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Growing perennials in raised bed

11 years ago

I have a raised bed that is 12ft x 4ft and 12 inches deep. I have been growing veggies in it the past 3 years. I am thinking about filling it up with perennials this fall; such as daylilies and other plants that I can divide. Do you think that the perennials would survive winter in this kind of raised bed since they will not be planted directly in the ground? Any suggestions of what kind if plants would grow well in this type of bed?

Comments (11)

  • 11 years ago

    Yes, I think you could grow almost any perennial in a raised bed. It warms up earlier in the spring and drains well and the plants would benefit from those conditions.

    As long as the raised bed has good soil in the bottom for deep-rooted perennials to have plenty of room for their roots to grow.

  • 11 years ago

    Yes they will survive just fine. I have a raised bed almost the exact dimensions of yours. I too use it for a veggie garden, but in the fall I use it to overwinter perennial divisions I can't find spaces for in my other beds. I've never lost one. They also start growing faster in the spring compared to the ones in the ground.


  • 11 years ago

    I always have some pots of perennials that never make it into the ground every year. I usually bury them in the veggie garden and let them over winter there. It is also a raised bed about 12" deep. Now I have also forgotten to bury pots on occassion and found them in the spring....usually doing just fine. Daylilies, hostas, catmint, mini rose, annabelle hydrangea and a vining honeysuckle to name a few. Oh, and a couple of years ago I forgot a clematis in its' pot and found it in the spring. It had sat in the small pot out in the open with no protection, under a tree, for the entire winter. I thought I had lost it for sure but let it sit there anyway. A week or so later, I found it had green shoots. Happy to report that it was finally planted and even flowered that year. It is still doing well.

  • 11 years ago

    in your z7 ... there is no issue at all .. IMHO ...

    you could probably just leave the plants on the ground.. with little soil attached ...

    if your raised bed was in z2 .. then i would start worrying about it ...

    one of the problems with the WWW is that you are often.. hard pressed to know where your source of information is typing from ...

    one thing though.. what is your raised bed filled with??? is it not soil.. you confuse me.. when you say they wont be .. in the ground???? ....

    the only time this MIGHT TURN INTO AN ISSUE.. is in ground freeze areas.. and surely.. you are not in such.. in z7 ... [and even in ground freeze areas.. its really not an issue .. most of the time]


  • 11 years ago

    Ken...yes it is filled with soil LOL! I just kinda thought with it not going directly into the earth it may die. Like leaving plants in a pot over winter. You are so right about what you read on the web. Thanks everyone for your posts about your experiences! I am going to do it! I think it will look beautiful. So tired of putting time and work in these veggies!

  • 11 years ago

    the problem with raised beds .... the further north you go..

    is that in mild winters .. the beds can go in and out of dormancy ... because the bed MIGHT warm faster than regular soil ...

    the key.. for me in MI.. is GET THEM DORMANT ... AND KEEP THEM DORMANT...

    and mid winter thaws ruin that theory.. and a plant that becomes active in mid feb. in MI.. is going to have the shock of its life [whats left of it after.. lol] .. when it goes back below zero in a day or two ..

    as i suggested.. this is .. most likely.. not a z7 issue ...

    and my point was.. though we are generous with info and help.. you have to key into zone specific advice .. stated in the alternative.. do NOT get confused by info outside your zone ... and that is what triggered in my mind.. when i first read your query ... that conflicting advice from NOT your zone.. was confusing you ...


    ps: its even worse.. up here.. when the raised bed is not soil.. because a potting media.. can freeze and thaw at different times.. further complicating.. ones understanding of what is going on.. underground ... and that is why i asked about that ...

  • 11 years ago

    Thanks Ken! You were right about reading on the web....I did read that perennials wouldn't return in raised beds. But just like you was probably written by someone farther north than I. I think I am going to give it a try. In my zone 7 we have fairly mild winters. Thanks for your are always a great source of valuable info!

  • 11 years ago

    I'm in zone 5, with a huge raised bed(s). If anything, perennials like it MORE than being planted in the ground. Here, at any rate, it means more and deeper good dirt, before they hit clay. I have had no problems with winter thaws.

  • 11 years ago

    I don't trust Zone 5s anywhere. Last year a hosta survived in a half whiskey barrel, but that doesn't mean it will survive this year. If I thought I might have some Z6 in my yard, as some maps indicate, I might feel better about it, but 5 is fickle and might as well be Zone 4 for all I care. Zone 5 just sucks.

  • last year

    I agree. i live in a Chicago suburb and the climate between Nov and Apr is utterly unpredictablen i lost several Jap maples and a few shrubs to root rot

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