Finding the Perfect Spot for Your Raised Garden Bed

Raised garden beds make it easy and convenient to grow your own flowers, vegetables, and fruits. But even though the beds are portable and can be used in a variety of ways, picking the right place to put them is very important for their success.

When selecting an ideal raised bed site, there are several important factors to weigh regarding sunlight, access, aesthetics and more Follow this guide to pick the prime location for your new raised bed garden

Sunlight Exposure

The number one consideration when siting a raised bed is sun exposure. Most edible and ornamental plants need at least 6 hours of direct sunlight daily. Fruiting plants like tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, berries and melons need even more – up to 8-10 hours.

When scouting placement identify the sunniest areas of your yard throughout the entire day and during all seasons. Account for surrounding trees, buildings and other structures that could cast shade.

South-facing spots are best, especially against a heat-radiating wall or fence. East-facing also works well. West or north-facing beds will need to focus on shade tolerant crops.

Maximize every ray of sunlight your property receives for the most productive raised bed garden.

Water Accessibility

Convenient access to water is another top consideration. Situating beds near an outdoor spigot or hose enables easy irrigation.

Beds more than 25 feet from a water source become tedious to hand water. Painful experience has taught me this! Drip irrigation can span longer distances if installed skillfully.

If tapping into your home’s plumbing isn’t feasible, collect rain in barrels to situate near beds. Just beware overflow during heavy storms.

Having a hydration plan in place beforehand ensures your plants get the moisture they need with minimal effort.

Exposure and Protection

While sun is vital, too much wind, rain and other elements can damage crops. Seek spots that offer a happy balance between sunlight and shelter.

When you put beds against the calm side of a garage, house, or hedge, strong winds that can knock over vine crops are less likely to happen. North-facing beds may receive gentler sun along with shelter.

However, avoid planting too close to buildings. Allow adequate circulation between beds and surrounding structures to discourage mold and mildew.

Fence or trellis windbreaks are another buffer option. Just be sure not to shade beds too much.

Convenience and Access

For frequent care and harvests, raised beds belong near high-traffic zones. Prime spots include:

  • Near back doors or kitchen windows
  • Alongside frequently used sidewalks or paths
  • Next to outdoor living spaces like patios
  • Visible from decks, porches and sitting areas

The more you pass by your raised beds, the more likely you’ll tend to their needs. Out of sight equals out of mind.

Beds should also be accessible from multiple sides. Allow at least 2 feet circumference for planting, weeding and picking. Anything squeezing beds against fences or walls becomes difficult to access.

Easy entry is key for garden enjoyment and productivity. Don’t plant yourself into a corner.

Aesthetic Appeal

A final factor is how your raised beds blend with existing architecture and landscaping. The goal is for beds to look like they belong, not stick out like a sore thumb.

Consider visibility from indoor rooms, outdoor living areas and boundary sight lines. Find spots that highlight rather than hide away your gardening investment.

Beds parked haphazardly often get dismissed as an eyesore. But creatively woven into the backdrop, they become a living work of art!

Bed Orientation

Raised beds are typically aligned in rows, grids or shapes. How you orient and angle the structures also matters:

  • For sun: Position beds to receive maximum sunlight across the soil surface and plant canopy.

  • For space: Allow ample aisle width between beds and surrounding structures. At least 2-3 feet for walking and working.

  • For drainage: Slope beds slightly to one end and avoid pooling rain shadows.

  • For access: Ensure you can reach all areas for planting, weeding and harvesting.

Many Kitchen Garden designs utilize straight, perpendicular beds aligned logically with structures. But don’t be afraid to get creative with angled, curved or freeform shapes!

Coordinating Raised Beds

For a cohesive look, consider height, proportions, style and materials as you assemble multiple beds.

Blend raised beds with the existing landscape using:

  • Repeating shapes and lines
  • Complementary building materials
  • Edge/border plants, paths and accents

Varying heights and shapes adds interest while also delineating garden zones and uses.

Repeating construction materials like wood tones or stone types ties the collection together nicely.

Ideal Raised Bed Materials

Speaking of materials, choose ones that match your home for a seamless flow between indoor and outdoor living.

  • Wood: Stain or paint to coordinate with home siding and decking. Opt for naturally rot-resistant cedar.
  • Metal: Match outdoor furniture finishes. Use galvanized, powder coated or rusted steel.
  • Stone: Select patio pavers and wall stones similar to home. Use regional rock for congruity.
  • Concrete: Pour edges to continue clean lines from sidewalks and foundations.
  • Brick: Match existing architectural details. Use similar tones and distressing.

Your beds should feel like an extension of the landscape, not stick out. Use location and design to make them feel invitingly “homey”.

Sample Raised Bed Placement Ideas

Here are a few raised garden bed placement ideas to spark your creativity:

  • Corner beds create a focal entryway feature
  • Beds lining a patio or deck easily blend the spaces
  • Under kitchen windows provides herb access when cooking
  • In front yard (if allowed) for curb appeal
  • Beds on a roof deck for urban gardening
  • Against garage or tool sheds for planting proximity
  • On driveway islands dressed up with protective edging
  • Repurpose old swimming pools or hot tubs as mega-beds
  • Tuck into oddly shaped niches and unused gaps

With smart positioning, any outdoor nook or cranny can be converted into a bountiful raised bed garden!

Avoiding Common Raised Bed Placement Mistakes

When deciding on raised bed placement, sidestep these troublesome tendencies:

  • Selecting only marginal sun areas out of limited options
  • Squeezing beds into leftover spaces not ideally suited
  • Spotting beds without regard to alignment with surroundings
  • Plopping directly on top of existing lawn or weeds
  • Failing to consider bed’s visual impact from all angles
  • Planting too close to fast-draining gravel beds without lining
  • Positioning too far from water source for convenient irrigation
  • Up against fences or walls that limit plant access and growth

Don’t just shove raised beds anywhere they fit. Be intentional in assessing sunlight, water, access, exposure and aesthetics first.

Raised Bed Placement Tips for Small or Urban Gardens

Limited outdoor space shouldn’t stop you from raised bed gardening. Those with tiny yards or only balconies and patios can still find viable spots. Consider these solutions:

  • Use vertical space. Install wall-mounted, railing or rooftop planter boxes.
  • Replace all or part of an existing deck with a planting bed.
  • Stack smaller beds on patio or bricks for elevated growing.
  • Look for thin in-between spaces like beside sheds or walkways.
  • Add compact beds to driveway medians, parking strips and side yards.
  • See if community gardens or vacant lots allow installation of raised beds.
  • Rent garden plots from neighbors with extra yard space to spare.
  • Grow only shallow-rooted crops like greens in just 6-10 inches of soil.

Determined urban gardeners can be creative in locating and building beds to maximize every bit of their available room to grow.

Follow the Sun for Productivity

To sum up this extensive raised garden bed placement guide, just remember to emphasize maximum sunlight exposure above all else.

Supplementary factors like water access, protection, convenience and aesthetics also influence siting decisions. But nothing beats the sun’s free abundant energy for fueling plant growth.

Map out your property and trace the sunlight patterns throughout the year. Identify the sun-drenched sweet spots that will bring your raised garden beds to their full bountiful potential.

With strategic placement armed with this knowledge, your beds will reward you with their productive, nourishing abundance for years to come.

Enjoy the Fruits of Your Labor

Hopefully these tips provide clarity and confidence in picking the prime raised bed location for your gardening needs and personal space.

While the garden installation process may seem daunting for beginners, start small. Assess needs and challenges. Select materials and placements thoughtfully. Then embrace the incredibly rewarding experience of nurturing your own hand-grown harvest.

Not long from now, you’ll be reaping bushels of juicy tomatoes, aromatic herbs, spicy greens, and brilliant blooms straight from your own backyard raised bed garden oasis.

So soak up the sun’s nourishment. Spread your roots. And savor the flavorful fruits, vegetables, and flowers your thoughtfully sited raised beds will provide. Happy growing!

How To Build A Raised Garden Bed | Cheap And Easy


Where should raised garden beds be placed?

Your garden will need to receive six or more direct sunlight hours per day, all year. Really though, you’re aiming for as much sun as possible. Ideally, you’ll position your garden on the south side of any tall structures, such as homes, garages, tall sheds, and fences.

Should raised garden beds be in full sun?

You don’t need to have a lot of space to build a raised bed garden. What you do need is a spot that receives full sun for most of the day – at least 6 hours.

What side of the house is best for a garden?

You can grow more plants in a south facing garden If you’re green-fingered, a south-facing house or garden is generally better for growing a bigger range of plants and flowers, although the soil will usually be drier so you’ll need to do more watering too.

Can you put a raised garden bed anywhere?

You can place a raised garden bed almost anywhere, so long as it has access to sunlight and water, says Burke. “Because garden beds can be almost any shape, size or height, the sky is the limit!” she says.

Where should a raised garden bed be placed?

Look for spots where you could add beds along already-established lines, such as a side yard, a fence, a driveway (like the garden pictured below), a deck, a patio, or a pool (like the garden pictured above). So, Where Is the Best Place to Put a Raised Garden Bed?

How do I build a raised garden bed?

Ensure it receives at least 6 hours of sunlight daily. 2.**Select Your Materials**: – You can build a raised bed using various materials: – **Wood**: Cedar, redwood, or untreated pine are popular

Should you put a raised bed in your garden?

Raised beds give you an immediate advantage over an in-ground garden because when you fill your raised bed, you can fill it with a blend of soil that’s superior to the native soil in your yard. Familiarize yourself with some common soil and fertilizer terminology and make any necessary amendments to the soil texture, pH, or drainage.

Where can I buy a raised bed?

Gardener’s Supply offers a wide range of raised beds, from DIY-style raised beds, to complete kits for beds made of cedar, composite wood, recycled plastic, and galvanized steel. You can also consider elevated raised beds for no-bend gardening. Need Help Choosing a Raised Bed? Visit our Raised Bed Buying Guide

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