Gardening 101: Raised Beds vs. In-Ground Beds

Gardening 101: Raised Beds vs. In-Ground Beds

In this video, you’ll learn the pros and cons of building raised garden beds versus in-ground garden beds. There are several factors to keep in mind for your gardening beds:

• Cost of materials
• Aesthetics
• Functionality
• Lifestyle considerations
• Weeding
• Cold climate considerations

Each approach has its disadvantages and advantages, and this video will help you decide which is right for your garden.


About Kareen

Master Gardener Kareen Erbe of Broken Ground helps people living in cold climates grow their own food so they can eat healthier, live more sustainably, and be more self-reliant. Through her Resilient Homestead Program, Starter Garden Workshop, Online Edible Backyards Series, and 1:1 consultations, Kareen is committed to getting as many people as possible building a resilient life that enables them to not only live their values and connect to their community but to feed their families safe and healthy food.


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  1. AnnieEm on December 7, 2021 at 1:18 pm

    I’m in the Pacific Northwest, Upper Left.
    My beds are in-ground beds that are also raised beds.
    28′ long, 4′ wide, about 2 to 3 feet high.

    I tied out strings to mark the beds, and the 18" paths between them.
    I dug out the paths, digging down quite a bit, dumping the soil into the bed sections.
    There was enough soil from the pathways to create two to three feet raised mounds.
    No metal, no wood.
    I do need to move some pathway dirt back onto the mounds every two years or so.

    Once a year I cover all the beds with compost.
    Lots of room to do interesting things every year.

    Thank you for all the time effort you take to create these great videos!

  2. luzyinthesky on December 7, 2021 at 1:22 pm

    What if live in South Florida? Won’t they heat up too much??? And drainage…. our summers are more rain than sun!!

  3. Flowers by Nicole on December 7, 2021 at 1:23 pm

    Thanks for the info . I’m thinking of building some this spring

  4. Jay Bid on December 7, 2021 at 1:28 pm

    Hello, let’s say you go for In-ground beds, and assuming the land is sloppy, so what if i choose to make a furrow using a power tiller between the In-ground beds, would that work? (Or that becomes a raised bed?) I believe some the disadvantages of In-ground Beds such a compact soil will persist but the drainage advantage will be retained right? am i missing anything?

  5. Edward J on December 7, 2021 at 1:42 pm

    Nice overview, thank you.

  6. Shane Stephen on December 7, 2021 at 1:49 pm

    Wow. Awesome content.thanks for your work

  7. Martha Conover on December 7, 2021 at 1:52 pm

    I’ve got a very natural-looking food forest plan going.  Can’t tell you how many videos I’ve seen on the advantages of raised beds…but watering seems to be one disadvantage.  I’m just doing the " Back to Eden" approach w/ tons of wood chips/ homemade-organic compost.  Tried one raised bed for strawberries years ago. Weediest thing in my yard:/  I tried weed fabric ( never again)/ mulch, straw/ , etc.  I stupidly put that an acre away from my house, though.  I’m just leaving it for the bees now, as it’s full of goldenrod, daisies, and "I’m not even sure what get’s that big" kind-a-things. Perhaps I’ll transplant all my milkweed from the front of my house back there…so the "pristine neighbors" quit cringing.

  8. Garden Graffiti on December 7, 2021 at 1:54 pm

    Thank you for the information. You also have a very soothing ASMR-sounding voice.

  9. Elizabeth Yurkov on December 7, 2021 at 1:58 pm

    This was so helpful and comprehensive! Thank you 🙂

  10. guitardaddy6 on December 7, 2021 at 2:09 pm

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  11. D P on December 7, 2021 at 2:09 pm

    Very informative. Thank you

  12. Samantha Quant on December 7, 2021 at 2:15 pm

    We are using raised beds for the reasons you mentioned and also because we needed better drainage than the sunniest area of our yard offered on its own. I will say it ended up being MUCH more expensive than we’d originally thought. Perhaps you mentioned drainage and I just missed it. I know in some desert areas they even do sunken beds to collect the water! That would be a bad idea for me! 🙂

  13. Fartrell Cluggins on December 7, 2021 at 2:15 pm

    Love your videos. I’m here in Helena so what you put on video has direct correlation to what I want to do here. First order of business this spring is a pollinator garden.

  14. John Doe on December 7, 2021 at 2:17 pm

    Thank you for your time and effort in getting this information out. 🙂

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