Seven Beginner Raised Bed Gardening Mistakes to Avoid (2024)

Many people prefer planting flowers and crops in raised garden beds, as it provides them with many benefits.Metal raised garden bedshave become extremely popular due to their eco-friendly materials and long-lasting durability.Inthis guide, we willdiscussthe importance of correctly setting up raised garden beds, and mistakes you can avoid.

Gardeners are always eager when planning for their raised garden beds. Unfortunately, what starts off as an enthusiastic project can come to a standstill due to some common beginner gardening mistakes, leading to anger and frustration. Below we’ll review some of the most common gardening mistakes most planters tend tomake that derailtheirefforts. Avoiding these mistakes will help you create a smart gardenthat provides you with good yields.

Raised garden beds are environmentally friendly and present many advantages for both experienced and new gardeners alike. They are preferable to in-ground beds because they offer better drainage, easier access, and more control over the quality of soil. Below are some common gardening mistakes to avoid. Even if you are a gardening expert, it is still useful to look over these suggestions to ensure a successful harvest and a pleasant gardening experience.

1. Picking The Wrong Spot

It is a common gardening mistakemade by many gardeners. It is essential that you orient the position of your raised garden bed correctly, as it proves very difficult to move your entire garden bed later on.Here are some factors you should take into account:

  • Sunlight:Choosing a spot that does not receive direct sunlight for at least six hours may have adverse effects on the plants. Ample sun is necessary for most plants to flourish, especially vegetables. Therefore, you should choose a sunny spot in your garden to situate your garden beds. You should not orient it East-West, but rather North-South to ensure the right amount of sunlight. Plant smaller crops in the front (from South to North) and the tallest crops in the back. Keep in mind that some plants such as peas prefer shade.
  • Level ground: Avoid low-lying areas that are prone to collecting water. Make sure the raised garden bed sits on level ground. Don’t place the raised bed against the fence or wall, as it prevents access from all four sides.
  • Harmony with the rest of the garden: You want to situate your raised bed in a place that blends in with the rest of your garden. Raised garden beds can be aesthetically pleasing if made with the right materials. However, you should prioritize the first two factors more, as they are essential for a well-functioning garden.

2. Not Thinking About The Water Source

    When you choose the area to place the raised garden bed, consider the water source, as both overwatering and underwatering can have detrimental effects on your plants. The place you chose should have nearby water access. To avoid constant watering, you can also think about a drip irrigation system. Many people will just use a lawn sprinkler system, which is inefficient. This wastes water and often causes problems related to fungal diseases. If you are planning on building only a few raised garden beds, a soaker hose is fine. They may be a good alternative if an irrigation system is too expensive. Also useful are indicator plants such as lettuce, which will quickly wilt if they don’t receive enough water.

    3. Raised Beds Placed Too Close Together

    Since using raised garden bedsmakes gardening more comfortable, you may feel likeinstalling multiplebeds. But placing them too closetogether can make it difficult to weed, plant, or harvest from the edges. So, you need to create a comfortable working area by allowing enough room between the raised beds. Having awalkwayof at least three to four feet between each bed offers you ample access, and allows you to move a wheelbarrow or cart around with ease.

    4. Crowding your Plants

    Most people think they can grow anything in raised garden beds, but this is not exactly true. You need to consider the scale and maturity of the plants. It is important to space the plants apart to allow room for them to grow. Many plants have deep root systems, which you need to consider so that they do not overcrowd each other and deplete nutrients in the soil. Raised vegetable beds should be at least 8 – 12 inches deep. Our productsare 17 - 32″deep which makes them capable of growing larger plants in addition to smaller ones.

    5. Planting the Wrong Plants

    A related issue is choosing plants that don’t do well in your specific climate, as some plants can’t withstand severe temperature fluctuations. For example, artichokes thrive in a specific environment with mild winters, cool summers, and plenty of moisture. Some plants, like asparagus, are perennials, so you should not plant them unless you want to harvest them every year.


    • You should start out with easy to grow vegetables if you are a beginner. These include tomatoes, zucchini, and bell peppers. Herbs such as basil, thyme, and mint are also easy to grow and tend to.
    • Select vegetables that will do well within the given climate and season. Crops can be grouped into cool-season crops and warm-season crops. Lettuce is a cool-weather crop and is best grown in the Spring and Fall.
    • Plant vegetables that you enjoy eating and use a lot in your cooking. That way, you will make the best use of your garden’s harvest. You can use plants that have defects or any surplus for the compost pile, which can then be recycled back into the soil.
    • You should introduce variety and avoid monocropping, which can deplete the soil of vital nutrients. A useful concept to learn is companion planting, a method that places plants with complementary characteristics in close proximity to each other, such as nutrient requirement or pest-repellent abilities, to maximize crop productivity. You can even add flowers to deter pests.

    6. Skipping Mulch

    This is one of the most common gardening mistakes that planters make with raised garden beds. Many people do not like mulch because it is expensive and heavy, but it is necessary for optimal results. While the gardenis raisedoff of the ground, weeds can grow invade your garden. Adding a layer with mulch can help keep the weeds at bay as well as retain moisture around the roots of the plants. Mulch also helps regulate the temperature of plants better than plain soil. Organic mulch can be used to improve soil quality and richness. It is important to keep the area weed free and avoid using herbicides in your raised bed. These toxic chemicals can linger for many years, and can migrate to other areas of your garden as run-off.

    7. Not Using the Correct Soil

    Soil should be fluffy, light, and well-draining. Gardeners often use garden soil, which can become compacted over time and restrict drainage. Potting soil, by contrast, drains too quickly. They also might use native soil, which often lacks nutrients and is unfit for vegetable growth. To avoid these mistakes, you should buy specialty bagged soil designed for raised garden beds, which has better nutrient composition and texture. Consider adding organic material like compost to the soil to improve its quality. However, be sure not to overload the nitrogen content, as it inhibits the growth of fruit-producing plants such as tomatoes. You can experiment and alter the ratios of soils depending on your needs for best results.

    Instead of makingthese mistakes, you can save time and effort by purchasing raised garden bed kit from a trusted source. That way, you don’t have to worry about using the right materials. Especially if you live in a wet and humid environment, you should consider steel beds, which are made from eco-friendly metal materials. Our professionals can guide you to the top-quality raised beds that will help you grow the right plants and produce a better harvest.

    Related Articles

    What To Know Before Building A Raised Garden Bed

    5 mins read

    Do Raised Garden Beds Need Drainage?

    5 mins read

    How to Plant Potatoes

    6 mins read

    Seven Beginner Raised Bed Gardening Mistakes to Avoid (2024)


    What are three mistakes to avoid when gardening with raised beds? ›

    Seven Beginner Raised Bed Gardening Mistakes to Avoid
    • Picking The Wrong Spot.
    • Not Thinking About The Water Source.
    • Raised Beds Placed Too Close Together.
    5 days ago

    What is the most common mistake of first time gardeners? ›

    One of the most common gardening mistakes is watering either too much or too little. Over-watering can drown plant roots and encourage the growth of mold and mildew, while under-watering will cause plants to wilt and eventually die. The key is to water just enough so that the soil is moist but not saturated.

    What do you put in the bottom of a raised garden bed? ›

    Layer the bottom with cardboard or newspaper as a weed barrier, which will decompose over time. Then, use a mix of yard waste, leaves, grass clippings, and kitchen scraps layered with soil and compost.

    What vegetables grow best in raised beds? ›

    Bush type vegetables, such as tomatoes, cucumbers, and beans also do well in raised beds. You can install trellises for vegetables that need support, like some tomatoes and beans. Certain crops, like squash, melons, and sweet corn, usually do better in the ground because they require more space than other vegetables.

    Should I put mulch on my raised garden bed? ›

    Beautiful, productive raised beds

    Giving your plants what they need to succeed is a goal of every gardener. Adding mulch to your gardening routine will decrease the labor involved in tending your beds and increase their success.

    Should I put landscape fabric under a raised bed? ›

    Landscape fabric is beneficial for raised garden beds, here are just a few of the many reasons why you should use landscape fabric for raised bed gardening: Prevents soil erosion in a raised bed: As a liner, landscape fabric lets water drain away from the soil while leaving the soil intact.

    What is the best thing to line a raised bed with? ›

    Newspaper or Cardboard

    Even simple, cheap materials can block weed growth from below your garden beds.

    Which vegetables should not be planted together? ›

    14 Vegetables You Should Never Plant Together—Gardening Experts Explain Why
    • 01 of 14. Beans and Onions. ...
    • 02 of 14. Tomatoes and Potatoes. ...
    • 03 of 14. Corn and Tomatoes. ...
    • 04 of 14. Tomatoes and Brassicas. ...
    • 05 of 14. Cucumber and Squash. ...
    • 06 of 14. Lettuce and Celery. ...
    • 07 of 14. Fennel and Tomatoes. ...
    • 08 of 14. Peppers and Cabbage.
    Jan 16, 2024

    What is the first thing a gardener sets in a garden? ›

    The first thing a gardener typically puts in the garden is soil or a growing medium. The quality and composition of the soil are essential for plant health and growth. Gardeners may prepare the soil by amending it with compost, organic matter, or other nutrients to improve its fertility and structure.

    Why do I hurt so much after gardening? ›

    Your neck, back, shoulders and knees are the most prone to injury with gardening. Sustained poor postures like stooping, bending forward and kneeling, lifting heavy objects and repetitive movements put increased stress on your joints and can cause inflammation and pain.

    Why do gardeners cut the tip of the plant? ›

    Pruning stimulates the plant to grow, so when you snip the tip of one branch, four to six new branches take its place. This abundance of new branches happens because removing the tip of the branch also removes the apical (dominant) bud, which chemically inhibits the buds below from growing.

    Why put cardboard in raised beds? ›

    It acts as a physical barrier to block out pernicious weeds. Usually, 2 – 3 layers of cardboard will suffice, though you may want layers in more weed-prone areas. The damp environment created by the cardboard is conducive to earthworms and other beneficial soil microorganisms.

    How to fill a raised bed cheaply? ›

    Fill the bottom half with broken branches, twigs and general forest waste. Add green material like grass clippings, weeds (without roots or seeds) comfrey cuttings, kitchen vegetable waste. Top up with 6 inches of topsoil and home-made compost mix.

    Should I put cardboard under my raised garden bed? ›

    Cardboard or newspaper: Cardboard is a great option if you are on a budget. You can line the bottom of your raised garden bed with cardboard and newspaper to deter pests and weeds. In order to minimize the amount of chemical substances, choose cardboard that has no tape and minimal markings.

    What happens when you overcrowd a vegetable garden? ›

    Plants in a crowd compete for more than light; they are also jostling for space, nutrients and moisture. If they are overcrowded, they will be inherently weaker but also stretch more, and the result is something lofty but feeble.

    What is the safest material for raised garden beds? ›

    Untreated wood: Cedar and redwood are popular choices because they naturally resist rot and insects, and they do not need chemical treatments that could potentially harm your plants.

    How often should you water your raised bed garden? ›

    Raised beds

    Raised garden beds warm up faster and earlier during summer and lose moisture quickly. Plants grown in raised beds must be watered more often during high temperatures and dry spells. Apply water 2 to 3 times a week, up to once every other day, depending on the temperature.

    What makes a good raised garden bed? ›

    We want to make sure we're filling up our raised beds from the bottom all the way to the top with great organic matter that will feed our plants, not something that will break down slowly and contaminate your soil with plastic particles. Before you shovel your new soil in, add some simple raised bed liners.

    Top Articles
    Latest Posts
    Article information

    Author: Msgr. Benton Quitzon

    Last Updated:

    Views: 6061

    Rating: 4.2 / 5 (63 voted)

    Reviews: 94% of readers found this page helpful

    Author information

    Name: Msgr. Benton Quitzon

    Birthday: 2001-08-13

    Address: 96487 Kris Cliff, Teresiafurt, WI 95201

    Phone: +9418513585781

    Job: Senior Designer

    Hobby: Calligraphy, Rowing, Vacation, Geocaching, Web surfing, Electronics, Electronics

    Introduction: My name is Msgr. Benton Quitzon, I am a comfortable, charming, thankful, happy, adventurous, handsome, precious person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.