The Perfect Raised Bed Size for High Productivity in Small Spaces

The Perfect Raised Bed Size for High Productivity in Small Spaces

Raised beds come in all kinds of wonderful shapes and sizes, allowing us to create raised bed vegetable gardens with both practical and aesthetic qualities. As time has progressed I have found myself moving towards one particular size of raised bed which for me is the perfect balance between productivity and being easy to work with. I encourage you to use this as a guide to help you find what you think is the perfect raised bed size for high productivity in vegetable gardens.

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  1. Ray Lang on April 15, 2022 at 6:08 pm

    Hello. I have been an organic vegetable grower for 30+ years. Here is what I have settle on for bed sizes. I am 6′ . For gardening on flat ground I feel that 42" is ideal for my wider beds and 30" for my narrow beds. Otherwise it is whatever will fit under 42". I built new 12" raised beds this year. My central bed is 4′ X 32′. 1/2 of the bed is devoted to fruit. I have a trellis for blackberries down the middle and half is strawberries. The beds are 1′ in height and I put 2"x6" rails along the tops for a place to sit. Having the bed elevated makes it easier to reach the middle than on flat ground so 4′ works for me. I am 75 yo so this makes it much easier for me to garden opposed to flat ground. I have found that 18" between beds works best. You do want ample room to turn around, move around, etc. I went with full 2′ in these new beds. When I built my beds I put down 6" of wood chips and 6" of a clay loam soil on top. Above that I put about 2" of leaves and about 4" of straw. After three months undisturbed I discovered that the leaves were mostly decomposed and had created about 1/4" of new, beautiful, rich soil. Amazing. I was very pleased to discover that. We had a wet winter so I am sure that had much to do with the decomposition of the leaves.

  2. Steve From the Garden on April 15, 2022 at 6:09 pm

    What did you use for the hoops in the high tunnel? They look quite large in diameter.

  3. therevelation19 on April 15, 2022 at 6:10 pm

    Hi Huw, nice video as always. The size of 1,2m by 3,0m is really the best size! By the way, can You make a video on how You build the polycrub tunnel? I´m really interested in how it was built.

  4. Bob smith on April 15, 2022 at 6:11 pm


  5. Janice Wheeler on April 15, 2022 at 6:12 pm

    I have my raised beds with 2 hole concrete blocks and. 4 blockes by 8. Ends are 3 full and half a side block. I put cardboard down, small sticks, then pour raised bedding soil down about 6". Put thin layer straw and 10-10-10 and finish up with soil to top. After water/ rain it drop 3-4" which is good. My potatoes were plantedon GOOD Friday. And blooming now. Since i have holes in blocks upwards i fill and plant with petunias, marigolds or. Even pepper plants about ever 3 blocks. I dont have to bend over just set on blocks and work. Hope this might help others that have trouble bending over garden

  6. Rosie Gremmert on April 15, 2022 at 6:13 pm

    Hi – I love your easy way of explaining all the details! I have made several attempts to purchase your course today without success. I have tried both mobile & desktop. I already have my own Teachable school and account so possibly that is making the process more complicated. At any rate, I keep checking out but then it isn’t allowing me access to the course. At this point I am a little concerned that I may have purchased it three times… 🙂 Can you check for user name Rosie Gremmert in the dashboard as a student before I keep trying to sleuth it out?

  7. Jenine Drayton on April 15, 2022 at 6:15 pm

    Wonderful video Huw. Thank you. I’m wondering what your thoughts are for the width when they are raised beds to being 70 cm high. We have an issue with rabbits here and the 70cm is high enough to keep them out. As they are 70cm high, I’m wondering if you think we could go wider than the 1.2metres. They intend to be 3metres in length.

  8. Rob Burchell on April 15, 2022 at 6:17 pm

    Dear Huw, Forgive me but I saw a video of yours on YouTube where you made a raised bed from reclaimed plastic? I was wondering, aren’t you afraid of microplastics getting into your food? Roots will come into contact with it… I only ask because you inspire me to be more organic and self sufficient but I’d never use plastic… reclaimed, remoulded or not.

  9. Gwen Scoble on April 15, 2022 at 6:18 pm

    Thank you Huw for your min and max sizes. I think a lot of the decision is based on the materials you use. Wood comes in certain lengths, and if you don’t want to waste, reasonable compromises work. I live in as wet part of Wales but probably warmer, so my ex scaffold board beds rotted fairly quickly. They have been replaced with concrete gavel boards. They are normally 6ft in length. The concrete fence posts are about 9 ft. You need a good cutter but 6x3ft beds, posts cut into 3 or 4 depending on hole depth and concrete fixing, fitted my space. Approximately 2 sq yards/ bed abd 4 beds. They are only an inch or so wide but standing and walking on the edges is not something you could reliably do on wood. A raised bed, raises the height of your bean poles and other structures, tying in the tops and picking and pinching out would involve a chair or step ladder otherwise.
    Your thoughts on tunnel beds has reinforced mine too. Thanks for the video.

  10. Albita vilche on April 15, 2022 at 6:20 pm

    Si me gusta ese sistema de armar el huerto

  11. Louis Vanassche on April 15, 2022 at 6:22 pm

    love your videos!

  12. Dean Fowles on April 15, 2022 at 6:22 pm

    Hi there again, I’m planning on making a raised bed using a shopping trolley, do you think it would work using plastic sheeting, and perhaps thick bin liners to line the trolley with and then puncturing the bottom with many holes? My main worry is the plastic turning the compost toxic. But I am not sure that any other thing for this shopping trolley setup would be practical long term.

  13. Firevine on April 15, 2022 at 6:24 pm

    I’ve been making 5ft by 2ft beds because uhh…my wife and I are both really short. Given the asinine price of lumber in the States, I’ve been making them out of cedar fence planking. Living in the southeastern US, my yard is basically red clay and rocks, so I need to make them fairly deep.

  14. Butterfly Lullaby on April 15, 2022 at 6:26 pm

    Thanks Huw. Very useful. I got the Permaculture Magazine your in. Can’t wait to read it. Well done. Been following your videos for some years.

    Love the nettle video. Perhaps you would consider doing a Japanese Knotweed video.
    We were mis-sold on our house, so I’ve turned Knotweed into a powerful positive. Herbal medicine (Resveratrol). Soap, face oil. Paper. And Green Electricity. Do message me. Would love to talk.

  15. Ian Charles on April 15, 2022 at 6:27 pm

    I have 2 beds that are 3×6 ft and I like the size of them. One of them is about a foot tall and the other is 6 inches. I like the tall one better.

  16. Barry Roberts on April 15, 2022 at 6:28 pm

    My Raised Beds in my back garden which are sitting on flag stone, are 6ft long and 3ft wide and because of my health are 22 inches high.
    Stay Safe,
    Barry (Wirral)

  17. Rocco on April 15, 2022 at 6:28 pm

    Your is the best course ever, and I have taken a lot. Well done!

  18. Art By Emily Hare on April 15, 2022 at 6:29 pm

    I see you’ve got a wonderful Polycrub – how do you find it in comparison to a regular poly tunnel?

  19. The Irish Country Woman on April 15, 2022 at 6:29 pm

    Absolutely love your planting plan course, I’ve my garden planned for the year and it’s keeping me on track with everything I need to do!

  20. Steven Dowden on April 15, 2022 at 6:29 pm

    cracking video i love your polytunnel

  21. OhioGardener on April 15, 2022 at 6:32 pm

    I have a number of raised beds, and have found the best for easy use is 4’x12′. The first one I built is 4’x10′, and the next two are 4’x12′ I like the extra room of the 12′ ones, and it isn’t that much longer to walk around. I used three cattle panels to create an arbor between tow the 4’x12′ beds that are spaced 4′ apart. The arbor is great for pole beans, cucumbers, etc. One style bed I experimented with is a U-shaped bed with thre 4’x6′ beds forming a U. That is my least favorite bed as it is difficult working the angled part of the U – that angled part of the bed is about 5.5′, which is too long to reach across.

  22. Mit Lefreod on April 15, 2022 at 6:34 pm

    With 50cm, would it be good to think about mouse stop ironfence?

  23. Lady Bird Starshine on April 15, 2022 at 6:35 pm

    Thank you 😁

  24. Dean Watt on April 15, 2022 at 6:35 pm

    Heres an idea for you, If you have beds that are a consistent width ( I have one continuous bed down the whole length of our backyard, one side is a path to access, the other side is the boundary fence) like mine.
    You can get a piece of timber about 10cm wide and as long as your bed is wide. My piece of wood is 10cm x 130cm. It has another piece of timber at the end to make a T shape about 25cm across.
    So when planting, I lay the end with the T up against the far edge of the bed, this gives you a perfect straight line, to plant along the length of the wood.
    I have the long section of wood marked every 5cm, so depending on what your planting, you can pick the exact spacing you want!
    All rows are super straight, with exact spacing. You can stagger the next row perfectly etc.

    I really like everything looking perfect as it’s right in our backyard and it also helps get a lot in a small area.

  25. Coastal Gardens NW on April 15, 2022 at 6:36 pm

    Hi huw, another great video and just in Tim I’m going to be making a couple more new beds next week 👍🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿

  26. Patricia - Traslasierra Slowww on April 15, 2022 at 6:37 pm

    Hola !
    Aqui.patricia desde argentina.
    Me gustaría tomar el curso.

    Se puede tomar en idioma español?


  27. purplesmileymonster on April 15, 2022 at 6:38 pm

    Your hoop house is almost the same size as my whole garden

  28. Vanessa Eden on April 15, 2022 at 6:38 pm

    Great video. Very informative. Thank you.

  29. Romina Adimari on April 15, 2022 at 6:39 pm

    Muchas gracias Huw!!! Muy claras tus sugerencias, me encantó tu taza con dibujitos!!!!

  30. Europ Ayski on April 15, 2022 at 6:41 pm

    2:37 Three-foot is enough.

  31. Backwoods Baby on April 15, 2022 at 6:43 pm

    I think beds that are like this should be a maximum of 3 feet. Wide enough to reach everything from one side. Then you dont have to "walk all the way around" for a foot of veg.
    I do think that maximum yield for space is a 30 inch bed with a 10 to 18 inch walk space. The market guys have that all down pat.

  32. Tommy Wendt on April 15, 2022 at 6:45 pm

    FINALLY BOUGHT THE PLANNING COURSE!!! So excited to smash it this year

  33. Denise falusi on April 15, 2022 at 6:46 pm

    Thank you Huw, always great advice and content. ❤ from Canada 🍁

  34. Frits van Doorn on April 15, 2022 at 6:46 pm

    I am still reading your beginners book and started to make raised bed just about the size you mentioned.

  35. Paul Beckwith on April 15, 2022 at 6:47 pm

    We started last year with an 8 foot by 4 foot bed – the length was what would fit into the space we had available, while the width was from your suggested size! This year we have added three new beds, but these are various sizes depending on what materials we could get to make them. We have two that are about 4 foot by 3 1/2 foot, and the third was from B&Q and is about 3 foot by 2 foot. These all were fitted into the corner of the garden that gets the most sunshine and filled the space perfectly, and are all of a usable size for reaching over!

  36. Art by Karen E Haley on April 15, 2022 at 6:47 pm

    whered you get that footage of 0:17 me at age 4 with a pair of scissors on my doll’s hair

  37. daisy gurl on April 15, 2022 at 6:48 pm

    What a glorious garden. I’m on the petite side, so I found that beds need to be only 3 feet across so that I can access everything. You always have such great tips. Blessings. Garden on…

  38. Briana Dixon on April 15, 2022 at 6:49 pm

    I made my beds taller, so the rabbits can’t get into it. :p

  39. What We Do on April 15, 2022 at 6:49 pm

    Interesting! My beds are 4feet wide and ten feet long, they have been for more than two decades! I don’t have sides but that works well for me as my natural soil is half decent.


  40. adina nica on April 15, 2022 at 6:51 pm

    What type of wood are you using? Any chance you could also coment about where to get it from? (I’m in UK). I am trying to plan some beds but find it very difficult to find the right wood. Thanks

  41. Jose on April 15, 2022 at 6:51 pm

    Excelente video. Tengo una pregunta, pensando en un suelo base que está compactado y tiene malezas ¿recomendás quitarlas o es cavar un poco? Como preparo y acondiciono ese espacio para construir encima el jardín, esa sería la pregunta.
    Un abrazo desde Argentina

  42. Cruella on April 15, 2022 at 6:52 pm

    I got a couple of pallet collars after reading your book. They’re 75×115 cm so I thought they were tiny but after seeing this video they’re probably just right for me. Thanks!

  43. Gerry Clough on April 15, 2022 at 6:53 pm

    I agree 4ft or 1.2m wide seems perfect for me to be able to easily reach everything.
    My raised beds are 2.4m or 8ft long simply because that’s a common length for timber.
    Height, again based on easily obtainable timber 400mm which is 2 sleepers deep and only this deep to avoid too much bending down
    Path width? Just a tad under 2 ft . Wide enough to get my lawnmower or wheelbarrow down if needed.
    Simple really:) Nice info as usual Huw 👍

  44. tzenophile on April 15, 2022 at 6:54 pm

    A nice length is the standard length of the boards so you don’t have to cut them. Or, if the boards are really long, cut off 1,2 m to use for the short sides.

  45. andy moore on April 15, 2022 at 6:57 pm

    Scaffolding boards in the UK are usually 3m long by 30cm wide . So 3m long by 0.3m wide by 30cm high makes perfect sense.

  46. Sky Lights on April 15, 2022 at 6:59 pm

    This is so very timely! Thank you.

  47. Mariola cultiva y cocina on April 15, 2022 at 7:02 pm

    Muy interesante, saludos desde España

  48. Korgan Rivera on April 15, 2022 at 7:03 pm

    Do you have a video about how you built your greenhouse? Tried searching your content but didn’t find one.

  49. Malcolm Meyer on April 15, 2022 at 7:04 pm

    What is the hand watering can you use, that one is nice!

  50. Saint Coemgen on April 15, 2022 at 7:07 pm

    Our house in on a hill. So our kitchen garden is also on a hill. So it is terraced. Ergo… A raised bed on one side. But that is done due to necessity, not preference. I prefer to not have raised beds if I can. They are more trouble than they are worth IMHO. But one benefit of raised beds not mentioned in this video is to deal with gopher or moles. If one lays down hardware cloth on the soil, then build a raised bed on top of this, it can remove damage from such sub soil mammals. So there are many good reasons to have raised beds.

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