This refers to any garden planting area where the soil is elevated above the regular soil level. Typically, a frame is built out of boards, beams, or stones, and then filled in with soil. The elevation of the soil in a raised bed allows for better drainage and causes the soil to heat up faster than it would otherwise. Warm, well-drained soil is perfect for many vegetables, particularly heat-loving plants like tomatoes, peppers, melons, and so on. Raised beds can be any depth – even raising the soil 6 inches above the ground will improve its properties for growing vegetables and other plants.
Raised beds are very useful for winter gardening on the Coast because of the extra drainage and warmer soil. It’s also quite easy to set up a cloche system above a raised bed because the dimensions are already defined, and the cloche pipe can be anchored to the actual bed.