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Deep raised beds?

13 years ago

Hi everyone,

I'm a relatively newbie gardener and am building some new raised beds for my veggies. Would love to get some feedback on my beds.

I've also asked over at SFG and the veggie boards, but since I'm 100% organic I hope it's OK I'm also asking here.


Is there essentially any problem with building 24" deep raised beds? (i.e. 2 rows of 2x12"s). I know the SFG people would say it's wasteful and unneccessary, and the french intensive people would say make them shallower and just double dig below the ground... but for a bunch of reasons with my soil (gophers, compacted clay soil that's full of construction debris, possible contamination, etc) I prefer not to plant directly into my native soil. Not at all. I don't mind if the boxes touch the native soil, but I want to create boxes deep enough that the roots won't have to go down into the native soil.

I like the idea of french intensive and deep rich organic beds. But I just want to do them above ground and filled with very rich mixed compost from a local soil company that all the master gardeners rave about.

I know the bottom 12" will compact over time, but I can keep the top 12" fluffy and light with regular additions of more compost.

But I've spent a lot of time lurking over on the SFG boards and I am starting to really doubt my own intuition that 24" will work best for my situation, garden site, back, watering needs, etc.

Am I nuts? (OK, don't really answer that.) I mean, is there anything inherently wrong with the plan?



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