How to Make a Raised Flower Bed or Garden News & Opinion

How to Make a Raised Flower Bed or Garden


A raised flower bed or garden is a great way to grow things when you have poor soil conditions, limited space or just want to create a very manageable area for planting. We will take a quick look at what is involved in planning and building a raised flower bed or garden.

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Start With What You’re Growing

When making a raised flower bed or garden, two things really determine a lot about what your finished product will need to be. The first is what you plan on growing. If you only want a flower bed then you can likely design a much more shallow bed than if you are growing something with a large root system or something that grows mostly or completely underground like carrots. The next aspect to consider before you begin designing is where it will be. If you want something on a patio, you will need something with a bottom, but if you are planning something on the ground it may not need a bottom, though it will need to be very different depending on whether it is on a hill or flat ground.

Now you are ready to design your “box.” You can think of the structure as a box without a top and with an optional bottom. The other important thing to keep in mind is that you want the box to be small enough to allow you to reach the middle of the box. If you have very short arms you may want to consider a rectangular shape. It is possible to place four of these in a square with a shorter box on one side allowing you to enter the middle and tend the other sides of your boxes. Keep in mind you’ll be digging a trench approximately the depth of one layer of material (railroad tie, board, etc.) and placing the bottom of the box down into the trench. This will be quite different if the box is placed on a hill, as the side on the uphill side will be further in the ground.

raised garden bed

Begin Constructing the Raised Garden Bed

Once you have your design and materials you are ready to begin constructing the box. Take your materials to the intended location. You can use a tape measure and spray paint, or some other marking material, to create an accurate outline of where the box will be. You will dig your trench along this line. Now assemble the walls of your box and connect them. These steps do require some carpentry skills and you may need help. You can now lower the box into the trench. Fill the space around the base of the box with dirt after ensuring the box is level. If you are using railroad ties or landscape timber you can simply stack them and secure them as necessary.

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Remove all the vegetation from the floor of your box. You don’t have to use a tiller on this surface, but you can use standard gardening tools if you prefer. Some of this will not be necessary if you chose a box option with an actual bottom. Those boxes can be treated more like a large flower pot or planter. You may want to put down planting foam or gravel and sand depending on the ground’s drainage. Now add your choice of filler and topsoil. You are ready for planting.

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