How to build a stone raised bed garden

Updated April 17, 2017

A raised garden bed makes the most of outdoor spaces with the worst -- or even no -- soil. Raised garden beds allow the gardener to fill them with specialised soils, ensuring a fertile growing medium for the plants inside. They also provide ease of cultivation because the soil level is raised and easier to reach when kneeling. Raised garden beds appear in wood, plastic composite and stone. Stone absorbs heat, so do not place heat-sensitive plants near the stones. Use the heat-holding capacity of stone to your advantage by covering the bed with a mini-greenhouse in the winter. The stones will absorb daytime heat from the sun and release it into the bed at night, preventing frost.

Measure the garden bed area and mark with stakes, including the width of the stone wall. Leave at least 45 cm (18 inches) of space around the bed for pathways. Do not make raised beds more than 1.2 m (4 feet) in width inside the stone wall. Raised beds wider than 1.2 m (4 feet) inhibit the user from reaching all the way to the middle to cultivate plants. In a large space, build several beds rather than one large one to divide the garden space.

Dig a trench 7.5 cm (3 inches) deep and about 30 cm (1 foot) wide -- depending on the width of your stacking stones -- around the bed perimeter.

Transport a selection of flat stacking stones to a trench corner. Fit the stacking stones into the trench in one layer going all the way around the bed. Chisel away pieces of stone as necessary to fit them together as tightly as possible. Use the stone chips to fill in gaps in between whole stones.

Stack a second layer of stones in a staggered fashion, fitting them onto the first layer as tightly as possible.

Continue stacking stones until the bed wall is 30 cm (1 foot) high. Mix compost and soil together in the wheelbarrow and dump into the bed until the soil mixture is 28 cm (11 inches) deep.

Things You'll Need

  • Measuring tape
  • Stakes
  • Shovel
  • Wheelbarrow
  • Stacking stones
  • Chisel
  • Hammer
  • Compost
  • Soil
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About the Author

Darci Pauser began writing in 2001. Her work has been featured in publications such as the "UC Berkeley Undergraduate Journal," Indybay and the West Texas Weekly. Pauser holds a certificate in sustainable agriculture from California's Green String Institute and a Bachelor of Arts in anthropology from the University of California, Berkeley.