How to Raise Vegetable Beds


Raised beds for gardening have gained in popularity in recent years due to their convenience and the ability to produce more crops in a smaller space. Although the practice of building wooden structures to hold soil and plants represents a new technique for many gardeners, the practice of using raised mounds of soil to grow flowers and vegetables is not. Creating a temporary raised bed directly in the garden provides all the benefits of a wooden structure, but requires no construction and can be easily moved at the end of the season.

Step 1

Prepare garden soil by tilling to a depth of 8 to 10 inches. Remove rocks and stones to create loose soil. Add soil amendments, like organic matter or fertilizer, following the recommended application rate on the product.

Step 2

Mark the area for the raised mound. Generally, mounds should be no wider than 4 feet in width to allow gardeners to reach the center of the bed from both sides.

Step 3

Use a hoe or garden rake to create a mound of soil 6 to 8 inches above the level of the garden. Rake the top smooth to create a level surface for planting. Pathways are created around the bed where soil has been raked away to form the raised row.

Step 4

Plant seeds or seedlings in the raised mound. Because it is not necessary to leave space between rows for walking or cultivation, you can plant seeds or seedlings at their recommended spacing in all directions. For example, beans can be planted 4 inches apart in all directions. This allows you to plant more vegetables is less space.

Step 5

Water when soil dries. Unlike constructed raised beds that dry quickly, wide rows do not require more frequent watering of plants grown in the garden.

Things You'll Need

  • Garden tools
  • Soil amendments
  • Seeds/seedlings


  • University of Illinois: Vegetable Gardening 101
  • TAMU Extension: Wide-Row Planting
  • Ed Hume Seeds: Gardening in Limited Space

Who Can Help

  • University of Tennessee Extension: Raised Bed Gardening
  • NC State University Extension: Intensive Vegetable Garden
  • Colorado State University Extension: Block Style layout in Raised Bed Vegetable Gardens
Keywords: raised rows in a garden, wide row planting, raised beds without boxes, raised mound for planting

About this Author

Nannette Richford is an avid gardener, teacher and nature enthusiast with 4 years experience in online writing and a lifetime of personal journals. She is published on various sites, including Associated Content. Richford holds a Bachelor of Science in secondary education from the University of Maine Orono and certifications in 7-12 English, K-8 General Elementary and Birth to age 5.