bburrito
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Raised beds - 12" too much?

I am looking at taking my first stab at growing vegetables and have recovered about 60 feet of redwood planks I want to use to make some raised beds. They are 12" wide though. Is that too deep for a raised bed?

Would it make a difference to do one large planter or a few smaller ones? Space isnt a problem for me.

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rainbowgardener
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What is too deep? Why would deeper be a problem? My raised beds are 2' deep (but a couple of them sit on concrete so I felt like I needed to that). But really more is better.


There's a whole discussion going on right now in the Tomato forum about how wide to make them: https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=20728&highlight=

The people who are advocating for 2' wide are thinking specifically about tomatoes. The idea is if you don't want to over-crowd your tomatoes maybe you shouldn't make 2 rows in a 4' wide bed. If you are only going to have one row of tomatoes, then maybe you only need a 2' wide bed. Of course there's differences of opinion. More beds means more walkways between them, but if you have plenty of space, maybe that's not a consideration. Narrow beds also means less room for companion planting....

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applestar
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12" is not too deep at all for most gardeners, but how the site is prepped will create different results. Try the Search the Forum function for "raised bed depth". Various members of the forum use different kinds of depths and site prep methods. You local climate, native soil, and what you plan to grow will affect your choices, as well as experience and physical capability. Good luck.

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stella1751
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I raise my beds to 20" or more. Anything less than that, and my dogs will tear through baby plants on their way to harass squirrels.

Rainbow, thanks for clarifying the 2' wide thread, writing that
The people who are advocating for 2' wide are thinking specifically about tomatoes.


I've been following that thread in confusion. I suppose this question should go in that thread, but what about crop rotation? Do they just grow tomatoes each year?
"Imagination is more important than knowledge." -- Albert Einstein

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rainbowgardener
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stella-- yes, you would have to post that question in the thread I linked to above. I'm not one of those people that is doing 2' beds, so I don't know what they would say.

TFA303
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The thing is, you'll have to fill it with 12" of something, and not everything needs 12" of soil to grow. For me, getting good soil isn't easy, so I don't want anything going to waste.


I have one 6" bed in which I'm growing greens and a 12" bed for things that can use the depth, like carrots and sweet potatoes.

If you have a table saw or a circular saw, it's easy to rip a 12" board down to 6". Then you could have twice as many beds! (assuming lumber is your limiting factor)

bburrito
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Ok, well this clears up a lot. That is what I thought but this is my first stab at this so I was not 100% sure. The soil in my backyard is known to be pretty hostile to plants. There is a halfway alive lawn that springs back when fertilizer is thrown on it but otherwise it stays short and listless. I am figuring that I will dig down some and remove a bit of the topsoil and hopefully achieve a depth of 15-18 inches. It might be overkill but if nothing grows there already, might as put much room between the bad soil and the plants growing in the good soil. Or so it seems to me.

cynthia_h
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Be sure and do a search of this site for terms like

raised beds
Square Foot Gardening, Mel Bartholomew
wood for raised beds
Jeavons (author of How to Grow More Vegetables)

and the like. We've had TONS of discussions about how to make raised beds, what to fill them with (or not), what to plant in them (and how/or not), and so on.

And you'll probably become interested in making compost as well, if your native soil is exhausted of nutrients. We have an entire forum for that, too! Please see the Compost Forum at https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewforum.php?f=35

Cynthia

MysticGardener67
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Square foot gardening

Oh definatly a must read! Good ol Mr. Bartholomew also had a series on US PBS. Trying to rember if he came on before or after Jim Crocket

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