Today we’re sharing 3 ways to build a raised garden bed.
If you’d like to start growing your own herbs and vegetables, why not try a raised garden bed? Raised garden beds are good for beginning gardeners, and they allow you to grow a kitchen vegetable patch without going into full-on farmer mode and tilling up half the backyard. They make it easier to care for vegetables and herbs, and they can be eye-catching, too.
Great Reasons to Try a Raised Garden Bed
Why should you garden in raised beds? For one thing, gardening in raised beds means you don’t have to bend all the way over to pull weeds or tend to your garden plants. Some gardeners even raise beds to waist-height or higher, so they can tend to their plants without bending at all!
Raised beds also help you control the layout of your herb and vegetable patches, to keep invasive plants contained. They’re great if you want to grow plants like mint, lemon balm, or raspberries, but don’t want them taking over your whole yard. If you’re just getting into gardening, it’s easy enough to start small with just one or two raised beds, and then add more later as you become more adept at gardening and interested in growing more. You can grow just about anything in a raised bed.
But perhaps the biggest benefit of raised beds is that you have complete control over the soil in which you’re growing your plants. Different plants need different soil conditions in which to thrive. If you’re using strategies like lime soil amendment to help nurture the grass in your lawn, you don’t have to worry about producing a soil pH that’s perfect for your grass but not for your tomatoes. If you want to grow Mediterranean herbs that require a sandier, drier soil composition, you can fill one raised bed with the soil they prefer, and grow other plants in moister, loamier soil. And because the soil in raised beds isn’t getting packed down by feet, your plants’ roots will stay aerated.
3 Easy Ways to Build a Raised Garden Bed
You might think that building your own raised beds would be expensive, but not necessarily. You can build raised beds cheaply and easily at home, in just a single afternoon, using any of these three methods.
1. Build a Raised Garden Bed with Planks
Perhaps one of the simplest ways to build a raised bed is with three eight-foot-long, two-by-twelve-inch planks from your local home hardware store. Save yourself some work and have one of the planks cut in half at the store. That plank will serve as the two narrow ends of your rectangular raised bed. Simply screw the planks together in a rectangle shape using 3.5-inch deck screws and a cordless drill. You may be able to rent a drill from your hardware store if you don’t own one.
Before you put the walls of the raised bed in place, either remove the grass from the topsoil with a shovel, or put down cardboard or gardening fabric to suppress weed growth in the completed bed. Then fill the bed with the gardening soil of your choice.
Pictured Tutorials: Build.com || NW Edible Life
2. Use Concrete Blocks
Concrete cinder blocks are another easy, cheap way to build raised beds. The hollow kind are best because, once you’ve built your bed, you can fill these with dirt and plant flowers or herbs in them to maximize your growing space. Simply stack the blocks up until you have a raised bed space eight to 12 inches deep. A perk of using concrete blocks is that you’re not limited to building a rectangle; you can arrange the blocks in a circle or some other custom shape, and even paint them for a splash of landscape color. Concrete blocks may be more durable than wooden planks, too. Again, remove grass or put down cardboard before you fill your bed with soil, to keep weeds from sprouting in it.
Pictured Tutorials: Abbi Siler || Savvy Gardening
Image via Flickr
3. Weave a Raised Garden Bed Out of Branches
If you have access to trees or bushes from which you can harvest long branches up to half an inch thick, you could build an attractive woven, basket-like raised bed.
- Drive two-foot lengths of rebar into the ground around the area you want to turn into a raised bed, leaving about 16 inches between them. Leave ten to 12 inches of rebar sticking up above the ground.
- Cut long lengths of slim branches and weave them through the rebar as if you were weaving a basket. You can trim off the ends if necessary.
- When you’re done weaving to the top of the rebar, cut more branches about two feet long and bend these in half, putting them over the wattle and pushing them into the ground to hold the woven branches in place. Do this every two or three feet.
- Line your raised bed with burlap to keep the soil from leaking out after you fill it.
Pictured tutorial: eHow
A raised garden bed can be an attractive way to landscape your garden and grow flowers, vegetables, and herbs. Putting in raised beds doesn’t have to break the bank. It’s easy to build raised beds yourself, using cheap and commonplace materials.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Cher Zavala is a freelance writer who touches on various topics and niches that relate to her everyday life. In addition to writing in her free time she also enjoys traveling and getting to know the world around her. Over the years she has built up many strong relationships within the blogging community and loves sharing her useful tips with others. Email: cher (at) seekvisability (dot) com