Raised Bed Gardens
Raised Bed Gardens
This page outlines the features, options, and accessories of the raised beds we create, including things like square foot gardening, who it is for, ordering information, and more. For information on our other types of gardens, garden services, or to request a consultation for a garden for your property, click on one of the links below.
What's Included

Raised bed gardens are one of our flagship products and have provided our customers with excellent growing conditions for many years. We’ve grown everything from arugula to zucchini, tomatoes, herbs, carrots, and everything in between. They make edible gardening simple, while being durable, attractive, and prolific in the quantity of produce it can produce.

Our customers love their raised beds, sometimes the biggest limitation is running out of space to plant everything.

What's Included

For our GTA customers, all of our raised beds come with everything you need to get started. After identifying a suitable area for the raised bed, our team of urban farmers will come to setup and install the bed, including all the lumber, our YUF Custom Soil Blend, and the seeds and plants for one round of planting.  Add-ons such as our copper trellis, garden accessories, and additional rounds of planting are available for an additional cost. After setup, we’ll send you a copy of our vegetable growing guide and all you need to do is water, harvest, and enjoy your own fresh produce.

Raised Bed Materials

We construct all of the raised beds ourselves using western redwood cedar, which is a durable, attractive, rot-resistant, natural material. Cedar has natural oils that protect it from decay and insects, and is considered to be more durable than eastern cedar varieties. Designed to last for many years, beds are constructed with outdoor deck screws with coarse threads for excellent holding power. Deck screws outperform nails and other fasteners, while also allowing deconstruction if desired.

Optional plywood bottoms with drainage holes adds to the structural stability of the bed, ensures a flat surface for the bed to sit on, and can help with moisture retention. These are especially useful on decks, patios, driveways, and other flat surfaces.

Attractive grid boards are placed along the top of the bed to divide the planting area into neat 1 square foot sections. This helps to make planting, labeling and keeping track of your plants easier.

Custom Soil Mix

One of the secrets to excellent gardening results is our premium Custom Soil Mix made from select ingredients including certified organic worm castings, perlite, and peat. It is made locally without animal matter (no composted manure, so no chance of fecal contamination) and is full of bio-available nutrients. It has good water retention properties and has been screened so as to be loose and easy to work with. Our soil mix can also be purchased individually from our online store. Order the YUF Custom Soil Blend.

For most of our gardening projects, we arrange for the soil to be delivered to the garden location in advance of the setup date. Our soil mix comes in a sturdy tote bag which makes for a no mess delivery. While the soil doesn’t have to be replaced, it does compact over time and should be amended each year with more of our custom soil blend or other organic matter like worm castings, compost, and organic fertilizer.

Premium Seeds/Plants

Every year, we use the best quality, fresh, untreated seeds in our gardens, purchased from reputable Canadian suppliers. Because seeds have a limited shelf life, we purchase fresh seed each year that is certified to be disease free. This helps to ensure vigorous growing plants and excellent yields. Many of our varieties we select are open pollinated, heirloom, and certified organic. Some of our seeds are hybrid varieties and are selected for disease resistance, drought tolerance, and tremendous flavour.  None of the seeds we use are GMO.

For our transplants, we start the almost all of our plants at our partner greenhouse just outside of Toronto. Grown under almost ideal conditions, these seedlings are carefully nurtured until they are ready to be planted out in the gardens.

Raised Bed Sizes

Our raised beds come in a different sizes and heights, with different sizes better suited for different types of spaces. With larger projects, we can suggest a combination of beds to accommodate more plants and for bigger yields. The larger the size of the bed, the larger the surface area and the more quantity and variety of plants you can grow.

Custom sizes and heights of the raised beds can also be ordered by special request. Our standard sizes are listed below.

Square 4' x 4'

4’x4′ raised bed @ 8″ tall planted with 3 different types of kale. Metric measurements are 122cm x 122cm @ 20cm tall.

Square beds are great for spaces with easy access from all sides. Most people can comfortably reach 2′ into the bed, making a 4’x4′ bed easy to harvest from and attractive from all angles. Square beds can be setup individually or in a more formal geometric pattern with evenly spaced pathways setup between beds.

Multiple beds make garden planning easier as groupings of similar plants can be made without worrying about competition from plants of various sizes and heights.

Narrow 2' x 8'

2’x8′ raised bed @ 16″ tall freshly planted and direct seeded. Metric measurements 61cm x 244cm @ 41cm tall.

Narrow beds are great when space and accessibility are concerns. With a width of 2′, access is only needed on one of the long sides for ease of harvesting and maintenance. Narrow beds work best when in narrow areas such as placed against a fence, edge of a deck, or other taller object.

Planting area isn’t sacrificed compared to our 4’x4′ square beds. Narrow beds can be planted individually or in groups, especially along longer pathways or fences to maximize planting area.

Rectangular 4' x 8'

4’x8′ Raised Bed @ 24″ tall. Metric measurements 122cm x 244cm @ 61cm tall.

Rectangular beds are great for maximizing planting area in a given space with easy access from all sides. This is especially apparent when multiple beds are constructed to minimize the ratio of growing space to pathway and access space. Rectangular beds can be setup individually or in groups.

For larger planting areas, we like to group multiple 4’x8′ raised beds for maximum efficiency when it comes to watering, harvesting, and garden maintenance.

Raised Bed Heights

When it comes to planting depth, deeper beds generally mean easier gardening. Additional soil space means plant roots have more space to forage for water and nutrients and taller beds mean less bending to weed and harvest. We’ve outlined the main differences in garden heights that we offer.

8 Inches Deep

8 inches or 20cm depth allows for almost all types of plants to grow. We’ve had success with full sized tomatoes, zucchinis, and all of the classic salad greens and fragrant herbs.

The main limitation with a more shallow bed will be growing larger root vegetables like carrots and garlic, and larger perennials like lovage and rhubarb which like deeper soil in which to anchor themsleves into. With a more shallow bed, nutrients reserves will be used up faster and the soil will dry out a bit faster compared to deeper beds.

16 Inches Deep

16 inches or 41cm provides twice the soil volume and depth compared to the 8″ deep bed. Deeper depth means more nutrients, and more space for the large plants to grow and expand into.

Full sized carrots and all types of plants can grow in beds at least 16″ deep. In addition, more moisture is retained in the soil, and there is less of a need to amend the soil with compost and additional fertilizer after the first year.

24 Inches Deep

24 inches or 61cm depth. Our deepest standard sized bed makes gardening even easier with even more soil volume and less bending during harvesting and maintenance.

Tall raised beds 24″ beds and even taller can also be used to deter animals like dogs and rabbits from running and jumping into the garden. The natural barrier of the frame provides a physical barrier and keeps the smell of tender vegetables away from their sensitive noses as well.

If easy gardening is important to you, we recommend our tallest height of raised bed for your garden.

Who It's For

Who Raised Beds Are For

There are many reasons why we love gardening with raised beds. The soil warms up faster in the spring; it requires little weeding; produces delicious veg; can be built in a variety of sizes; and makes for an enjoyable experience right from day one. Because we bring in our own custom soil mix that is specifically designed for growing vegetables, you don’t have to worry about the quality of your existing soil, you don’t have to worry about digging through heavy clay, and don’t have to worry about soil contamination due to heavy metals.

Raised beds are great for people who want an easy way to get started with vegetable gardening. Weeding is a breeze since the soil is loose and uncompacted. Replanting from year to year requires no tilling, and soil compaction is minized due to not walking in the beds. This allows plants to be spaced a bit closer than in traditional field planting, yield more, and stay healthy. For you, it means less work compared to an in-ground garden and an enjoyable experience right from day one.

Who Raised Bed Gardens Are Not For

There are only a few reasons why a raised bed would not be a suitable choice. The first reason is space/location. Raised beds are not a good choice for balconies due to their weight – especially with mature plants and after watering. Many apartment and condo buildings have specific weight restrictions as well as regulations preventing water from dripping water off the balcony. Our raised beds can be built either with a plywood base or placed directly on the soil and will drain excess water out of the bottom..

Raised beds are also not the most suited to being placed on a wooden deck as the moisture from the bottom of the raised bed will speed up the decay of the wood on the deck. We can build our raised beds with a thick plywood bottom on casters at an additional cost. Please inquire for details.

The third reason a raised bed would not be suitable would be due to a higher initial setup cost. Raised beds take an initial investment in terms of the materials and soil. For people who have a large area they want to grow food in, setting up multiple raised beds can add up quickly in terms of costs. If that is the case, we can suggest going with an in-ground garden or starting with just one or two raised beds and then expanding gradually over several years.

Square Foot Gardening Method

One of our favourite gardening methods is the square foot gardening method. We’ve made a few slight modifications that we find allow for an easier and more enjoyable gardening experience. Some of the best things we like about the method is that it makes for an attractive garden, produces high yields, prevents people from walking on and compacting the soil, and is easy to weed and water.

Strawberry plants are planted 1 plant per square foot

Vegetables like beets, beans, and spinach are planted 9 per square foot.

Other Features

How Much Can I Grow in a Raised Bed?

Raised beds offer the potential to grow a lot of produce in a small amount of space. Unfortunately there are too many variables that influence how much produce can be grown to give an accurate figure. The first and biggest variable is what kind of plants you grow. Some plants like beans and tomatoes yield more in terms of produce weight compared to things like greens and herbs. Seasonal weather, temperature patterns, and precipitation also influence how well your plants will grow. Some plants like peppers and eggplants need regular hot and sunny temperatures while spinach and lettuce prefer cooler spring and fall temperatures. Finally, insects, hungry animals, and individual maintenance schedules also play a role in how the plants do.

We encourage you to talk to us about what you like to eat so we can help you plan the layout of your raised bed or other garden to get the most out of your garden.

Can I Increase the Height of a Raised Bed at a Later Time?

Yes, if you already have a raised bed and want to upgrade to an increased height, we can add a layer on top of the existing bed to increase the soil depth. We recommend doing this after the first or second year so that the base layer wood integrity is as strong as possible.

Get A Raised Bed Garden Today

Order a raised bed garden today from our online store or contact us to arrange for a consultation. We start setting up our raised beds in April and continue through October. For spring gardens, February and March pre-season orders are highly encouraged to ensure your garden is at the top of the list when we begin setup in the spring.

Raised Bed Accessories

There are a few accessories we sell to extend the functionality of your raised bed garden.

Copper trellis. Available in 4′ or 6′ heights, the copper trellis can attach directly to the box or anchored directly in the ground providing additional vertical support for climbing plants like pole beans, peas, and cucumbers. Copper is a natural slug and snail deterrent and provides excellent strength and stability. Durable nylon netting allows air and light to pass through and is provides an excellent anchoring point for plant tendrils and vines.

Tomato Spiral Stakes. Give your tomato plants additional vertical support with these galvanized stakes. Measuring 6′ in height, simply weave the tomato plants up the stakes as they grow. We prefer these over other styles of tomato cages.

Remember exactly what you’ve planted in your garden with these stylish, durable, zinc garden tags. They are designed to last for many years and stand up to the harsh garden environment of sun, water, and wind exposure. Simply use any carbon pencil (we like to use 2B or 3B art pencils) to label. Get rid of those other plastic tags in your garden once and for all while giving you and your kids a chance personalize and engage in the garden by writing their own garden tags.

These 6′ bamboo stakes measure on average 1″ in diameter and help to support plants like tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, and more. We like these stakes because they can be cut down to smaller sizes are a natural and renewable resource. Bamboo stakes should be replaced every year or two as they will eventually degrade and lose their support strength.

Ordering a Raised Bed

There are a few ways you can order a raised bed. You can call us to place an order by telephone or order online through The YUF Online Store. You can also order a raised bed during a personalized consultation or at an upcoming event. For all of our raised bed gardens, we require an initial 40% deposit of the cost of the raised bed, with the balance due upon garden setup.

When Should I Order A Raised Bed?

Our raised beds can be setup anytime during the outdoor growing season. We’ve setup raised beds in early April all the way through the end of October. For spring installations, we recommend pre-ordering in late winter or in the spring as soon as you’ve decided on a garden. The earlier you can book, the more confidently we can book you into the busy spring season.

Can I Combine a Raised Bed Order with Another Garden Type?

Yes, many customers choose to grow using raised beds, containers, in-ground gardens or a combination of all three methods. If you’re unsure what would be best for your situation, contact us to arrange a consultation and we can help guide you through the process.

Can You Setup A Raised Bed for Me If I Live Outside of Toronto?

Yes, while our main base of operations is in Toronto, we’ve served customers across the GTA and Southern Ontario. Please note that additional travel costs will be added based on distance and travel time.

More Raised Bed Photos

We’ve compiled some more photos of some of our raised beds. Click on individual photos for a larger sized version.