Garden beds raised up off of the ground?

RichnSteph

Songster
5 Years
Mar 25, 2014
882
151
176
Adkins Texas
The wife and I would like to build our garden beds up off the ground a little bit. We were thinking that a bed made of 2x12's would have enough soil for good plant growth and if we only have it so that the top is 2' from the ground we'd still be able to reach the plants (without bending over) and there would be room underneath for the chickens to hunt for bugs and hide from air borne predators. I think I can just floor the boxes with plywood and drill holes in it for drainage (yes I know I'll have to replace it every couple of years).

Thoughts? Good idea bad idea?

Thank you for your time.
RichnSteph
 
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iwiw60

Crowing
5 Years
Jan 27, 2014
5,291
650
336
Central Oregon
Sounds a tad "risky" to me...the sheer weight of all that soil would most probably collapse, and then....

there goes the chickens..eek!!
 

RichnSteph

Songster
5 Years
Mar 25, 2014
882
151
176
Adkins Texas
We weren't planning on making anything huge. A couple 2'x2'x12" for squash and zucchini and some 1'x8'x12" longer ones for other tomatoes, peppers, onions, garlic, beans, peas, ect.

I'll see if I can find some pictures somewhere of what we have in mind. I'm sure someone has tried it.
 
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JSossong

Chirping
5 Years
Mar 8, 2014
162
9
78
Western PA
Our family garden is 6 raised beds. They were setup just on top of the ground- no space between the actual beds and the dirt beneath it. Each bed we fill with well composted soil, manure of sorts and peat moss. We've had really great success with ours. They don't seem to be as high from the ground as what you're describing though- we still have to bend down to get to them. It also makes things feel more organized in the garden. The entire area is fenced in since our garden is next to a corn field and we tend to get a lot of pests.
 

RichnSteph

Songster
5 Years
Mar 25, 2014
882
151
176
Adkins Texas
Having an organized garden is part of the reason we are going with raised beds. *laugh* My grandmother has a huge garden every year but about 4 months into it it's a nightmare to get into to harvest, she believes in the "let it grow wild" theory of gardening. My wife and I on the other hand have got a touch of the OCD and just hate a mess in the produce plot. I did find some pictures online of raised beds built up on 4x4 posts with a 18" of clearance between the bottom and the earth beneath it. They look pretty stable.
 

JSossong

Chirping
5 Years
Mar 8, 2014
162
9
78
Western PA
I think it's a great idea! Go for it! My only advice would be to make sure the beds are deep enough for whatever you want to grow and their roots, etc. We don't have any problems since the earth is beneath ours. But sometimes our carrots get funny.
 

henless

Crowing
6 Years
Nov 20, 2013
1,584
959
252
Northeast Texas Zone 8B
My Coop
My Coop
My mom got one from TSC a few weeks ago. It is 4'x4' and about 4' off the ground. She loves it! I tried to find a pic of it, but since it was a "one time thing" at TSC, it is no longer on their web site.
 

NestingBoxMom

Hatching
5 Years
Apr 29, 2014
5
0
7
I did raised beds last year (we built them from stacked barn beams). I did love them in that they saved my back big time. With regard to your hens foraging underneath them my only word of caution is that many of my veggies were eaten by the birds before I could get to them! At the time we had 1 rooster and 2 hens who were allowed to free range...and free range they did! We lost the rooster last year. I currently have 10 chicks in a brooder in my house and am building a new coop / yard area for them. This year I would like my veggies to be mine! LOL. The birds will have plenty of space in their yard, and I will not mind letting them out to forage in the pastures, etc. when I'm out with them, but I've lost my last tomato to the girls (other than the ones that I will inevitable give them since I tend to spoil all of my animals)!
 

Mtn Laurel

Songster
7 Years
May 18, 2012
1,534
196
206
Northern Virginia
My Coop
My Coop
I'm thinking they're going to dry out rather quickly and require frequent watering. Frequent watering is going to keep that bottom plywood wet and keep the soil heavy, increasing the possibility of collapse.

I have some traditional raised beds that sit on top the ground and even they dry out much quicker than our other beds in the ground.
 
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