Posted on 25 April 2008 by

Raised Beds for Tomatoes

Top 5 Signs You're Obsessed with Tomatoes - TomatoCasual.comBy Kira Hamman

There are many, many ways to grow tomatoes, and most of them yield beautiful, delicious results.

However, some are easier, or more productive, or better suited to certain locations than others.

Growing tomatoes in raised beds is one of the best ways to increase your chances of a bountiful harvest without a lot of backbreaking labor.The soil in a raised bed warms up faster (we all know how tomatoes love warm soil) and drains better (we all know how they hate to be soggy) than in a regular bed.

Since you don’t step in a raised bed, the soil stays loose, which makes adding compost and nutrients easier and means you don’t have to work as hard to get the bed ready in the spring. Plus, the tidy edges of a raised bed make maintaining paths easier, which may not directly affect the tomatoes but does affect the pleasantness of working in the garden.

The caveat, of course, is that you have to actually build the bed. But since the garden isn’t planted yet, what else do you have to do? Right. So here’s a quick, easy, cheap plan for building your very own raised beds. Do it this weekend!

Materials (for one bed):
– Four 4-foot lengths of 1” x 6” cedar plank. Home centers and lumber yards sell this and will cut it for you, if you like. If you have leftovers, cut them to 1′ lengths, soak them overnight in water (or wine, if you’re feeling decadent), and grill whole fish on them. Yum!
– Four galvanized steel 90° angle brackets and screws to fit them.
– Drill.
– Screwdriver.
– Compost or soil.

Choose a relatively level place to put your bed. It should be on soil, but the soil can have grass or weeds growing in it because when you fill the bed with soil those things will get smothered.

Raised Bed TomatoesArrange your boards into a square so that each board has one end outside the board next to it and the other end inside the board next to it, like this.

Holding the boards upright (perpendicular to the ground), fit a bracket around the outside of each corner about two inches from the top and mark where the screws will go (it might be good to have a helper for this part). Take the brackets off and drill pilot holes where you made the marks, then hold the boards back together again and screw on all the brackets.

Finally, fill your bed with good soil. Aged compost is perfect, but decent topsoil will work as long as you add some organic fertilizer. Level the top of the soil and presto!

Your raised bed is ready to be planted. Wasn’t that easy?

4 Responses to “Raised Beds for Tomatoes”

  1. Nancy Bond Says:

    I love raised beds, for tomatoes and anything else, for all the reasons you’ve stated. 🙂

  2. Amy Says:

    I’ve got one raised bed and hope to build more this year (or I should say I hope my husband builds more this year!). Tomatoes are definitely part of the plan 🙂

  3. Michael Nolan Says:

    I’ve had raised beds for years, but this is the first time I may have to build some, as my new house doesn’t have any and I’m not sure what I’d do without them!

  4. David The Beds Expert Says:

    I have a small garden. I have been using raised beds for my garden. I get more yields every year. For tomato tress raised bed are the god’s gift.

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