Raised beds ideas

Updated November 22, 2016

A raised bed for your garden can not only enhance the look of your home, but also make gardening easier. Before building anything there are a few raised bed ideas to consider to make the most of your new outdoor addition. Take time to decide where to put your raised bed and how you want to make it, then select the types of plants you want to grow.


The benefits of having a raised bed often make up for the initial work needed to create one. A raised bed tends to have fewer weeds because the soil is in a more-controlled environment than when your garden is on ground level, making maintenance and care easier. Most people also find working in a raised bed easier and less strenuous on the body because very little bending over is required.


A raised bed can be set in front of an existing wall, along a walkway, in front of a house or out in the open in the middle or side of a yard. Not only can a raised bed go virtually anywhere a regular garden could go, but it can also go in locations a regular garden can't; such as where the ground is rocky or on a steep slope. Be sure that the area you select gets a good amount of sun for successful growing or select shade-loving plants that will thrive without as many hours of sunlight.


While the bed can be set-up to fill a space that is otherwise drab, you can also create beds to stand out and be seen. A hexagon-shaped bed in the middle of the front yard can be just as dramatic as one with curving sides which gracefully wrap around your home. Set a narrow raised bed along the sides of your patio to enhance your outdoor entertaining, or put a few circular raised beds along a walking path to offer seating and beauty to your garden area.


Depending on the finished look you want, raised bed can be as high or low as you want and made with a rock wall, 1-by-6-inch boards, small fallen trees or sleepers. As you make the bed, make sure you supply enough support so the walls are stable and won't shift when leant on. Once the sides are constructed, you may want to line the inside of the bed with weed-blocking landscaping fabric. With the bed lined, fill it in with garden soil. Be prepared for some settling and refilling as needed.


A raised bed can be used in several ways. While you can choose to keep only blooming annuals in the bed for a constant show of flowers, it can serve well for a perennial garden, butterfly garden or even a rose garden. Raised beds are also great for herb gardens, tea gardens and vegetable gardens. With vegetables planted in rows or by using the Square Foot Gardening method, having control of the soil quality and weeds helps produce a better yield of vegetables.

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