Raised garden beds are a clever way to start gardening in a yard with unsuitable soil or spaces with hard floors. The setup also provides several benefits that can improve your overall gardening experience. However, to maximize the benefits, you must carefully plan the dimensions of your raised garden bed.
Two feet (60 cm) is wide enough for a raised garden bed as it allows gardeners to reach across the bed without having to move to the other side. It is also suitable for setups where the other side of the bed is against a fence or wall. Furthermore, you can grow 1-3 rows of small crops on it.
In this article, I will discuss the factors to consider for the dimensions of a raised garden bed and how to make adjustments in certain situations. In addition, I will share some tips on how to maximize your raised garden bed that is only 2 feet (60 cm) wide. Read on!
Factors To Consider for the Width of a Raised Garden Bed
Gardeners often consider the dimensions of a raised garden bed as one of the most important things to plan before designing the setup. The width of a raised garden bed depends on several factors, including:
- The dimensions of the garden
- The height of the gardener
- The structures surrounding the raised garden bed
- The size of plants at maturity
Let’s check out these factors in more detail below:
The Dimensions of the Garden
How wide your raised garden bed should be will largely depend on how big your garden is. If you have limited space at home, you will inevitably have to create a small raised garden bed.
A 2-foot (60-cm) wide raised garden bed is suitable for a garden that is at least 4 feet (120 cm) wide. The size also allows you enough space to place your bed roughly 4 inches (10 cm) away from the corner of the garden to prevent moisture buildup on the walls.
Such a compact raised garden bed is ideal for apartment balconies.
Some housing experts may recommend an apartment balcony with minimum dimensions of 4 feet (1.2 m) wide and 9 feet (2.7 m) long to accommodate a table and chairs. Instead of furniture, you can place a raised garden bed on the balcony (source).
The Height of the Gardener
Gardeners also design their raised garden beds based on their height and arm length. It helps improve access to the garden without putting much strain on the body. Gardening can be a physically exhausting task, so it helps to make it more comfortable.
The width of a raised garden bed is just as important as its height, especially when considering children and gardeners using wheelchairs (source).
A 2-foot (60-cm) wide and 2-foot (60-cm) tall garden bed is convenient for pre-teens and can even encourage them to enjoy gardening if they find it manageable.
A similar-sized bed is also suitable for people using wheelchairs or older people who find it comfortable to do gardening chores on a compact garden bed while sitting down.
The Structures Surrounding the Raised Garden Bed
Raised garden beds can take up much space in the garden and may cast unwanted shade on other plants. That’s why they are often placed along the garden corners or against structures like fences and walls.
However, placing them against the wall can prevent gardeners from accessing the other side of the bed. To address such an issue, you can design a raised garden bed 2-3 feet (60-90 cm) wide (source).
The Size of Plants at Maturity
A raised garden bed’s limited height and width make it ideal for plants with shallow root systems since larger plants have more extensive roots that can spread laterally or vertically. As a result, you will need enough lateral space for the plant to grow optimally.
Proper spacing is necessary to ensure your plants do not compete for moisture and nutrients from the soil and to prevent the roots of neighboring plants from strangling one another.
A 2 foot (60 cm) wide raised garden bed can accommodate 1-3 rows of plants, depending on the crops’ full size and spread at maturity.
Tips on How To Maximize a 2-Foot Wide Raised Garden Bed
When you’re left with no choice but to make do with a narrow raised garden bed after considering the abovementioned factors, you may need to employ some strategies to make the most of your gardening setup.
Here are some tips on how to maximize a 2-foot wide raised garden bed:
Choose Plants That Don’t Spread Too Wide
You can make a small vegetable garden from raised beds by planting kale, spinach, or lettuce. These crops don’t take up much space and can grow snugly in a 2-foot wide bed. You can grow two rows of kale 12 inches (30 cm) apart or up to three rows of lettuce or spinach.
Plant Root Crops on Tall but Narrow Raised Garden Beds
Due to the limited width, you can consider growing crops with taproots or bulbs. Their foliage doesn’t spread too wide, making them suitable for a narrow raised bed.
Some excellent choices include onions, garlic, carrots, and radishes. You can grow up to four rows of such crops in a 2-foot (60 cm) wide garden bed.
Refrain from Using Tall Plants on Narrow Raised Garden Beds
Plants that can grow too tall and bushy will prevent you from reaching the other side of the bed when doing your garden maintenance routines, such as pruning or mulching.
Moreover, tall plants may lean over and add pressure on the raised bed, causing it to bow.
Raised garden beds are an excellent design for apartment residents or people with limited garden space. Additionally, they can provide a great gardening opportunity for individuals living in areas with inhospitable soil for plants.
They don’t have to be too wide, and two feet (60 cm) is often wide enough to start a small but prolific garden to add some color to your home.
The compact size makes them easy to manage and accessible to gardeners of all ages, as well as wheelchair users.