Raised vegetable beds

Raised vegetable beds

Do I need to create raised garden beds? No, but it is often the easiest way to grow vegetables in Canberra clay. Because most of us are not lucky enough to inherit soft, friable soil building raised gardens is a quick easy way to create drainage and incorporate large amounts of valuable compost soil.

You can build garden beds out of virtually any material – timber, brick, metal but be careful with any material which has been chemically treated such as arsenic treated pine. Some chemical will transfer, the jury is out as to whether these levels are safe. But if you are growing veggies at home to avoid the chemicals associated with bought veggies it makes sense to steer clear.


There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to the dimensions of your vegetable beds but there are some things to take into account. If you make your garden beds wider than your reach you will need to step into the bed to weed or harvest, probably crushing plants in your wake. I like beds no wider than 1.5m if they can be accessed from both sides.

The depth can vary but you will need at least 30cm of soft soil to grow the larger vegetables so if you don’t want to dig the beds should be at least 40cm high to allow for soil and 75mm of mulch.

If you make the beds around the height of a chair and sturdy enough you can sit on the edge rather than bending your back for the menial tasks.

Excerpt from the Grow your own planner

If you are planning raised beds in your veggie patch check out these kit options

Need more information read our other fruit & veg articles or sign up for our Grow your own Garden Advisory

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