How to lay concrete blocks for a raised bed

Updated November 22, 2016

A raised bed provides warm soil that tends to have fewer weeds for growing flowering annuals, perennials or even vegetables. An affordable option to creating a raised bed is to use concrete blocks. By placing concrete blocks in a rectangular layout, you can form the walls of a raised bed and fill it in with a rich soil mix. In no time you'll be ready for planting.

Measure a rectangular area 48 by 80 inches in full sun. Place a garden stake at each corner of the rectangle to mark it, using a rubber mallet to set the stakes in the ground firmly.

Mark the perimeter around the stakes by running strings from corner to corner. Dig inside the perimeter of the bed area to remove the soil and sod to 4 inches deep. Smooth the exposed soil to form a flat surface on the bottom of the bed.

Place concrete blocks next to one another directly on the level soil running along the perimeter of the bed. Use the rubber mallet to tap the blocks snuggly against each another.

Stack a second layer of concrete blocks over the first, staggering the blocks so the gaps between side-by-side blocks on the second row rest over the middle portions of blocks below. Repeat stacking blocks using the staggered pattern until the bed is the height you desire for your garden.

Add equal parts of well-rotted manure, garden loam and compost to fill your raised bed 1 to 2 inches from the top. It will take approximately 5 cubic feet of each component to fill a foot of raised bed.


Use breeze blocks instead of solid concrete blocks by setting the breeze blocks with the holes of the blocks facing up. Fill the holes with gravel as you build each level of the bed. Plan to use 16 blocks for each level of bed you want to build. You can substitute the manure, loam and compost mixture with 15 cubic feet of garden soil, if desired, to fill a foot-deep bed.

Things You'll Need

  • Tape measure
  • Garden stakes
  • Rubber mallet
  • String
  • Shovel
  • Concrete blocks
  • Well-rotted manure
  • Loam
  • Compost
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