There are a lot of great guides and tutorial on the internet on how to build your own raised garden beds, on this page, I will provide you with my simple and inexpensive raised garden bed ideas you can build easily by yourself. You can follow my tips and how I build my own raised garden bed step by step in the section below.
Raised garden beds are formed by raising the soil around the surrounding soils about six inches to waist-high and the raised soils will be enclosed by the frame. The frame can be made from wood, rock or concrete blocks and can be enriched with compost.
Why I Build Raised Garden Beds?
There are some advantages I can get by using this form of gardening:
- I can extend my planting season
- I can reduce weeds
- Better drainage and deep rooting means higher productivity
- With this method, I can reduce the need to use the poor native soil
- Raised garden beds can also prevent the soil to be compacted because I don’t have to walk on the raised bed soils, so it will be easier for the roots to grow.
- Raised garden beds allow me for easier access for planting, thinning, weeding and harvesting
- I have more comfort in my gardening because with raised beds I rarely have to bend and kneel.
- They are ideal for my small gardening spaces.
There are some cheap materials you can use for your raised garden bed, in the next sections of this article I will provide examples of materials which easy to find and easy to use for raised garden bed frames. Of course, you can be creative experimenting with different kind of materials, here are some general guidance what materials you can choose.
- If you use wood for frames, make sure the woods don’t use that CCA-pressure wood, because it was leaching by arsenic.
- Some people use concrete blocks or bricks, but you should remember that they will increase the soil’s pH over time.
- Don’t use railroad ties, because they use creosote-treated timber which is very toxic for your soils.
- Prepare coarse stone or pea gravel, we will put some layer of these stone to prevent the “bathtub effect”.
Planning Your Raised Garden Bed
Before we build raised garden bed, there are some plannings we have to make.
- First, the location, make sure you have enough and the right amount of sunlight
- The depth of the bed, I always prefer six inches minimum depth because plants need at least six to twelve inches rooting areas.
- The dimension of the bed. Four feet are the most common and optimal width. The length of the bed is not important, I prefer eight to twelve feet in length. but you can choose any length you want.
- Break up and loosen the soil to prevent compacted soil.
Preparing The Site
- Prepare the site, get rid of those weeds and turf from the soils. Assuming you already measured the bed dimension on the ground, outlined the area with strings.
- Dig the area just deep enough for the root plus several inches for a layer of coarse stones.
One of my favorite methods is using logs to create the frame for my raised garden bed, for me, this is the easiest way to build my raised garden bed. Just choose straight logs about a foot in diameter, the smaller logs can be stacked to support the bigger ones.
Another favorite method is using concrete blocks. Put the open ends facing up to outline your raised garden bed, a great thing about using these concrete blocks is you can use the opening as planting pockets for smaller plants.
Another simple method is by using sandbag as the edges of your raised bed. Choose the long and slender bags, fill them with sands. Stack the two high around your bed.
- After your bed is ready, it’s time to fill them with soils
- Mix the topsoils, compost, and manure or other organic materials. This will create a nutrient rich environment for your plants.
- Fill the bed with the topsoil mix.
- Frequent watering is critical during the early stage of the plant growth.
- You can add straw, mulch or hay to the top of the soil to prevent them from drying out quickly, especially in the summer.
You can grow almost any kind of crop in a raised garden bed, the most common are vegetables. It is a good idea to have some plot plants for your garden bed. Below is an example how you can plan what you grow and where you plant them.
Let me know what you think about my inexpensive raised garden bed ideas and how I built them. Feel free to comment below and share your Ideas with me.
You may also wanto to read this article: Some Tips on How to Plant Organic Garden