How Deep Should Raised Garden Beds Be? (Adviced by Gardening Expert)

Jody I. Gaylord

Gardening with proper soil depth is more critical for raised garden beds than for trenches. For a raised bed garden to grow well, the soil needs to be loose so plants can easily absorb water and oxygen from the ground. How deep should raised garden beds be? That is the ultimate question. Keep on reading to find out.

Raised Garden beds can be as simple as a few inches above ground level and had you follow the suitable methods. They can allow you to produce incredible yields of delicious vegetables. The soil needs light and air, and the deeper you go, the more it is to maintain its quality. This article answers the question of how deep should a raised garden be and why.

Table Of Contents

How Deep Should Raised Garden Beds Be?

CherryPicks recommend at least 12 inches that suit 90% of cases. A raised garden bed is a good way to grow plants in an urban environment. It is also easy to maintain, as you can use it for all year-round gardening.

A raised garden bed should have at least 8 inches of soil depth to accommodate the root systems of plants because the majority of plant roots are found near the surface. Because most plant roots require 6-8 inches of soil for healthy root growth. A depth of 8-12 inches will suffice for most gardening situations.

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Categories of Depths for Raised Beds

The size of your raised bed depends on your available space and your gardening style. Categories of depths for raised beds


6-inch raised beds are the least expensive and can be made by you quickly. You can also use them for more minor seasonal crops such as radishes, carrots or other root crops. They are not very deep, so you will want to place a thick layer of compost or other organic material on the bottom of the bed to ensure good drainage.


12-inch raised beds are great for growing many plants, including tomatoes and peppers. They are more profound than 6-inch raised beds, making them more suitable for larger plants such as most bush beans, pole beans, cucumbers and melons.


18-inch raised beds are perfect for growing cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower and other root crops. They can be built quickly with minimal tools since you only need a shovel and wheelbarrow to fill the bed with soil.


2-foot raised beds are great for growing just about anything. Still, they do require more work than standard garden beds since they have a much deeper depth making it challenging to add organic material directly into the bed without having some soil spill over onto the edges of your garden space.

Benefits of High Raised Beds

Raised garden beds are the most common type of garden bed; you can build them from various materials. Benefits of High-Rise Beds:

Risks of Shallow Garden Beds

Some risks come with building shallow gardens. If you do not take these precautions, you may be shortchanging your vegetable garden by having it sit on top of the soil rather than below it.

Factors That Affect the Depth of Raised Beds

Several factors can affect the depth of a raised garden bed. These include:

The location of the raised garden will determine its depth. If you have a large area to cover, it is best to go for a deeper bed. If you have limited space and only want to grow vegetables, you may only be able to achieve a shallow bed.

Some gardens are designed with specific elements, such as accessibility or aesthetics. The depth of your garden bed should be consistent with these requirements to provide an enjoyable experience for everyone who visits. It includes those with mobility issues who may need to access their crops easily.

Most plants require at least 3 inches (7 cm) between their roots and surrounding soil. Planting too shallowly can lead to root rot while planting too deeply can make it difficult for roots to spread out to the edges of your garden bed. If you are growing vegetables, you can determine the required depth by the plants and the climate where they are being grown.

The needed depth will also depend on how deep your soil is already and any drainage problems caused by previous planting or construction work on your plot of land.Consider how much water your plants need when deciding on a proper depth.


The more profound the bed, the more room for root growth and hence a healthier, sturdier plant. Keep them too deep, however, as they shouldn't be so deep that they're hard to get your hands in. As with most things, there are advantages and disadvantages to every aspect of raised garden beds—but generally, you shouldn't go too shallow or too deep from the standard 3 feet.

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