Raised Beds for Water Wise Landscapes

Water Conservation for Lawn and Landscape September 22, 2015 Print Friendly and PDF

Raised bed gardening is a system of gardening where planting beds are raised above the surrounding soil. The height of the bed depends on the objectives for the garden.

Raised beds can be using in flower gardens and are popular in vegetable gardening. Raised beds can be designed for easy access for persons with disabilities.

Keep in mind that using raised beds can lead to increased warming of the soil in the spring, allowing for earlier planting. In arid regions, however, soils and planting media will dry out more quickly and additional water may be needed.

Raised beds can be designed with the water wise landscape in mind.

Benefits of Raised Bed Gardens for Water-Wise Landscapes

  • More efficient use of space
  • Extends the growing season by warming soil more quickly in spring
  • Improves drainage
  • Improved soil conditions increase vegetable production
  • Drip irrigation systems are easily adapted to raised beds to improve watering efficiency
  • Mulch is retained within a contained bed

Raised beds can be as simple as a mound of soil piled higher than the surrounding soil or as complex as desired.  Any non-toxic material can be used to make beds that contain and support the soil. Wood frames are the most common. Make sure that the beds are easily accessible, keeping width to about 4 feet or less depending on arm reach.

 


Additional Resources:

West

California - Raised Bed Vegetable Gardening            

Midwest

Ohio - Raised Bed Gardening
Minnesota - Raised Bed Gardens
Missouri - Raised-Bed Gardening       

Southeast

Alabama - Raised Bed Gardening 
           


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, New Technologies for Ag Extension project.