How to Build a Raised Garden Bed in 5 Easy Steps

What is a raised garden bed?

Raised garden beds are elevated and free-standing boxes that are constructed above the garden floor level to grow our vegetables or crops.

In simple language we can understand that raised means something that is higher than normal or used from thus the level of gardening land is slightly elevated.

How to Build a Raised Garden Bed in 5 Easy Steps

How to build a raised garden bed?

It is not too hard to construct a raised garden bed. Here are some step by step procedures for “How to Build a Raised Garden Bed”.

a) Select good material: You can cover the boundaries of your raised beds with wood, stone, bricks, or cement blocks. The size of the raised garden bed depends on your needs and available space. Most vegetables require 10 inches of soil to grow well.

b) Prepare the site: Clean the area where the raised bed will be constructed of any grass, weeds, or debris. Then only we should fill the garden soil.

c) Construction of boundary: Using lumber 2 by 10 inches long, build a four-sided structure. Align the short walls with the long walls to form a rectangle. The wall can be constructed with the help of concrete blocks, bricks, stones, wood, etc.

d) Fill the bed: Add quality soil to the raised bed for the garden. To make a soil mixture, equal amounts of compost, topsoil, and vermiculite or perlite can be mixed.

e) Plant your garden: Once your raised bed is ready, you can start planting your favorite herbs, flowers, or vegetables.

What are the benefits of raised garden beds?

There are many benefits of raised garden beds, and among those, we will be discussing some of the most important.

a) Season extension: The raised soil beds in the garden will mainly help in spring season when the raised soil tends to warm earlier than the ground, which lets you plant spring crops sooner than in the ground.

b) Better drainage: Raised garden beds provide a medium for proper drainage of water. Raised garden beds make irrigation easier, and less water fills the confined space of raised beds. It also avoids the waterlogging that happens in ground gardening.

If the irrigation system is installed correctly, it ensures healthy plants and also saves on watering bills.

c) Weed reduction: When the level of the garden beds is higher than the ground level, it separates your crops from the wild surroundings that are seen at the ground level. Due to the raised level, there is less chance for weed seeds to spread at your crops or their surroundings, thus helping in weed reduction.

d) Avoid compact soil: Compaction occurs when someone walks on the soil, especially when it is wet, and compacted soil leads to water runoff and decreases drainage and oxygenation. But in raised garden beds we don’t need to walk over the beds because we can easily reach to every part of the beds standing over the ground.

e) Control your soil health: When you work directly in the ground, you have to deal with whatever type of soil is available there; that might be acidic, alkaline, sandy, clay, or anything else that directly or indirectly affects the crops.

But in the raised beds, soil is filled by your choice, and through the proper knowledge of farming, you can use the proper soil that meets the criteria of farming. 

f) Healthier harvest: We can easily plan and practice crop rotation with several raised beds in your garden. Rotating crops are helpful in maintaining soil quality and controlling pests.

Like newly hatched pests that come out in the spring and see that their food source has moved to another bed, they’ll try to relocate to the new bed. In the same way, most pests will die along the way searching for their beds, and some will become eaten by birds or other predators.

How to build a raised garden bed with wood?

This is the most asked question to me that “How to build a raised garden bed with wood”. Wood got easily rusted when it comes in contact with soil and water.

So, too many precausion should be applied while constructing raised garden bed with wood. The steps to build a raised garden bed with wood are as follows:

Selecting good material is one of the first pieces of work that should be done while planning to prepare a raised garden bed, and according to the question we have got wood as the material from which garden beds will be made. 

After this we need to select the site for the raised garden to be built which should be clean and perfect for the wooden beds.

As we all know, while making a raised garden bed, we don’t use wood under the ground or soil, so we need to support the sides of the walls.

For supporting the wall lumber should be used, it acts as pillar in the beds which holds the walls to fall off and hold the boundary properly. One side of the lumber should be kept inside the soil that gives a structure to the garden beds. 

Once the lumbers are fixed, the wood should be nailed to the lumber (pillars) from all four sides of the raised garden bed to be wall and give structural support.

When the sides of the walls become ready, soil is filled into the raised bed. A required quality of soil in the appropriate amount should be added to the raised bed for gardening.  

Equal amounts of compost, topsoil and vermiculite or perlite should be mixed to make a perfect soil texture.

At last when the beds become ready, you can start planting your desired herbs, vegetables or whatever you want. 

How to Build a Raised Garden Bed in 5 Easy Steps

How to build a raised garden bed with concrete blocks?

Making raised garden beds with concrete blocks is a time-consuming method and famous among the choices. Here we will be discussing the process of making raised garden beds and materials and tools used in the raised garden beds. 

Materials and tools

  • Concrete blocks 
  • Gravel or crushed stones
  • Quality soil mixture 
  • Shovel 
  • Level
  • Measuring tape 
  • Work gloves
  • Protective eyewear

The steps of building raised garden beds are discussed below:

  1. A suitable location should be selected with appropriate allowance of sunlight and a good drainage system for raised garden beds. 
  2. Measure and fix the area of the garden bed to be built, measure the area with measuring take and mark with the ground with the help of marking spray of chalk.
  3. Clear the area that is marked and remove the grass, weeds, rocks, or debris. To ensure a flat and stable base, level the ground perfectly.
  4. Put the concrete blocks in the end-to-end marked area to make the first layer of the walls at the perimeter of the bed and make sure to level each blocks at the perimeter. 
  5. To ensure the level and proper alignment either horizontally or vertically, adjust the blocks as required. 
  6. To promote the drainage and give a stable base, layer of gravel or crushed stones should be added inside the perimeter made by the blocks.
  7. Now more layers of concrete blocks can be added following the lowest layer that makes the perimeter. Stacking of blocks should be done till the needed height is reached, brick like pattern can be given to the blocks to provide stability.
  8. When the required height is reached and the walls become ready, after 4-5 days we can fill the soil inside it. Always remember to use good quality soil texture and after putting soil, enough space should be kept on the top.
  9. Now you can plant your desired plants in the raised bed according to your need.

Thus, through this process we could build a raised garden bed of concrete which provides a defined area for gardening and enhances the look of your garden.

How to Build a Raised Garden Bed in 5 Easy Steps

6) How to build a cheap raised garden bed?

As we all know, for building a cheap raised garden bed, a cheaper quality of material should be used so that it decreases the expenses over the raised garden beds.

Farmers are generally not very rich, so I will personally suggest that they use this material to lower their expenses, but it also has some drawbacks.

We here use wooden boards as the cheapest material, and that is also easily available in the market. May may not provide a fancy and attractive look to your garden, but it is found to be cheaper than the other materials available I the market. 

2 wooden boards of 2 inches thick and 10 inches wide with a length of 8 feet and 1 wooden board of 2 inches thick and 3 inches wide with a height of 8 feet should be bought.

Only 2 wooden boards of 10 inches in width and 1 of 3 inches in width are needed to make 1 raised garden bed. We also need some equipment for woodwork like saw, nails, hammers, screws, etc. By such method,od we can easily build a cheaper raised garden eds.

How to build a raised garden bed on a slope?

Building a raised garden bed is a quite difficult task because the main issue is fixing all sides on an equal level of ground, which is not available at a slope.

Wood is one of the best choices for building raised garden beds on a slope. Building the garden beds at slopes is more complicated than that on flat land, though it is not even too hard. 

You should decide the position of the bed to be made and level the ground in advance. Along with the slope garden beds, you should be sure that the bed isn’t sloped or made at an angle.

Wooden beds are simply boxes that is made from wooden boards that have been cut down into the required sizes. Wood from the pine tree should be avoided because it easily breaks when exposed to moisture. 

The outer shape, which is rectangle, should be made with wooden boards; later, the slope at which we need to make the garden bed should be leveled properly.

One should dig at the level at which the soil is prepared and make it equal to the level on the other side. I this way, both side of the eds at which the frame of the raised wooden bed will be fixed came at an equal level.

Now the frame will be fixed and should be pressed by the soil from the outer sides so they cannot be easily displaced.

Finally, the required quality of soil is used to fill the beds as per your choice. This is how a raised garden bed is made on a slope.

How to Build a Raised Garden Bed in 5 Easy Steps

How to build a self-watering raised garden bed?

The new design of self-watering garden beds is a recent innovation that is now gotten the attention of many farmers around the world. It is just a modified and bigger form of self-watering pot.

These self-watering pots have been available around us for many years. They work on the principle of self-irrigation, which is that the supply of water is done from under the pot that is brought up into the raised beds above. 

Making of self-watering raised garden beds: for making a self-watering raised bed, we should previously decide whether to make itself watering or not, because we need to do some work and use some things like water tubes, reservoir water chambers, tube caps, etc. under the soil while making it.

Plant roots benefit from water: One side of the tube is connected to the water reservoir chambers, while the other side is brought to the wall of raised beds and closed with a tube cap.

These different chambers are connected to each other with the help of tubes that are made in the soil. The tube cap can be opened when water is needed to fill inside it, so the cap is fixed to the outer side of the bed. 

This is how self-watering raised garden beds are prepared, and the plants inside the raised garden beds are self-watered. 

How do I choose the right soil for my raised bed?

The process of choosing the right soil is described below

a) Know about the soil preferences: you should have proper knowledge about the soil required for the plant you have planned to grow.

It’s ok if you have the knowledge, but if you don’t have the proper knowledge, you need to get help from an agriculture technician who may help you. 

b) Moldy potting mixtures should be avoided: You should avoid moldy mixtures because they have got a lot of moisture that can be a cause of harboring harmful fungi, so moldy mixture should not be used. 

c) Choose the light and fluffy mixture:- A type of heavy and thick soil mixture should be avoided because this leads to low drain of water and it also interferes in root growth so we should always choose a light type of soil which is not too sticky.

d) Garden soil should be avoided: The soil from the garden ground cannot be used in the raised beds because they become heavier for the raised garden eds. Garden soil contains clay, sand and other additives material that will be unbeneficial for your raised beds.

These are some criteria for choosing the right soil for your raised beds.

Cost to build a raised garden bed

The cost to build a raised garden varies depending upon the material used in building raised garden beds, size of the garden bed and number of beds to be installed.

Wooden beds are cheaper, so this costs a lower price. The table below shows the costs required for building raised garden beds.

Type of materialWork typeAverage cost 
Wooden Raised BedLabour and material$200-300
Concrete Blocks Raised BedsLabour and material$300-500
Stones Raised BedsLabour and material$500-600

Hence, I hope this article on “How to Build a Raised Garden Bed” remains help full for you.

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"Structural Engineer" with over 5 years of experience in estimation, structural design, and surveying. I am passionate about using his skills to create safe and sustainable structures. I am also a keen writer, and I enjoy sharing my knowledge and experiences with others.