Connecticut Garden Journal: Elevated Raised Beds | Connecticut Public Radio

Connecticut Garden Journal: Elevated Raised Beds

Jan 9, 2020

Many gardeners are tired of bending, kneeling and squatting to garden. If you're looking for a better way to garden that's easier on your back and legs, try elevated raised beds.

Traditional raised beds are elevated 8- to 10-inches high. They help soil warm up and dry out faster in spring and let you plant more intensively since you aren't compacting the soil. Elevated raised beds are even better. An elevated raised bed is 3 feet high. The bed can be a wooden all the way to the ground, or can be floating, supported by legs. 

You can garden in an elevated raised bed while standing or sitting in a chair. But the benefits go further. Small animals, such as rabbits, mice, and ground hogs, are less likely to reach your plants. The bed's height makes it easier to protect plants from frosts. And you don't have to fill all that volume in the elevated raised bed with soil.

Many elevated raised beds come with a false bottom. About 1 foot down from the top there's a marine-grade plywood bottom with drainage holes. Below that is just air, making the bed lighter and less expensive to fill.

You can buy or build an elevated raised bed. First, think about its location. If it'll be part of a patio and act like a piece of outdoor furniture, build a raised bed with wood all the way to the ground. If it will be on a deck but will need to be periodically moved, then build the raised bed with legs and casters. You can roll the bed aside whenever needed.