Raised bed vegetable gardening is similar to growing in containers, just on a much larger scale. The main difference is a raised bed will contain the soil on four sides with the bottom open so plant roots can grow deeper into the existing ground. If you have poor, sandy, rocky, or wet soil the raised bed would be ideal.
For simple steps to planting a vegetable garden in raised beds check out my new ebook "Vegetable Garden Plans for Raised beds". I provide easy to follow diagrams and dates on when to plant your vegetables.
Making your raised bed:
When making a raised vegetable bed you can use a variety of materials to build it. A raised bed can be free standing in the sense of mounding your existing soil. This works well id you already have good soil and you just want it to warm up quicker in the spring. Build raised beds can ve place almost anywhere in your garden layout.
Materials to use:
For me the maximum width of a bed is 4 feet, this allows me to reach to the center from both sides of the structure, making it easier to weed and harvest.
Beds can be any length or shape that works in your garden. I had an oddly configured backyard so made several triangular shaped beds to fit into the area.
Raised beds are a great way for older or disabled persons to garden as they can be any height that works best for you. You can even put a ledge around it to sit on.
If you are going to have several beds make sure you leave enough room between them to bring in your wheelbarrow or lawn mover if you are having grass between them.
Filling your raised bed:
You can purchase good topsoil but can also make your won. You will need to fill your bed with rich light soil such as equal parts of peat moss, compost and topsoil. One way is to remove some of the top soil in your pathways to add to your new beds.
Start seeding your vegetables. Just one note: you will need to replenish the soil every year. Amending your soil by adding compost or aged manure is on of the bed ways to do this.