Preventing waterlogging with raised beds
Permanent raised beds are widely used to grow broadacre crops in irrigation country in the eastern states of Australia. They are a practical and economic means of managing particular waterlogged sites in wetter areas of the Western Australian grainbelt.
Raised beds allow excess water to drain out of the beds (horizontal drainage) into open collector drains which then discharge off the paddock.
Are raised beds suitable?
Raised beds are an option when:
- the probability of waterlogging is 50% or more in the wettest months (usually June to August), when the emerging crops are most susceptible
- there are shallow water tables
- soils are shallow sand, high gravel content soils and loam over clay soils where the waterlogging frequency is greater than 50%
- hill slopes are less than 3%.
Salinity is likely to be higher on sites suitable for raised beds, because of shallow saline watertables and evaporative concentration.
We recommend that you get professional advice before installing raised beds or committing to the required machinery.
For more information
- Download the Raised bed farming in Western Australia bulletin.
- Check the other raised bed farming pages in the 'See also' links.