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Size of Raised Beds?

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Hi everyone, I wonder if you can help a budding new vegetable grower...


I'm hoping to make a start on buidling raised beds in a corner of our garden to start growing in a couple of months. I was thinking 3 beds for possible crop rotation and am planning on:


bed 1: potatoes, squashes, root veg (carrots, parsnips, radishes)


bed 2: rhubarb 1 end, onions, leeks


bed 3: peas against the garden wall, broccoli, cauli


The trouble is, I don't know if I've 'grouped' these correctly and how much space I need for each vegetable - so I can't quite grasp how many feet x feet each bed should be and therefore can't boss my husband about to make them!!!


Can anyone help me please.....?


Thanks in advance

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A standard crop rotation goes as follows:-


year 1 roots, brassicas, others

year 2 others roots brassicas

year 3 brassicas, others, roots


then start the process again


roots = beetroot,carrot, parsnip, potato - do not add manure, do not lime, rake in general purpose fertilizer 2 wks before planting


brassicas = broccoli, sprouts, cabbage, caulifloer, kale,radish,swede, turnip -

add well rotted manure whe digging, add lime, add general purpose fertilizer 2 wks before planting.


others = beans, celeriac, spinach, leek, lettuce, onion, squash,sweetcorn - add liberal amounts of well rotted manure/compost at digging time, lime only if soil is acidic, rake in general purpose fertilizer 2 wks before planting.


you will have to watch things like potatos and squashes and rhubarb in raised beds because they will take a lot of space with their foliage.


It is traditional to grow what are known as the 3 sisters together climbing beans,sweetcorn & squashes. The squashes cover the ground keeping the roots of the beans and sweetcorn cool and they can also be trained up the sweetcorn and the bean poles.


I'll stop now hope this helps

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Hi Laura! I have raised beds in my garden, so maybe I can help :)


Re the size of beds, the only rule is to make them no wider than about 1m or so, so you can reach the middle from either side. I have two 2m x 1m Link-a-Bord beds and a 2.5m x 0.5m narrow brick-edged one that was there when we moved in, with paving-slab paths between the three. The long narrow bed I used for tomatoes and other sun-lovers as it's up against the conservatory - if it weren't ready made I wouldn't bother with one that narrow!


Re the rotation, rhubarb doesn't really belong in there because it prefers to be in the same place for a while - could your DH make a separate bed for it, or could you have one bed larger and leave the rhubarb permanently at one end?


Potatoes and squashes also take up a lot of room, but if you are cunning and to take the seasons into account you can still grow a lot in a small space. For example, if you are only growing early potates, not main-crop varieties, you could raise winter broccoli in modules and plant it out in June/July after the potatoes come out, thus getting two crops out of your space :)


As chickencam says, you can grow the squash together with sweetcorn and climbing beans - just google "three sisters" to learn all about this technique. If you're growing sweetcorn, though, you'll need enough space for a block of a dozen plants so they can pollinate one another - a square metre should be sufficient.


Similarly, you can plant "catch crops" of baby root veg, lettuce, etc amongst peas and beans to make good use of the ground.


Hope this has given you some inspiration!

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3m by 1.2 seems to be an ideal size...


.. rationale is that you can reach the middle from either side and its not too long that you are tempted to walk across rather than round ;o)


Mine are all different sizes to fit into my garden space and make them aesthetically pleasing... but based on a 3m x 3m square with a path 60cm side through making an L shape with a 1.2 x 1.2 bed


Easier to show you a layout I think... I have beds all around this centre making full use of the designated veg area at the back right of my garden




others on here



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Thanks everyone for the quick and helpful responses.


My space can quite comfortably afford 3mx1m ish beds nicely so I think I'll go for that and tonight I shall use your posts to plan out what goes where!


Thank you. Can I just ask one question I probably should have asked earlier - what is the ideal deapth of the raised beds, I was going to aim for 10-12" but if I can, would deeper be better?


Once again, thanks to you all

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It really does depend on what your base soil is.... I'm doing raised beds for the no dig, aesthetic reason so they are only about 20cm high as they are being built on my veg plot.. if you have soil issues you may have to go higher to ensure about 12-18" of decent soil

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