raised garden. One gardener’s chosen size for his or her raised bed may not be suitable for your garden, so you have to figure out things that you have to think about before you can decide on the size of your raised bed.
When building a raised bed, the main goal of every gardener is to alleviate the need to step into it when tending to their plants. The bed must be accessible by the gardener from all sides.
If you intend to let kids get involved with gardening, adjusting the width to 3 feet is recommended. Width of 4 feet is ideal for adult gardeners. In case you want to allot space for wheelchair access, you can adjust the bed to have a width of 2 feet for kids and 3 feet for adults.
Unlike the width, the length of the bed is not that critical. However, you must keep in mind that building a long one can be a hassle when you tend to it and walk around it.
Given that the length will depend mainly on the available materials, you should also keep in mind that it can cost you much once the length of the lumber you choose is more than 12 feet.
Remember that the higher you build your bed, the more soil for raised bed you will need to fill it with. If you lack the budget, this may only cost you more and would require more labour.
In some situations, you can create raised plants with a depth of 10 inches but are elevated off the ground level using blocks or adding legs to the bed. This is also suitable for those who want to add wheelchair access in the garden. It will also save on buying more imported soil.
If you will consider building an elevated raised garden bed, make sure that the bottom of the bed is strong enough for holding the weight of the soil especially when wet. It should still have good drainage.
Learn more about adjusting the height of your raised bed here.
how to make the most of your raised bed garden
When building your raised bed garden, experts warn beginners against the use of treated wood. The last thing that you want to grow are vegetables that are contaminated with chemicals from the wood if ever you choose to use wood for your bed.
There are a lot of materials that you can choose from when building your raised bed and all it takes is for you to find which one is more convenient for you. Now, for making the most out of your raised bed, you can consider square foot gardening.
This method only requires a 4×4 size of raised bed but can already hold a lot of crops. You need to create 12 boxes inside the bed and allot each box for planting one variety of crop.
It is also possible to create more yields in this small size of bed since you can plant a variety of crops. You can plant various crops in just one bed and a couple of seeds or seedlings in one box. You just need to find enough topsoil to fill the rest of the raised bed, plant your chosen seeds or seedlings and top it off with mulch to keep the soil moist.
This method of gardening is suitable for those with small spaces available or even those without yards. You can put up an elevated raised garden and place it in your patio and allow yourself to continue gardening and growing crops.