gardening on uneven ground: leveling raised beds
IS YOUR GARDEN ON THE LEVEL? THE SUBJECT OF RAISED BEDS keeps coming up in the Urgent Garden Question Forum, and now the topic has turned to the ever-so-tricky aspect of how to build them on uneven ground. Been there, done that. I thought it might best be answered in pictures:
I’m a believer that each raised bed, which I like made from 2-by-10’s, must be a level entity unto itself, but that all the beds within a plot don’t need to match in terms of how much they extend out of the ground. To make them match on my crazy terrain, you’d have to build the downhill-side walls of the lowest ones several times as high as the uphill sides of the highest ones (if you can even decode that sentence). Then you’d have to bring in about 10 truckloads of soil and shovel for a year to fill them.
Like I said, it’s easier to explain in photos, but first one more thought: Strive to have your pathways between beds, which should be just wide enough for a wheelbarrow, end up on the level, too. Nothing worse than uneven footing while working, or having a barrow-load of something topple.
Click the first thumbnail to start the slideshow, then toggle from image to image using the arrows beside each caption. Enjoy.
More raised-bed details:
- I use whatever rot-resistant, untreated lumber is locally available as 2-by-10s for a good price (here that’s locust).
- I like my beds between 4 and 5 feet wide (wider is hard to reach across; even 5 is stretching it) and try to waste little lumber by using multiples or halves of common lengths like 8- and 10-footers.
- More raised-bed discussion is happening in the Urgent Garden Question Forum, where a lengthy thread on raised beds (materials, how-to, etc.), started here, and now the subject of leveling them (or not) continues at this link.