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Raised garden beds are a great way to grow fruits, vegetables, and herbs. They offer many benefits over traditional gardening, such as better drainage, less soil compaction, and improved air circulation. However, one of the most common questions about raised garden beds is whether or not you can plant more in them.
You can plant more in raised garden beds, but there are some things you should consider. First, raised garden beds typically have shallower soil than traditional gardens. Therefore, your plants may need more water and fertilizer to reach their full potential.
The rest of this article will discuss the various factors to consider when planting in raised garden beds, how to make a raised garden bed and the advantages and disadvantages of using one.
Factors To Consider Before Planting in Raised Garden Beds
While you can plant more in raised garden beds, there are some factors you’ll need to consider before planting. These factors include shallow soil depth, wind damage, sunlight, and the size of the raised garden bed.
I’ll discuss these factors more in-depth in the following sections.
Shallow Soil Depth
Soil depth is one of the main factors you’ll need to consider when growing plants in raised garden beds because most raised garden beds have shallower soil than in-ground gardens. As a result, your plants may need more water and fertilizer to reach their full potential.
For guidance on this, see How Deep Should Open-Bottom Raised Beds Be?
Another factor to consider when planting in raised garden beds is wind damage. Raised garden beds are elevated, making them more susceptible to wind damage. Be sure to stake your plants securely or build a windbreak if necessary.
Amount of Sunlight
Consider the sunlight your plants need before strategically placing your raised garden beds. If you’re growing plants that need a lot of sunlight, such as tomatoes, you’ll need to make sure they have access to enough sunlight.
If you’re growing plants that prefer moderate sunlight, like most herbs, you can plant them in raised garden beds that receive less sunlight.
Size of the Raised Garden Bed
The size of a raised garden bed also influences your plants’ success. If you’re growing plants that need a lot of space, you’ll need to ensure the raised garden bed is large enough. And, if you’re growing plants that don’t need much space, you can do so with a smaller raised garden bed. See
Just remember to water regularly, fertilize as needed, and provide some protection from the wind.
How To Build a Raised Garden Bed
There are a few different ways to build a raised garden bed, but the most common method is to use wood boards. To do this, you’ll need:
- Four 2-foot (0.6 m) wooden boards
- Eight 1.5-inch (3.8-cm) screws
- Tape measure
- Garden soil
Once you have your materials and equipment, follow these steps in making a raised garden bed:
- Use the tape measure to mark where you want your raised garden bed to be. Choose a location that gets plenty of sunlight and has good drainage.
- Use the shovel to dig a ditch around the perimeter of the raised garden bed. The ditch should be about 6 inches deep and the same width as the boards.
- Place the boards in the trench and ensure they’re on the same level. Then, use the screws to attach the boards.
- Fill the raised garden bed with garden soil. Be sure to pack the soil down so that it’s firm.
- Plant your fruits, vegetables, or herbs. Water regularly and enjoy!
See our article on which wood you should use for raised garden beds.
How Raised Garden Beds Simplify Planting More Plants
Raised garden beds are growing in popularity, as they have many benefits over traditional gardening techniques. Some of the benefits include:
- You can use raised garden beds anywhere. Whether or not you have ample space, you can easily increase your plant production with raised garden beds. If you can find space for four raised garden beds, that gives you enough room to grow food for four people. You’ll need a lot more space to grow as much food for a standard garden.
- Improved drainage. Raised garden beds have better drainage than gardens planted directly in the ground. Therefore, they work well in areas with poor drainage or a high water table. If you’ve been stalling on planting more due to the drainage problems in your area, a raised garden bed solves the problem.
- Fewer weeds. Since the soil is elevated, weeds are less likely to take hold. So, you’ll spend less time weeding. Therefore, you’ll have more time (and space on the bed) for more plants.
- Better air circulation. The elevated soil in raised garden beds allows for better air circulation, which can help prevent diseases. You can plant more plants with the confidence that you won’t lose them to disease.
- Easier to maintain. Raised garden beds are generally easier to take care of than gardens planted directly in the ground. They require less bending and stooping, and you won’t have to worry about soil erosion. Thus, you can focus on growing more plants instead of spending the bulk of your time on gardening maintenance.
Important Considerations When Using Raised Garden Beds for Planting
As you’ve seen above, raised garden beds make planting more plants easier. However, there are some important downsides to consider:
- Raised garden beds can be expensive to build. If you want to add more raised garden beds to your property to plant more plants, you must be prepared for some major expenses. While you can find kits that will make the process easier, it’ll still cost you more than simply planting in the ground. So, you have to run the numbers to ensure it makes sense. See Are Raised Garden Beds Worth It? What You Need To Know.
- They may not offer enough root space for certain plants. If you’re planning on growing more plants that require a lot of root space (such as yams and other tuber plants), raised garden beds may not be the best. In this case, planting in the ground may be a better option.
While you can plant more plants in a raised garden bed, your options will be more limited. However, if you want to add some extra planting space to your yard, a raised garden bed is an excellent option.
By adding soil to your raised bed, you can increase the variety of plants you can grow and improve the overall health of your plants.