When it comes to growing your own herbs and vegetables, you can spend your time crawling around on the ground and digging in the dirt, or you could build a simple raised bed and reap the benefits of planting a garden off the ground. Below, we’ve shared a list of benefits of raised beds as well as a few different types that are easy to build to help you get started, courtesy of Doug Hall for Rodale’s Organic Life.
5 Benefits of Raised Garden Beds
- They boost vegetables above potentially waterlogged grounds
- They are easier to keep free of encroaching grass than ground-level beds
- Elevated soil warms earlier in spring and drains more quickly after a rain.
- Soil doesn’t become compacted because you don’t step on the growing area.
- Raised beds offer easier access to planting, thinning, weeding, and harvest.
Types of Simple Raised Beds
- Logs: Choose logs about a foot in diameter to create the edges of the bed. To avoid having to move large logs, line up shorter firewood-length sections. You;ll need two 7-foot logs for the sides and two 4-foot logs for the ends to build a 4×8’ bed.
- Concrete Blocks: Place concrete blocks with open ends facing up to outline the raised bed. You can fill the openings with soil and use they as planting pockets for edible flowers or smaller herbs. To build a 4×8’ bed, you’ll need 16 standard blocks.
- Planks and Rebar: Using leftover untreated lumber of just about any dimension, you can create this type of bed. To build, hold the planks on edge with short lengths of rebar pounded into the ground every 2 or 3 feet. For a 4×8’ bed, you’ll need two 2×12 planks 8 feet long, two 2×12 4 feet long, and twelve 24” long rebar.
For instructions on how to build a few more types of raised beds, click here.