Break the monotony of your garden by building an inexpensive, low-maintenance raised brick flowerbed over each corner or in the centre of the area. Not only do these beds improve drainage, they provide other advantages such as adding rustic and natural charm to the landscape, preventing gardeners with weak backs from bending too low, improving drainage, increasing productivity and reducing or eliminating chances of pest damage to the contained plants. You can design any shape brick bed to spruce up your yard.
Mark the area where you want to install the raised beds with either powdered chalk or a garden hose. Make the lines as straight as possible in your desired widths and lengths.
Spray an organic weed killer to remove the existing vegetation within the demarcated lines for each bed. Alternatively, pull the plants out by hand if there are only a few.
Dig a 12-inch-deep and 16-inch-wide trench over the marked outline for each bed using a shovel. Tamp a length of 2-by-4 over the base of each trench to smooth it out so it is level and provides a secure foundation for the raised bed.
Mix concrete with water using a trowel until it reaches the consistency of ice cream. Alternatively, mix 3 1/2 parts gravel, 1 part cement and 2 1/2 parts sand to water. Slowly pour this concrete footer mixture into the base of each trench until 4 inches below the edge. Smooth the top of the footer with a trowel and leave it to cure for three to five days.
Lay rows of bricks until your desired height. Apply a layer of mortar on the concrete, 1 inch thick, and place a brick over a corner. Press it down slightly so only a 1/2-inch layer is visible between the slab and the base of the brick.
Add mortar to the side of the second brick with a trowel, removing any excess, and place it 3/8-inch away from the previous one. Pound it in place gently with a trowel before removing excess mortar from the side. Repeat this process of laying bricks until you complete the first row or course of each trench.
Apply mortar to the lower surface of a brick and place it evenly over the seam of two bricks directly below. Pat it with a trowel so it settles in place and remove excess mortar that squeezes out from the sides. Repeat the process of laying the second row and all subsequent rows until the raised flower bed is your desired height.
Lay a weed cloth over the base of each bed and pour equal amounts of topsoil and compost until a few inches from the edges.
Staggering bricks creates a sturdy and aesthetically pleasing flower bed.
Tips and warnings
- Staggering bricks creates a sturdy and aesthetically pleasing flower bed.