Raised bed orientation

cook2eatDecember 29, 2012

I am planning to build some raised beds for vegetable and herbs in my back yard. I read that it is best to orient the long axis of the beds east- west. If I do this my beds will lie at an angle in my yard, which seems a bit awkward. The whole area gets lots of sun. Does E-W orientation make a big enough difference to bother with? Thanks for any advice

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

I always thought the recommended orientation was North - South to maximise available light. East - West would mean the North side of the beds and rows got less sun. Envisage a row of pole beans planted E-W. The sun would never shine on the North side.

    Bookmark   December 30, 2012 at 11:57AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

E/W orientation means more sun on each plant due to fewer plants shading each other.

That said, I have 3 - N/S beds and 2 - E/W beds and all seem to work just great. Of course, I'm growing on material for future bonsai projects and not veggies, but both orientations work well.

Al

    Bookmark   December 31, 2012 at 12:27PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

'E/W orientation means more sun on each plant due to fewer plants shading each other'. That works if there is only one row of plants. With more than one row, plants in an E/W row would be shaded by those to their South, especially if they are tall or you live in a region where the sun is not very high in Summer.

That said you just have to do the best you can with your planting area. It might not be possible to follow rules.

    Bookmark   December 31, 2012 at 2:01PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
jonfrum(6)

If your yard gets any shade at all, I'd focus on getting the most sun possible. Orientation matters in greenhouses in northern latitudes if you're trying to grow in the winter - east-west is best - but I doubt it matters much to warm-season gardens. If you're going to grow both tall and short crops in the same bed, you might want the tall crop on the north side. My plots all run south-west to north-east, and I put my tomatoes on the north-west side (back) and peppers on the south-east side (front)

    Bookmark   December 31, 2012 at 3:13PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
foolishpleasure

I use raised beds in my garden for planting fruit trees and planting all kinds of vegetables. I never worried about orientation The only factors which are controlling me are the available space, how much sun they will get and keep away from the shade trees. The orientation could be north South or east west who cares. In my raised beds I produce the best fruit and vegetable ever.

    Bookmark   January 1, 2013 at 2:33AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
cook2eat

Thanks for the advice. I'm going to make the beds so that they fit with the yard, and not worry about orientation. I'm so looking forward to planting veggies in something bigger than a 1 x2 foot box on a balcony!
Now onto building beds and getting some good soil ready....

    Bookmark   January 1, 2013 at 12:59PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
rina_

I think you need to plan for veggies getting as much sun as they possible. When planting, do as jonforum said - plant the tall ones in back of your bed so they do not shade others. I always plant some lettuce behind tall pants (like tomato) so they are little shaded during hottest part of day - direct midday sun is too hot for lettuce.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2013 at 12:16PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
beekinzo

Sounds like you are well on your way to joyful raised bed gardening. When reading thru these comments, made me wonder if you had considered wind orientation -- just as an aside, if you plan to grow corn, you will want to plant it so that the pollen floats between rows as it is wind pollinated.

Hope all goes well!

    Bookmark   January 2, 2013 at 7:51PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Potting into Air Pots, root length question
Hello all, My question is, air pots are supposed to...
stickstring (Northern California 8b)
PVC liner OK for growing food?
A contractor friend of mine made me a planter box to...
gourdo1
To find popular threads try this...
When you are looking for popular threads from the GW...
Loveplants2 8b Virginia Beach, Virginia
Type of kale... Also, shiny metallic flakes?
Hey, my friend gave me some kale seeds from her plants...
Josie Murray
Help with 1:1:1 - weight and sourcing in the UK
I've just clicked that weight is going to be an issue...
containergardenerbeginner
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™