how wide to make these raised beds?
Ok, I'm ramping up to redo my backyard (again) for the last time. I've tasted success at last with growing some of my own food, and I want more!
I have a small backyard, about 54 feet wide and 21 feet from the back of the house to the back fence. That means when I step off the back patio there's only 15 feet to the back fence. To make gardening even more challenging, the house is on the south side so I have an even narrower strip that gets enough sun. I've tried different layouts trying to maximize the amount of growing space while not totally taking over the backyard, and have finally come up with what I think is the best solution yet - put narrow raised beds along the fence across the back and along both sides. Hog panels affixed to the inside of the fence will provide plenty of trellis, as I plan to grow vertical as much as possible. Then, for added growing space, I plan to add one 4' by 12' bed in each back corner, leaving the center of the yard open.
Ok, here's my question. I know the general rule is to make raised beds about 4 feet wide, so one can reach in two feet from either side. Since these beds will be along the fence, I was going to make them 2 feet wide. However, since I would like to grow tomatoes and pretty much everything else in these beds, do you think making them 2.5 or even 3 feet wide would be better? Adding 6 inches or a foot would significantly increase my growing area as well, without adding much to the cost of materials. Since I have about 90 feet of fence, that would mean 225 or even 270 square feet instead of 180 square feet. The two 4 foot by 12 foot beds would add about another 100 square feet. That's about as much as I think I can possibly get out of this little yard of mine, and that should be a huge improvement over the little 100 square foot potager I have now!
Looking forward to some input - you guys are great and have helped me so much!
Edited to add an image and correct the width of my back yard (54 feet, not 50). There is a manhole in one corner, which is why it jogs out like that.
This post was edited by canokie on Sat, Jul 12, 14 at 23:08