Raised Bed Dimensions

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A good basic design for the serious gardener is a raised bed 4 feet wide and 20 feet long. This design will give you 80 square feet of growing space which is ideal for growing a large amount of fruits and vegetables. Three feet wide and two to three feet high are suggested for most gardeners who want to stand or sit in a chair while gardening.

To customize your raised beds to your own needs, use the following raised bed design guide.

Length
When planning the length of your bed, the most important factor is your available space. Moreover, longer is not necessarily better. Two medium length beds with a space between them will make it easier to walk around the beds and work your plants from both sides. Also, it’s a good idea to allow a space at each end of the bed to walk around.

Width
To calculate the width of your raised bed, sit at a table you’d feel comfortable working at and reach out your hands until you begin to bend over slightly. Measure this distance and write it down. If you want to place your raised bed next to a building and work just from one side, use this measurement for the width. If you plan on making a freestanding bed where you can garden from all sides, double the measurement. Likewise, if you plan on working while standing, perform the measurement listed above while standing.

Depth
A bed eight to nine inches deep works for most herbs, annuals, and some vegetables. Make the bed deeper if you plan on growing deep-rooted vegetables, fruits, ornamentals, or shrubs.

Height
You can design your raised bed so that you can work standing or sitting in a chair or bench. On average, 2 ½ – 3 feet high works for most people. To personalize your garden beds, sit in a comfortable chair that you’d use for typing and measure to where you hands can easily reach. Make your garden bed this height. The same technique can be used for measuring a standing position. If you have several people who enjoy gardening in your home, make sure to take an average height so that the bed is good for everyone.

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