Raised beds make gardening easy

by Matthew Orwat, UF/IFAS Extension Washington County

Now is the time to start planning for a spring garden! There are many different methods of successful gardening but here I’d like to discuss raised bed gardening.

A few advantages of raised beds:

  • Raised bed gardens provide an opportunity to bring the family together for some quality time. Add ways that you can enjoy the time with your spouse, child or grandchild. This gives you a chance to see the wonder on their faces as the plants sprout and flourish.
  • Share the joy as you smell the flowers and pick the fruit.
  • Provide a bouquet for the table as you add an item from the garden to your family meal.

A special kind of raised bed garden, known as an enabling garden, provides individuals needing assistance a way to garden with ease. Many have the impression that building such a garden is expensive, but it is not much more expensive or difficult than building a raised bed garden on the ground. First, begin by trimming and framing a raised bed garden just as you would for a ground level raised bed.


  • 2 – (2X8) boards 14 foot long (treated or cedar)
  • 2 – 2 ½ foot end pieces trimmed from a 2×8 board (treated or cedar)
  • Central brace board trimmed to fit the inside of the bed
  • 16 – 3 inch screws
  • Table Saw
  • Drill
  • Extension Cord
  • Durable base such as metal screening, lined with permeable weed barrier, attached to the frame securely.

Many different vegetables herbs can be grown in raised beds but peppers, squash, eggplant, cherry tomatoes, basil, thyme, oregano and mint make excellent choices for a spring raised bed. Happy Gardening!

For more information, feel free to visit or contact me at my office. UF/IFAS Extension Washington County is located at 1424 Jackson Ave in Chipley, and our phone is 850-638-6180. You may also reach me via email at mjorwat@ufl.edu.