Produce > Edible Plants

Optimum size for raised beds.

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Deb P:
If you have cloches, make the beds wide enough to fit them neatly. Mine are all 8’x4’ because we used free lumberyard pallet wood to make ours and that was the size it came in!

Mine are 8' x 4' I am only 5' tall so any wider would be difficult to reach the middle. As for length it is worth thinking about not too long as when you are working you need to move to the other side and longer beds become difficult to walk round, walking over them defeats the object as you compact the soil but becomes very tempting.  8' gravel boards work well to make 8' x 4' too.  Also most netting or fleece tunnels fit well on a 8' bed.

Tee Gee:
To cater for your particular height kneel at the edge of the bed lean forward as if you were weeding/planting out.

Once you find a position you are comfortable with, measure from the edge of the bed to the weed/plant and double it.

Example; stretch point = 60 cm (2ft) x 2 = 120 cm (4ft) this is the width of the bed you require.

Another thing you can do at the same time is to determine the width of footpath/s.

Again, kneel at the edge of the bed and mark where the toes of your footwear is and mark this point as this will be the minimum** width of your path.

**Alternatively; if you use a barrow (or a wheelchair in the case of the disabled) make your footpath to suit the appliance!

ps should you share a plot with someone who is much taller/shorter than you, you will have to arbitrate although common sense says measure for the shorter person of the two would be best in most cases!

George the Pigman:
Thanks for your ideas.  4 foot wide seems to be the consensus and that fits with what I see on our allotment. Length seems to be optional.
What about height? TeGee recommends 24 inches but on our allotment I would say they are no more than about a foot above ground.

Tee Gee:

--- Quote --- height? TeGee recommends 24 inches but on our allotment I would say they are no more than about a foot above ground.

--- End quote ---

I think this is a grey area for example I don’t consider anything up to 6” high a raised bed.

I see such beds as a means of improving the depth of shallow soil or improving the existing soil particularly those types of soil that lack natural humus.

I see heights of  6” to 24” as variations of the above rather than for disability.

The 24” is to cater for wheel chair users or people who can not kneel down.

Then of course it might just be to form a feature in the garden and may be constructed with masonry,


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