Raised bed vs in ground gardening

JustAnotherNut

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Both have their own set of advantages and disadvantages.

Since we moved to this house 20 years ago, I started with a few raised beds mainly because of the hard rocky soil. Within a couple of years and the kids being born, I felt the pathways between the beds were wasted garden space and took them out. After expanding & building the soil it's now approximately 25x60 ft and I grow much of our food. Though harvests have been a challenge since I can't keep up with the weeding & care of it. Not to mention the physical challenges. So I am looking into building raised beds again and possibly planting grass in the pathways that can be cut and used either as mulch, added to the compost or as litter in the chicken coop. That way the pathways are 'useful'.



Do you have raised beds? Or in ground garden? What do you think of your method and how has it worked for you? Any suggestions or cautions?
 
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JustAnotherNut

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I like to repurpose stuff so last year when I was first contemplating raised beds, I was looking for ideas and came across this video using pallets...…


We had plenty of pallets, but the cross boards like she uses didn't look all that sturdy to me. So the pallets have since turned into firewood for the winter. We also had a pile of lumber from numerous previous projects and I found several 2x6's. I cut them to 18" and built a 4x8 bed and topped it with 2x4's, filled it with soil and compost and planted a few asparagus crowns and tomatoes (great companions, btw) and now the asparagus has already out grown the bed so I'll have to figure out something else for them.
Anyway, the bed has worked great and has made it easy to care for the plantings and I can sit on the edge while doing it. I've also just finished a second one and as space is made available as the garden winds down, I'll get it set into place & filled. I still have enough to do 1/2 to 3/4's of another bed and I'm hoping we can take out our deck before too long, that will provide enough to finish a 3rd bed and probably do a 4th. Plus the 2x10's or 2x12's (not sure which) that make up the frame will also be put to use for more.
 

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Both have their own set of advantages and disadvantages.

Since we moved to this house 20 years ago, I started with a few raised beds mainly because of the hard rocky soil. Within a couple of years and the kids being born, I felt the pathways between the beds were wasted garden space and took them out. After expanding & building the soil it's now approximately 25x60 ft and I grow much of our food. Though harvests have been a challenge since I can't keep up with the weeding & care of it. Not to mention the physical challenges. So I am looking into building raised beds again and possibly planting grass in the pathways that can be cut and used either as mulch, added to the compost or as litter in the chicken coop. That way the pathways are 'useful'.



Do you have raised beds? Or in ground garden? What do you think of your method and how has it worked for you? Any suggestions or cautions?
I did some experimenting with raised beds for the same reason, way too many rocks. It depends on what you're growing and how much you raise, so carrots are pretty much out.

I quit doing that though because there's too much wildlife that comes to visit from the national forest in my back yard -- deer, rabbits, bears, raccoons --- so if I grow veggies now it's in pots.
 

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If animals are eating your vegetables get some cheap forks, even plastic ones will work. Stick them among your vegetables tines up.

A friend had a backyard garden and Los Angeles being overrun with rats, had rats eating her vege until she used the forks.
 
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JustAnotherNut

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Both have their own set of advantages and disadvantages.

Since we moved to this house 20 years ago, I started with a few raised beds mainly because of the hard rocky soil. Within a couple of years and the kids being born, I felt the pathways between the beds were wasted garden space and took them out. After expanding & building the soil it's now approximately 25x60 ft and I grow much of our food. Though harvests have been a challenge since I can't keep up with the weeding & care of it. Not to mention the physical challenges. So I am looking into building raised beds again and possibly planting grass in the pathways that can be cut and used either as mulch, added to the compost or as litter in the chicken coop. That way the pathways are 'useful'.



Do you have raised beds? Or in ground garden? What do you think of your method and how has it worked for you? Any suggestions or cautions?
I did some experimenting with raised beds for the same reason, way too many rocks. It depends on what you're growing and how much you raise, so carrots are pretty much out.

I quit doing that though because there's too much wildlife that comes to visit from the national forest in my back yard -- deer, rabbits, bears, raccoons --- so if I grow veggies now it's in pots.
Why not fence the area and use the raised beds? You'd be surprised at how much you can grow, especially with companion &/or square foot &/or intensive planting methods.
 
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JustAnotherNut

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If animals are eating your vegetables get some cheap forks, even plastic ones will work. Stick them among your vegetables tines up.

A friend had a backyard garden and Los Angeles being overrun with rats, had rats eating her vege until she used the forks.
Thanks for the great idea. I wonder how it would work with squirrels too
 

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Both have their own set of advantages and disadvantages.

Since we moved to this house 20 years ago, I started with a few raised beds mainly because of the hard rocky soil. Within a couple of years and the kids being born, I felt the pathways between the beds were wasted garden space and took them out. After expanding & building the soil it's now approximately 25x60 ft and I grow much of our food. Though harvests have been a challenge since I can't keep up with the weeding & care of it. Not to mention the physical challenges. So I am looking into building raised beds again and possibly planting grass in the pathways that can be cut and used either as mulch, added to the compost or as litter in the chicken coop. That way the pathways are 'useful'.



Do you have raised beds? Or in ground garden? What do you think of your method and how has it worked for you? Any suggestions or cautions?
I did some experimenting with raised beds for the same reason, way too many rocks. It depends on what you're growing and how much you raise, so carrots are pretty much out.

I quit doing that though because there's too much wildlife that comes to visit from the national forest in my back yard -- deer, rabbits, bears, raccoons --- so if I grow veggies now it's in pots.
Why not fence the area and use the raised beds? You'd be surprised at how much you can grow, especially with companion &/or square foot &/or intensive planting methods.
Because the fences would have to be at least eight feet high and that was more work than I was willing to put in or had time to.

So one day I looked out my window and there's a rabbit standing there. I can hear his thoughts, he's thinking "wow it all looks so good I don't know where to start".

I walks up behind the rabbit and I sez "can I help you?"

Rabbit sez "yeah, what's the special today? What do you recommend?"

I sez "I recommend you git chore ass a-movin' before I kick you over the creek" and he runned away.

The next day I hear this clumping sound. I look out, and at the same spot where the rabbit was, there's now a horse. And the horse is thinking "wow it all looks so good...."

I poked my head out the door and went "HEY!"

Horse put his head down and walked away to chew on some weeds.

Always sump'm.
 
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JustAnotherNut

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Both have their own set of advantages and disadvantages.

Since we moved to this house 20 years ago, I started with a few raised beds mainly because of the hard rocky soil. Within a couple of years and the kids being born, I felt the pathways between the beds were wasted garden space and took them out. After expanding & building the soil it's now approximately 25x60 ft and I grow much of our food. Though harvests have been a challenge since I can't keep up with the weeding & care of it. Not to mention the physical challenges. So I am looking into building raised beds again and possibly planting grass in the pathways that can be cut and used either as mulch, added to the compost or as litter in the chicken coop. That way the pathways are 'useful'.



Do you have raised beds? Or in ground garden? What do you think of your method and how has it worked for you? Any suggestions or cautions?
I did some experimenting with raised beds for the same reason, way too many rocks. It depends on what you're growing and how much you raise, so carrots are pretty much out.

I quit doing that though because there's too much wildlife that comes to visit from the national forest in my back yard -- deer, rabbits, bears, raccoons --- so if I grow veggies now it's in pots.
Another idea that I've seen becoming popular is using metal stock tanks as raised beds. You'd probably have to cut some drain holes in the bottom but being fairly tall, and slick sided, it should keep the smaller critters out. A good strong tall fence would keep the deer out
 
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JustAnotherNut

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Both have their own set of advantages and disadvantages.

Since we moved to this house 20 years ago, I started with a few raised beds mainly because of the hard rocky soil. Within a couple of years and the kids being born, I felt the pathways between the beds were wasted garden space and took them out. After expanding & building the soil it's now approximately 25x60 ft and I grow much of our food. Though harvests have been a challenge since I can't keep up with the weeding & care of it. Not to mention the physical challenges. So I am looking into building raised beds again and possibly planting grass in the pathways that can be cut and used either as mulch, added to the compost or as litter in the chicken coop. That way the pathways are 'useful'.



Do you have raised beds? Or in ground garden? What do you think of your method and how has it worked for you? Any suggestions or cautions?
I did some experimenting with raised beds for the same reason, way too many rocks. It depends on what you're growing and how much you raise, so carrots are pretty much out.

I quit doing that though because there's too much wildlife that comes to visit from the national forest in my back yard -- deer, rabbits, bears, raccoons --- so if I grow veggies now it's in pots.
Why not fence the area and use the raised beds? You'd be surprised at how much you can grow, especially with companion &/or square foot &/or intensive planting methods.
Because the fences would have to be at least eight feet high and that was more work than I was willing to put in or had time to.
Both have their own set of advantages and disadvantages.

Since we moved to this house 20 years ago, I started with a few raised beds mainly because of the hard rocky soil. Within a couple of years and the kids being born, I felt the pathways between the beds were wasted garden space and took them out. After expanding & building the soil it's now approximately 25x60 ft and I grow much of our food. Though harvests have been a challenge since I can't keep up with the weeding & care of it. Not to mention the physical challenges. So I am looking into building raised beds again and possibly planting grass in the pathways that can be cut and used either as mulch, added to the compost or as litter in the chicken coop. That way the pathways are 'useful'.



Do you have raised beds? Or in ground garden? What do you think of your method and how has it worked for you? Any suggestions or cautions?
I did some experimenting with raised beds for the same reason, way too many rocks. It depends on what you're growing and how much you raise, so carrots are pretty much out.

I quit doing that though because there's too much wildlife that comes to visit from the national forest in my back yard -- deer, rabbits, bears, raccoons --- so if I grow veggies now it's in pots.
Another idea that I've seen becoming popular is using metal stock tanks as raised beds. You'd probably have to cut some drain holes in the bottom but being fairly tall, and slick sided, it should keep the smaller critters out. A good strong tall fence would keep the deer out
Another idea to keep the deer out is to cover the bed with some poultry fencing???
 

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Both have their own set of advantages and disadvantages.

Since we moved to this house 20 years ago, I started with a few raised beds mainly because of the hard rocky soil. Within a couple of years and the kids being born, I felt the pathways between the beds were wasted garden space and took them out. After expanding & building the soil it's now approximately 25x60 ft and I grow much of our food. Though harvests have been a challenge since I can't keep up with the weeding & care of it. Not to mention the physical challenges. So I am looking into building raised beds again and possibly planting grass in the pathways that can be cut and used either as mulch, added to the compost or as litter in the chicken coop. That way the pathways are 'useful'.



Do you have raised beds? Or in ground garden? What do you think of your method and how has it worked for you? Any suggestions or cautions?
I did some experimenting with raised beds for the same reason, way too many rocks. It depends on what you're growing and how much you raise, so carrots are pretty much out.

I quit doing that though because there's too much wildlife that comes to visit from the national forest in my back yard -- deer, rabbits, bears, raccoons --- so if I grow veggies now it's in pots.
Why not fence the area and use the raised beds? You'd be surprised at how much you can grow, especially with companion &/or square foot &/or intensive planting methods.
Because the fences would have to be at least eight feet high and that was more work than I was willing to put in or had time to.
Both have their own set of advantages and disadvantages.

Since we moved to this house 20 years ago, I started with a few raised beds mainly because of the hard rocky soil. Within a couple of years and the kids being born, I felt the pathways between the beds were wasted garden space and took them out. After expanding & building the soil it's now approximately 25x60 ft and I grow much of our food. Though harvests have been a challenge since I can't keep up with the weeding & care of it. Not to mention the physical challenges. So I am looking into building raised beds again and possibly planting grass in the pathways that can be cut and used either as mulch, added to the compost or as litter in the chicken coop. That way the pathways are 'useful'.



Do you have raised beds? Or in ground garden? What do you think of your method and how has it worked for you? Any suggestions or cautions?
I did some experimenting with raised beds for the same reason, way too many rocks. It depends on what you're growing and how much you raise, so carrots are pretty much out.

I quit doing that though because there's too much wildlife that comes to visit from the national forest in my back yard -- deer, rabbits, bears, raccoons --- so if I grow veggies now it's in pots.
Another idea that I've seen becoming popular is using metal stock tanks as raised beds. You'd probably have to cut some drain holes in the bottom but being fairly tall, and slick sided, it should keep the smaller critters out. A good strong tall fence would keep the deer out
Another idea to keep the deer out is to cover the bed with some poultry fencing???
I had chicken wire up for a time. It's not enough to keep deer out.

Let alone the occasional horse.
 
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JustAnotherNut

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Both have their own set of advantages and disadvantages.

Since we moved to this house 20 years ago, I started with a few raised beds mainly because of the hard rocky soil. Within a couple of years and the kids being born, I felt the pathways between the beds were wasted garden space and took them out. After expanding & building the soil it's now approximately 25x60 ft and I grow much of our food. Though harvests have been a challenge since I can't keep up with the weeding & care of it. Not to mention the physical challenges. So I am looking into building raised beds again and possibly planting grass in the pathways that can be cut and used either as mulch, added to the compost or as litter in the chicken coop. That way the pathways are 'useful'.



Do you have raised beds? Or in ground garden? What do you think of your method and how has it worked for you? Any suggestions or cautions?
I did some experimenting with raised beds for the same reason, way too many rocks. It depends on what you're growing and how much you raise, so carrots are pretty much out.

I quit doing that though because there's too much wildlife that comes to visit from the national forest in my back yard -- deer, rabbits, bears, raccoons --- so if I grow veggies now it's in pots.
Why not fence the area and use the raised beds? You'd be surprised at how much you can grow, especially with companion &/or square foot &/or intensive planting methods.
Because the fences would have to be at least eight feet high and that was more work than I was willing to put in or had time to.
Both have their own set of advantages and disadvantages.

Since we moved to this house 20 years ago, I started with a few raised beds mainly because of the hard rocky soil. Within a couple of years and the kids being born, I felt the pathways between the beds were wasted garden space and took them out. After expanding & building the soil it's now approximately 25x60 ft and I grow much of our food. Though harvests have been a challenge since I can't keep up with the weeding & care of it. Not to mention the physical challenges. So I am looking into building raised beds again and possibly planting grass in the pathways that can be cut and used either as mulch, added to the compost or as litter in the chicken coop. That way the pathways are 'useful'.



Do you have raised beds? Or in ground garden? What do you think of your method and how has it worked for you? Any suggestions or cautions?
I did some experimenting with raised beds for the same reason, way too many rocks. It depends on what you're growing and how much you raise, so carrots are pretty much out.

I quit doing that though because there's too much wildlife that comes to visit from the national forest in my back yard -- deer, rabbits, bears, raccoons --- so if I grow veggies now it's in pots.
Another idea that I've seen becoming popular is using metal stock tanks as raised beds. You'd probably have to cut some drain holes in the bottom but being fairly tall, and slick sided, it should keep the smaller critters out. A good strong tall fence would keep the deer out
Another idea to keep the deer out is to cover the bed with some poultry fencing???
I had chicken wire up for a time. It's not enough to keep deer out.

Let alone the occasional horse.
How did you have it up? Like fencing???

I was thinking of using pvc pipe, poultry wire and connectors to make like a hoop house of sorts. With the bent pipe spaced about a foot or so apart it should provide a decent support to the wire
this is with hardware cloth and concrete bricks, but still gives you the idea





or this one shows with lattice, just have to cover the ends
 

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Both have their own set of advantages and disadvantages.

Since we moved to this house 20 years ago, I started with a few raised beds mainly because of the hard rocky soil. Within a couple of years and the kids being born, I felt the pathways between the beds were wasted garden space and took them out. After expanding & building the soil it's now approximately 25x60 ft and I grow much of our food. Though harvests have been a challenge since I can't keep up with the weeding & care of it. Not to mention the physical challenges. So I am looking into building raised beds again and possibly planting grass in the pathways that can be cut and used either as mulch, added to the compost or as litter in the chicken coop. That way the pathways are 'useful'.



Do you have raised beds? Or in ground garden? What do you think of your method and how has it worked for you? Any suggestions or cautions?

I have both raised beds and just your typical in-ground beds. The raised beds dry out faster but are easier to weed. Just depends on your situation and how much you are growing. I couldn't afford to do everything in raised beds because all the materials would take 25 years to break even growing the same amount as I do in-ground. I use the raised beds for garlic, lettuces, onions and the like mostly--things that weeding is an extra PITA to deal with.
 

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A few years ago I started doing raised beds, due to back issues. I made 4'x 8' by 18" high boxes to test things out and filled them with combinations of compost and topsoil. my 1st season went so well. Tomatoes of all varieties in 5 boxes and I couldn't keep up with them. In one box I planted black cherry and yellow pear tomatoes. I never had to plant either one for the next 4 years, and they cross pollinated to a very tasty hybrid as well.
The best thing about boxes, to me, is you can get very specific with each box to adjust ph balance for specific plants. More acidity for tomatoes, more balanced for cukes, etc.
Having grown up with in ground gardening, I didn't hold out much hope for raised beds, however, it's now the way I do it.
Another thing I fell into is cold boxes for herbs... absolutely fantastic for starting plants early in my region (Central Texas) and extending the growing season to year round in many/most cases for said herbs.
For the frames and sides of the raised beds and cold boxes, I went to a local sawmill and got the dregs of rough cut ceder, (good for bug control btw) oak and even mesquite.... although the oak and mesquite are some what more expensive they are more durable than the ceder, but, I had fewer bug issues in the ceder beds.
 

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Both have their own set of advantages and disadvantages.

Since we moved to this house 20 years ago, I started with a few raised beds mainly because of the hard rocky soil. Within a couple of years and the kids being born, I felt the pathways between the beds were wasted garden space and took them out. After expanding & building the soil it's now approximately 25x60 ft and I grow much of our food. Though harvests have been a challenge since I can't keep up with the weeding & care of it. Not to mention the physical challenges. So I am looking into building raised beds again and possibly planting grass in the pathways that can be cut and used either as mulch, added to the compost or as litter in the chicken coop. That way the pathways are 'useful'.



Do you have raised beds? Or in ground garden? What do you think of your method and how has it worked for you? Any suggestions or cautions?
I did some experimenting with raised beds for the same reason, way too many rocks. It depends on what you're growing and how much you raise, so carrots are pretty much out.

I quit doing that though because there's too much wildlife that comes to visit from the national forest in my back yard -- deer, rabbits, bears, raccoons --- so if I grow veggies now it's in pots.

One weekend of hard work and problem solved yet last most of us a lifetime.
I put up a 4' welded wire fence around raised bed area,then went up the fence about 2' above and 2' below laid on the ground so they can't dig under. According to how big your garden area is will determine the work and expense.

We have 4 raised beds but it is just for us old people to take care of. I just turned 2 of ours this past week. Turned the others 2 in Jan when we planted potatoes.
We also have a greenhouse and do some hydroponics. Not as much as before so we use containers inside greenhouse to start early.
 

whoisit

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A few years ago I started doing raised beds, due to back issues. I made 4'x 8' by 18" high boxes to test things out and filled them with combinations of compost and topsoil. my 1st season went so well. Tomatoes of all varieties in 5 boxes and I couldn't keep up with them. In one box I planted black cherry and yellow pear tomatoes. I never had to plant either one for the next 4 years, and they cross pollinated to a very tasty hybrid as well.
The best thing about boxes, to me, is you can get very specific with each box to adjust ph balance for specific plants. More acidity for tomatoes, more balanced for cukes, etc.
Having grown up with in ground gardening, I didn't hold out much hope for raised beds, however, it's now the way I do it.
Another thing I fell into is cold boxes for herbs... absolutely fantastic for starting plants early in my region (Central Texas) and extending the growing season to year round in many/most cases for said herbs.
For the frames and sides of the raised beds and cold boxes, I went to a local sawmill and got the dregs of rough cut ceder, (good for bug control btw) oak and even mesquite.... although the oak and mesquite are some what more expensive they are more durable than the ceder, but, I had fewer bug issues in the ceder beds.

Just be careful the cedar doesn't run off the pollinators. But very good idea about the raised raised beds.
 

DamnDude

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A few years ago I started doing raised beds, due to back issues. I made 4'x 8' by 18" high boxes to test things out and filled them with combinations of compost and topsoil. my 1st season went so well. Tomatoes of all varieties in 5 boxes and I couldn't keep up with them. In one box I planted black cherry and yellow pear tomatoes. I never had to plant either one for the next 4 years, and they cross pollinated to a very tasty hybrid as well.
The best thing about boxes, to me, is you can get very specific with each box to adjust ph balance for specific plants. More acidity for tomatoes, more balanced for cukes, etc.
Having grown up with in ground gardening, I didn't hold out much hope for raised beds, however, it's now the way I do it.
Another thing I fell into is cold boxes for herbs... absolutely fantastic for starting plants early in my region (Central Texas) and extending the growing season to year round in many/most cases for said herbs.
For the frames and sides of the raised beds and cold boxes, I went to a local sawmill and got the dregs of rough cut ceder, (good for bug control btw) oak and even mesquite.... although the oak and mesquite are some what more expensive they are more durable than the ceder, but, I had fewer bug issues in the ceder beds.

Just be careful the cedar doesn't run off the pollinators. But very good idea about the raised raised beds.
Never had any issues with pollinators... Most of the plants I plant, tomatoes, cukes, melons are self pollinating anyways... However, I did have the yellow pear/black cherry tomatoes cross and make a quite tasty hybrid, while in the cedar boxes, and earthworms were copious as well, the one thing I noticed was there were fewer grub worms... Which was nice.
 

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