How to determine the best height for a raised garden bed

When planning a raised garden it can be hard to choose the garden bed with proper height. There are many factors that go into creating the perfect garden bed place to get a bumper harvest. In this article, Olle will help you determine the best height for a raised garden bed. 

raised garden bed

Some questions to ask when deciding the depth of your raised bed

What kind of plants do you want to grow? 

Different plants grow their roots to different depths. Some plants need more vertical space than others. When planning your elevated garden, please be sure to consider getting sunlight and the growth height of the plants you choose.

Where will you put the raised garden beds? 

The surface below the elevated bed will affect the optimum depth. Generally speaking, if the soil on your bed can exchange water with the soil below, you can choose a shallow bed. Depth is especially important if your raised bed is on concrete or other surfaces that restrict water flow.

How can the beds be the most accessible? 

A deeper bed will have higher soil fill, and these plants will sit higher on the ground, which means less bending and stooping in the garden. A wide bed can be maintained from a sitting position, with a 32'' tall raised bed on the side, which is very suitable for wheelchair-friendly garden plans.

raised garden bed

Let’s break down each of these questions to help you plan the perfect raised garden. 

Determining Garden Bed Depth by Plant Type

When planning the depth of your raised garden bed, the root system is the main part to keep in mind. Deep rooted vegetables are usually not suitable for raising beds because of the amount of space they require in all directions - perhaps most importantly, into the soil. If you want to plant a piece of corn, it may not be the best choice. Fortunately, there are many perfect candidates.

Herbs such as Basil, Cilantro and other low leaf vegetables (such as lettuce) will grow and grow on only 6 inches of soil. One 17 " tall raised bed is enough to accommodate the salad garden box plan.

Carrots, radishes and peppers grow at a rate of 12 inches or more. Medium root vegetables like kale, cucumber and zucchini should be at least 18 inches long. A 32 '' raised bed is ideal for these types of vegetables and fruits grown on bushes such as blueberries, strawberries and raspberries.

Where to Place Your Raised Garden Bed

The raised bed does not need to be very deep to be effective, but the surface below the garden bed will affect which depth is correct.

Generally, 8 inches is the minimum depth of an raised garden bed. If the drainage problem or the plants in the box are too sensitive to the water around the root, the extra depth can help you by allowing the water to seep out naturally.

If the soil on the raised bed can sit on the lining at the top of the soil on the natural ground, the plants on the bed you lift can provide you with more water. When it rains, water naturally becomes deeper ground soil. When hot or dry, evaporation and plant roots will pull water back to the ground. The high bed soil can retain healthy water without flooding in wet weather. 17'' or 32'' beds work well with ground soil drainage.

If the raised bed will sit on the top of the concrete or other surfaces that block natural water flow and prevent natural financing and floor drainage, installing a deeper raised bed can greatly improve drainage. Under fertile soil, using gravel or porous growth medium in the bottom lining of the bed will help balance the water content and prevent soil loss.

raised garden bed

Making Accessible Garden Beds

The 32 '' tall garden bed is the ideal height for gardening from a chair or wheelchair without bending. An open plan, with 32'' garden beds or widely spaced rows, can provide a basis for social gathering space for people living independently and assisted lives, or become part of an operational and accessible community garden plan.

The Bottom Line: 17'' vs. 32''

The optimal height of a raised bed depends on your vision, its location and its contents. A beautiful flower box or delicious herbal garden is perfect for a 17'' raised bed.

If you want more swing space for plant roots, some amazing vertical flavor and better drainage options in your outdoor space, you can't beat the 32'' raised bed. More fertile soil will not be harmed, and certainly not bent in the garden. If deeper rooting plants or wheelchair accessibility is critical, a depth of 32'' must be carried out.