Budding Gardeners - supporting school garden projects
Know Your Veg Simple Guide to Growing Fun Things To Do Stuck? Ask the Expert Dots
The most popular school gardening products in our range are Wooden Raised Beds and Fruit Cages. For further information and guidance on these products see below. To continue onto our website to order these or any other products CLICK HERE and don't forget to quote the discount code provided at sign up!

Raised Bed Gardening

If you are new to gardening, or to school gardening you will have heard the term "Raised Bed Gardening". Raised Bed Gardening is a form of gardening in which the soil is framed in any length or shape of bed. The soil is raised above the surrounding soil (from approximately six inches up to waist-high) and is enclosed by a frame made of wood or plastic planks and may be enriched with compost.

Raised beds are a real favourite for school gardening as they allow you to grow in otherwise unsuitable soil or straight onto concrete/school playgrounds with raised bed liners, they offer improved drainage and soil structure on shallow chalky or stony soils and the extra height of soil increases rooting depth.

Benefits of Raised Bed Gardening-

  • Improved drainage, soil quality and structure and more pest protection
  • Increase rooting depth so a greater variety of crops can be grown
  • You can work at a comfortable height (especially handy for wheelchair users and young gardeners)
  • Cloches, tunnels, netting or frames can easily be erected over the beds
  • No need to walk on the soil so there is reduced soil compaction
  • Close planting creates a warmer micro climate so crops are ready for harvesting before the end of term
  • Can be used as stylish flower planters in the school holidays
  • For more detail on the above points see Why Raised Beds are So Popular
  • For less able gardeners you may want to consider growing in Raised Planters like a raised bed table or wooden manger trough planter.

    Our selection of elegant and robust Raised Beds including Wooden Raised Bed Kits and the easy to assemble plastic Link-a-Bord Kits will bring these advantages to your garden. So whether you're completely new to raised bed gardening, or you're experienced in this simple, easy and highly effective way of growing, there is bound to be a style and size to suit your school growing plans within our comprehensive Raised Bed Range.

    Once you have decided to purchase raised beds for your school garden you will want to read our handy guide to choosing the most appropriate size and height for the crops to grow and how much topsoil will be required.

  • Type - Which raised bed options are most suitable for your gardeners and your budget? Harrod Horticultural offer 3 different grades of wooden raised beds - Allotment, Standard and Superior, each at different price points and Recycled Plastic Raised Beds. If your gardeners have accessibility issues a raised bed table or wooden manger trough planter may be more suitable. The benefits of allotment raised beds can be viewed in this short video clip, standard raised beds here and superior raised beds here

  • Size - As a guide, the most popular size raised beds that schools order are the 4ft x 4ft (1.2m x 1.2m) which will fit roughly 3 children round each of the 4 sides of the bed. 4ft x6ft (1.2m x 1.8m) and 6ft x 6ft (1.8m x 1.8m) are popular for older children but it might become difficult to reach the centre of the raised bed for these larger sizes. To get around this some schools order 4ft x 8ft (1.2m x 2.4m) long narrow beds or they allow 2ft per pupil.

  • Height - Raised beds sited on soil can start at 1 tier in height and we recommend beds sited on solid surfaces such as playgrounds are at least 2 or 3 tiers high. The height also depends on what you are growing- eg; salad leaves, tomatoes, cucumbers, squashes have a root structure below the soil with the crops above the soil whereas vegetables like carrots,leeks and potatoes require more depth below the soil.

  • Liners - Consider ordering raised bed liners which will aid water retention and therefore less holiday watering is required. For school holidays of longer than one week we would recommend a watering rota. Raised bed liners will also stop water and nutrients running away onto the playground and help to keep moisture away from the inside of the beds and therefore prolong the raised bed lifespan.

  • Capping - Capping is both decorative and functional. It finishes off the look of the raised bed and can help to provide somewhere to sit, rest tools and provides an additional area to attach netting, fleece or crop protection.

  • Soil - Use our Rolawn Calculator to work out how much topsoil is required per raised bed – you can work out how many bags are required and enter your postcode to find out the delivered price.

  • Top tip – if you are positioning your Raised Beds onto soil consider digging a small channel of the same size and filling this with gravel so the timber of the raised bed sits on the gravel instead of the soil – over long wet winters this will keep the timber drier instead of it sitting in water or on damp soil so your raised beds last longer.

  • For technical queries on siting raised beds and more in-depth detail on what to grow you may find your answer in the Ask the Expert archive.
    Sign Up
    Plan your school Garden
    National Curriculum linked classroom lesson plans
    Fact Sheets - Getting Started

    © Harrod Horticultural | Sitemap | Accessibility | Contact Us | Links | Press | Cookie and Privacy Policy
    Site Credit Circleline Design