How deep should I make vegetable bed?

sunita_fleuristeMay 30, 2008

hi all,

I m in the process of making a bed for vegetables..tomatoes, zucchini, running beans and hopefully okra. How deep should it be? My soil is hard packed clay and it s so hard to dig! I ve dug down and loosened about 4 inches down and I will add 6inches of triple mix on top...(it will have a retaining wall for that). Is that enough?



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In the book Square Foot Gardening, they say that a six inch bed is deep enough for vegetables. I like to make my raised beds about a foot deep though.

Most of my beds are a few years old and lately I'm having a problem with tree roots growing into them from underneath. You may want to consider landscape fabric or even a floor on a raised bed. My trees are 30 feet away, so it's something to consider if you don't like the idea of digging the roots out every few years. Good luck.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2008 at 11:44AM
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My boxes are only 4 inches deep and so far i have had no problems with growing any thing. They are on the ground with a layer of fabric under then and i have only put sawdust in them to grow my plants seems to be working for me really well strawberries seem to really like sawdust over the dirt go figure.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2008 at 11:56AM
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gardenlen(s/e qld aust)

g'day sunita,

6"s is a good starting point but as the previous poster ahs said they have 4"s, i like to get to around 8" or 10"s over time of adding and building up between crops.

i would not ahve bothered with any digging, simply build the raised bed on top of what is there, anyhow we invite you to check our site and see how we do our gardens it may help you along the way.


Here is a link that might be useful: len's garden page

    Bookmark   May 30, 2008 at 3:26PM
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farmersteve(N. AL Zone 7)

When I first planned my garden I had settled on 14-15 inch raised beds. Much of the reading I had done recommended this sort of depth to the raised beds. I went to Lowe's, special ordered cedar 4x4s for the posts and enough cedar 2x8s to build the first layer of what was supposed to become 2 layers (2 2x8s or about 15 inches) high. I am now into my third year with only being one 2x8 high and I am quite happy with it and will probably never spend the money to complete the second layer.

I do not think that 4 inches would be good for me, but that is just because I live in N. Alabama and we sometimes get some torrential rains and the best location in my yard has some minor drainage issues. If the drainage was not an issue, I would probably go with 4 to 6 inches.


    Bookmark   May 31, 2008 at 12:14AM
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hi steve where are you in bama i am also in bama seems i am finding a few members that live here

    Bookmark   May 31, 2008 at 12:22AM
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Thanks all...I relieved that I don t have to do any more digging....that last bit almost finished me!

Perhaps I ll make the wall 8 inches with a 2 x 8..that should be fine.

Red cedar is good...but what about the chemicals that they used to pressure treat it? Will that get into the plants?


    Bookmark   May 31, 2008 at 10:18PM
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