If you’re after a bit of structure for your edible garden, raised beds are the way to go, and there’s a vast array to choose from, including set-ups for patios, and modular beds that can be arranged in parterres. Before you buy, consider the position and number of beds you need, and their size and shape.
- Where to put them? Vegies grow best when they receive six hours of sun a day.
- How many? Work out what you can fit, how many beds you have the time and energy to care for, and how much food you want to produce. Two to four beds is a good starting point, and enables you to practise crop rotation. Allow for a minimum of 50cm between beds, or 75cm if you want to push a wheelbarrow through. Rough it out with stringlines, hoses or timber scraps to make sure you’re happy with your layout.
- How high? A good basic height for adequate drainage is 20–40cm. Really tall beds (up to 1m) make great garden features and save you bending or kneeling, but they require a lot of soil, and they dry out faster, so will need more watering.
- How wide? A metre wide is a good rule of thumb for easy access when planting or harvesting.
- Water source? How far is it to the tap? Make sure you position your raised bed within reach of the hose or irrigation system.
Discover five raised beds and three wicking beds available for sale, as well as information about climbing supports, protection from frost and pests, wheels for making your bed mobile, and different types of growing medium, in the August 2020 issue of ABC Gardening Australia magazine, out now.