12 Easy Raised Garden Bed Ideas

To prepare the soil for planting, you can use a combination of materials. Landscape plastic, burlap, or landscape fabric are all good choices. Compost can also be used. To create a deeper bed, the use of bulky organic materials is one of the top easily raised garden bed ideas. These will break down over time, allowing more top space for annual plants and compost. Read on to learn more about these options. We’ve also listed some benefits of each material.

Easy Raised Garden Bed Ideas

Raised garden beds are an excellent choice for many different reasons. They can accommodate both tall and small plants, and will still get plenty of sunlight. Plus, they are extremely easy to build! Here are some basic instructions to help you get started:

Framed Garden Trellis

For easy raised garden bed ideas, consider using a free-standing or ground-mounted trellis. Free-standing trellises are free-standing structures that support multiple plants.

These structures are typically constructed from chicken wire, PVC pipes, or wood, but you can also use ropes or chicken wire. A single trellis can support several different plants, including tomatoes.

The frames of a trellis can be assembled on the ground or a wooden frame. You can use a piece of paver stone or wood as a support for the frame. If you choose to build a trellis yourself, you can enlist a helper to help you assemble the trellis.

You can use 4-inch X 4-inch posts to hold the trellis together without drilling. However, it is important to pre-drill the wood before installing the screws. Using a 1/8 inch drill bit is recommended.

Corrugated Metal Raised Garden Bed

For a rustic-looking raised garden bed, a corrugated metal bed is a good choice. Corrugated metal sheets are readily available in the roofing section of most home improvement stores. Cut to the exact size and shape you need, they’re strong, durable, and impervious to breakage.

Depending on the size of the raised bed, you may want to consider purchasing a corrugated sheet of metal and constructing a planter box from it.

Besides being aesthetically pleasing, corrugated metal is also highly durable and long-lasting, making it a great choice for a raised garden bed. The metal is made of zinc, which helps prevent rusting, but scratched surfaces will result in the onset of rusting.

If you want to grow plants organically, this is an excellent choice. However, you should also be wary of the dangers associated with metal.

Apartment-Style Garden Bed

An apartment-style garden bed can be an elegant way to add a little nature to your home. A multi-tiered container set on a barrel is an excellent choice for those with limited space. Placed in front of the entrance, it creates a three-dimensional flower pot that looks great.

You can even install a bench and add more plants to the space! Then, simply fill the bottom portion of the garden bed with soil and plant your favorite plants.

Many garden apartments are on the lower levels, which can restrict the amount of natural light. These apartments can be problematic for people with respiratory conditions, especially during the winter months.

But with the right tools, you can still enjoy gardening even without a large yard. The benefits of apartment-style gardens are obvious. First, you can enjoy the fresh air without having to lug heavy items up and down multiple floors.

Another great feature of apartment-style gardens is that they are easier to maintain and have more space than above-grade units.

Repurpose Discarded Materials

Repurpose Discarded Materials for raised bed construction. Reclaimed railroad ties, wood pallets, and corrugated metal are great materials to use for raised beds. Wood can be seasoned to add character to your garden bed, and pallet wood might be free.

However be careful: wood can be treated with chemicals, making it less durable than other materials. If you’re building a garden bed with wood, make sure it’s treated with a protective screen coating to prevent metals from polluting your vegetables.

Plastic bottles are great planters and can be used to create automatic watering stations. They can also be used to build sturdy walls for raised garden beds made from recycled plastic.

Old window frames and paint buckets can be used as plant pots. Old tools can be used as frames, supports, and hooks. Even tires make great planters and recycled garden art. Tire swings are an age-old, classic form of playground fun.

Repurpose Large Planters

If you’re looking for inexpensive ways to create raised garden beds, look no further than repurposed bathtubs. These durable containers are ideal for planting a flower bed or a vegetable garden. You can fill them with gravel for drainage, sticks, cardboard, soil, or a mixture of all three.

Wooden pallets are another inexpensive option that can be easily mounted on fences or walls. Some wood pallets have dividers, so you can place the different types of plants in their own spaces.

Old horse troughs, old toilets, and other materials are all perfect for repurposed raised garden beds. You can even use reclaimed metal such as old buckets, wine barrels, and buckets to build a long-lasting, stylish container.

Repurposed wood pallets are an especially good choice for these containers, as they are lightweight and easy to maintain. They’re also a great option if you want to grow plants that need shallow soil.

For easy raised garden bed ideas, you can use pallets, repurpose pallets and shelves, or use the square-foot gardening style. 

Repurpose Shelves

Repurpose Shelves for easily raised garden bed designs are a great way to upcycle unused wood pallets. You can repurpose them in several ways, including stacking them vertically and stapling landscape fabric to them. Then, plant shallow-rooted plants in the holes.

This method is very economical and will add a unique touch to your home garden. It is also an excellent way to reuse materials, such as old tires or railroad ties.

Old wooden chairs are great planters, too. You can paint them in vibrant colors, and use the high back to train climbing plants. Old washtubs and metal watering cans make great planters as well.

They can also double as a trellis for climbing plants. And don’t forget about those crevices in dry stone walls! These can become the home of some creepy crawlies.

Bathtub

There are many ways to make a raised garden bed. For one thing, you can fill your bathtub with gardening soil and plants. You can plant herbs in the tub any time of the year. Some herbs will also keep bugs away.

These are healthy and frugal ways to grow your food. If you know basic carpentry, you can even build your garden tub. If you’d like to add some water to your garden, you can also build a water feature in the bathtub.

Despite their small size, bathtubs can make excellent garden beds. They are nearly indestructible and can be filled with sand or gravel to help with drainage. Another option is to use wooden pallets for dividers.

Then, simply plant seeds, vegetables, and flowers. If you’re short on space, you can even add filters, like pea gravel.

Repurpose Pallets

If you have limited space and don’t want to spend a lot of money on a raised garden bed, consider using old pallets as garden decor. You can build planters out of pallets by removing the slats on one side and closing them with plywood.

Use landscaping fabric to line the bottoms of the planters. Stack planters on top of each other to create an extended planting space. Add box planters to the top of the pallets to expand the design.

You can also use pallets as garden benches. These benches can be free-standing or hung on a fence. You can even use the slats as flat planks to hold hanging baskets and plant pots. For a better idea, check the pallets’ markings to find out what chemical was used in their production.

Those stamped with HT are safe to use in a garden. Otherwise, check to see if they’re made from wood treated with Methyl Bromide.

Square-Foot Garden

A Square-Foot Garden is an easy-to-maintain, timeless way to grow your vegetables and fruits. Though this method was first published several decades ago, it has not lost its relevance in today’s world.

Many people who are interested in organic, local, and healthy food production have found that it is not difficult to learn how to implement this gardening style. Besides, once you understand the basics, it will become second nature to you.

When planting your garden, make sure to plant two or three seeds per square foot. Then, use a planting-ready seedling to place in each of the planting holes. Make sure to water and fertilize the plants regularly.

If you aren’t sure whether or not you’ll have enough space for each square foot of your garden, you can always re-pot the seedlings in the garden once they have sprouted. Just make sure to avoid transplanting the seedlings, as this can introduce disease or pests.

If you are a beginner and do not know where to start, then here are some easily raised garden bed ideas. You can choose any one of the designs or combine several to get the exact size you need for your bed. Here is a list of materials needed and a few simple projects that you can tackle.

Here are some of the steps you need to follow when building your own raised garden bed. You can even make it yourself if you are confident in your abilities.

Standing Planter with Tube

You can build a stand-alone garden bed from four-by-six-inch lumber and add a wooden tube for a decorative finish. This type of planter is waist-high and has a sturdy, durable design. It can also be made to fit over pots or directly into the soil. For easy installation and maintenance, this planter is an excellent choice for raised garden beds.

The standing planter is easy to assemble and comes with all the hardware you need to build it. Using a power drill will make the process even quicker. Because of its height, this type of planter will require more soil.

It should be filled with about fifteen to twenty bags of standard topsoil. You can even build it up against a wall for an easy, attractive, and attractive addition to your patio or backyard.

Framed Garden Trellis

When planning to raise a garden bed, a trellis will add structure and support to your planting space. A trellis can be made of a variety of materials, including wood, PVC pipes, chicken wire, and ropes. Several plants can be supported by a single trellis. The wire is the best material for long-term use. For easy raised bed ideas, try a garden trellis with a frame.

The Panacea frame is a great choice because it has legs and can support plants from two sides. It is an excellent choice for growing tomatoes, peppers, and other vined and bushy vegetables. However, if you choose to grow large fruiting varieties, the trellis may not be sufficient. If your garden is already constructed, you can easily construct a trellis out of wood.

Simple Cedar garden Boxes

To build a simple Cedar garden box, cut two pieces of cedar to 12″ long. Make sure that you cut each piece at a 90-degree angle. Screw one of the short pieces into each post. Add another piece of cedar to the center.

Screw the center support into place as well. Repeat these steps for the remaining sides. Once the walls are complete, plant a variety of vegetables. It is important to choose a planting location that is not overly hot or cold.

If you’re short on space, you can build a raised bed using inexpensive lumber. Simple Cedar garden boxes can be built with 2×4 and 6×6 lumber. The finished size of the garden bed should be at least 3′ wide by six’ long by 18″ deep. These boxes are a great way to grow a variety of vegetables, herbs, and flowers. They’re easy to make but are also very attractive.

How Deep Should a Raised Bed Garden Be?

You can use yard waste to fill the bottom third of your raised bed. Sticks, twigs, and composted leaves are great for this. Plant roots require a deep layer of soil, and the top layer should be soil.

If you plan to grow vegetables, make sure you have sufficient room to walk around them. Raised beds should be at least six inches deep, but you can adjust this as needed.

If you have existing plants, incorporating them into a raised bed can be tricky. It is also one of the great raised bed ideas for designing your garden. One simple way is to completely smother them.

Alternatively, save the sod clumps on one side. Then, flip them upside down in the raised bed. You can also scrape up the soil along the path outside. Once you’ve completed your raised bed, add soil amendments to prevent weeds and mud.

Once the beds are in place, you can add compost to the top layer and gradually work it into the soil underneath. Adding fresh organic matter to your raised bed in the fall is a good idea for improving soil fertility. You can also grow deeper-rooted vegetables in these beds.

Once you’ve added the compost, you can start planting. Aim to plant within a week or two after you’ve added the organic matter. Otherwise, you may find the rainy season washes away the organic matter.

For maximum sunlight exposure, your raised bed garden should face south. Using the lasagna method, place green materials between brown ones. Choose materials such as alfalfa hay, vegetable scraps, grass clippings, and dry leaves.

For ornamental purposes, you can use curved beds. Curved beds are easier to maintain and mowing is easier. So make sure to choose a location where the weather is sunny!

What Do I Put on the Bottom of a Raised Garden Bed?

To prepare the soil for planting, you can use a combination of materials. Landscape plastic, burlap, or landscape fabric are all good choices. Compost can also be used. To create a deeper bed, use bulky organic materials. These will break down over time, allowing more top space for annual plants and compost. 

Newspaper

Old newspapers are a wonderful material for mulching your garden beds. You can usually find a pile of them at your local library or public recycling center.

They don’t decompose quickly, but once they break down they will eventually break down into organic compost, which will improve your soil. The benefits of using newspapers in your garden are obvious: they block sunlight and kill weeds, and they help the soil retain moisture.

Another great material for the base of a raised garden bed is newspaper. Similar to cardboard, newspapers can be used to smother weeds and hold moisture in. It will eventually decompose into fine compost.

You might be concerned about the chemicals used to produce newspapers, but most are now made from soy, so they’re safe to use for vegetable gardens. Besides, a few extra newspapers may be enough to cover a whole raised bed in the middle of the yard.

Leaves

If you’re looking for a cheap, organic way to keep weeds and other pests from your plants, leaves can be a great solution. They can easily be added to the bottom of a raised bed and will decompose over time.

Leaves break down very slowly and add organic matter to the soil. In addition, they can keep weeds at bay and will keep your plants healthy.

As the soil in your raised garden bed decomposes, it will slowly mix into the soil beneath. This compost will eventually become part of the soil, so add fresh organic matter in the fall.

Over time, this will improve the soil’s health and fertility, allowing you to grow deeper-rooted vegetables. You can also use leaves to put below a raised garden bed to improve the soil’s texture.

Cardboard

If you’re wondering what to put below your raised garden bed, consider using cardboard materials. They’re inexpensive and easy to find. They’re thicker than newspaper, so they’ll take longer to decompose than other materials.

But the result will be well worth the effort, as the cardboard will turn into great organic matter in your soil. And, you can find free cardboard at many places, too.

When selecting a cardboard material for your raised garden bed, choose a sturdy, multilayered kind. Corrugated cardboard will last longer and resist decomposition better than glossy cardboard, which can release chemicals into the soil and plants.

For a more attractive raised bed, opt for a wooden frame. Once the wood frames are in place, you can add soil and compost. Once you’re done, you’re ready to plant!

Stones

There are many reasons why stone borders are a good choice for a raised garden bed. Rocks are attractive, unique, and will not decompose for years. Additionally, they provide a barrier that won’t erode over time.

There are some disadvantages, however. Here are some things to consider before using stones for your raised garden bed border. Listed below are some of the pros and cons of using stones for a raised garden bed border.

Make sure the stone is strong enough to support the growing media. Decorative raised garden beds may require edging that matches the rest of the landscape. Edging can be made of bricks, stone, or wood.

Concrete and bricks can be expensive, so be sure to consider your budget. Use stones or bricks that complement the rest of your landscape. If you plan to hand-water the beds, make sure you choose a method that will allow you to water plants in your raised garden bed without too much fuss.

Wood

If you have a raised garden bed, then the soil beneath should have a high phosphorus content. While phosphorus is essential for healthy plant growth, the soil also needs a good supply of wood and other organic matter.

Older pressure-treated wood can be a good option for the raised bed. If the soil is lacking in phosphorus, plants will be susceptible to arsenic.

Besides building a garden bed, you may also want to build a raised garden bed beneath an existing garden. Garden waste products like shredded newspapers and cardboard can be used as a base layer because they break down quickly and build up the soil’s organic content.

However, these materials will quickly decompose and lose height as they break down. If you decide to use this base layer, you can always add more soil at a later date.

Landscape fabric

First, you must decide on what type of landscaping fabric to use for your raised garden bed. For a more natural look, you can choose landscape fabric that is made of recycled plastic bottles. Then, staple this landscape fabric to the bottom of the garden bed.

Once the fabric has been secured, you can begin to add rocks. After the rocks are in place, sprinkle coarse sand on top. This will fill in the spaces between the rocks and hold water. It is also useful to prevent soil from flowing out of the bottom of the garden bed.

When selecting the landscape fabric to use for a raised garden bed, it is important to choose the right type for the specific type of soil. Some fabrics are woven, while others are solid and can prevent water from penetrating the fabric.

No matter what type you choose, you should make sure that the fabric is durable and resistant to decomposition. Otherwise, your raised garden bed could end up getting waterlogged.

Landscape plastic

When you build a raised garden bed, the bottom layer should be landscape fabric. This fabric is made from recycled plastic and acts as a barrier to discourage weeds. While it is beneficial for the soil underneath, it does not prevent water from draining. Also, weeds that grow through the fabric are difficult to pull. It is important to use landscape fabric that is placed directly on top of the soil.

A better choice for the bottom layer of your raised bed is landscape fiber. This fiber is made from recycled materials and is made of polyester and linen. These fibers have many holes in them that allow water to drain easily. Not only is landscape fiber environmentally friendly, but it also discourages grass and weeds. You should make sure that your raised garden bed has a good drainage system. Here are some other materials to consider for the bottom layer of a raised garden bed.

Burlap

While landscape fabric is an option for the bottom of a raised garden bed, burlap is a more affordable and eco-friendly alternative. Burlap, woven from jute plant fibers, has gaps for water to pass through and can last for several years. Its drawbacks include fraying edges and the fact that it decomposes faster than landscape fabric. However, if you’re concerned about weeds, burlap can help to prevent them from growing.

If you’re looking for a durable barrier for your raised garden bed, you might want to use wood. Wood decomposes, but it will take time depending on the kind of wood used. The bottom layer will have to be a few inches higher than the sides so that drainage will be easier. The sides should also be covered with burlap so that the wood does not touch the soil.

Compost

If you have a raised garden bed, you may be wondering what kind of compost to use at the bottom. While the newspaper is fine for a lower layer, it will decompose too quickly and may introduce weed seeds. Instead, use leaf mold to enrich your soil and encourage the growth of your plants. If you’re not sure about compost, you can use grass clippings, which are rich in nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus, which plants need. These organic matter will help keep your soil healthy and fertile while feeding the beneficial bacteria that live in your plants.

You can also use cardboard, which will add a layer of hummus to your raised bed’s soil. It will also act as a weed barrier. Newspaper is a great option, but don’t use too much – a few sheets can add up to three inches of compost to the bottom of a raised bed. If you’re worried about water drainage, you can use newspaper for the bottom of the raised bed.

What Kind of Wood Should I Use for Raised Beds?

While most people are tempted to use softwood for raised beds, hardwood will last longer. These materials are dense, strong, and resistant to rot and moisture. Cedar and redwood are popular types of hardwood, but they can also be expensive and are not as durable. The following are reasons to use hardwood for your raised bed frames:

Cedar is resistant to rot

When building your raised bed, consider cedar. It’s naturally resistant to rot and insects and is also an excellent choice for raised beds because it can be easily assembled without the use of tools. Most lumber retailers sell western coast cedar, but eastern red cedar is more durable and rot-resistant. However, eastern red cedar can be difficult to find.

While cedar can be quite expensive, it can be extremely durable. Because of its unique cell structure, it is highly resistant to rot. Cedar lumber also can be used to build garden boxes and to grow vegetables. The cedar lumber available from Stewart Lumber & Hardware Co. is particularly durable, and it can last 30-40 years. Cedar is also easier to work with than other wood types, but it’s less pliable than pine.

Redwood is resistant to insects

Choosing cedar as a material for a raised bed is a great choice because of its resistance to insects and rot. Cedar is a durable, beautiful, and natural material, and is available at lumber stores. It is more expensive than redwood, though, so you may want to opt for the former. While western red cedar is common at lumber retailers, eastern red cedar is a better choice due to its superior rot resistance but is more expensive.

Another advantage of redwood is its natural resistance to insects. This type of wood is more durable than plastic and is naturally resistant to insects. Redwood is also inexpensive and abundant. Its heartwood, or wood from the center of the tree, is resistant to water and insects. Plus, redwood is extremely beautiful and durable. Those factors make redwood an excellent choice for raised beds. But if you’re looking for a more durable material for your raised bed, consider redwood instead of plastic or cedar.

Cypress is a good wood for raised beds

Cypress is a softwood that has a natural resistance to rot and insect infestation. This wood also has a natural oil that acts as a preservative. The wood is durable and does well in moist environments. However, cypress is more expensive than its rivals, so it may not be a good option for your raised garden beds. So, how can you decide which wood is best for your raised bed project? Here are some tips and considerations.

The University of Georgia recommends cypress lumber for raised beds. However, cypress isn’t widely available. Most cypress lumber comes from the southeastern United States, making it more difficult to find locally. You can order lumber from a local wood retailer, but be prepared to pay a premium. If you’re not interested in ordering lumber online, you may have to settle for a less expensive material.

Douglas fir is readily available

When building your raised garden beds, a cheap and durable option is Douglas fir. This softwood is naturally resistant to rot and insect infestation, making it a cheap and environmentally-friendly choice. It’s readily available, cuts easily, and has a light, natural brown color. Additionally, it’s environmentally friendly, as forests made from Douglas fir regrow quickly after timber harvesting or wildfires.

This wood is highly durable, lasting for up to five years as a raised bed. Its moderate lifespan will let you change it up every few years, or even move houses without wasting a lot of lumber. What’s more, Douglas fir is available at a fraction of the price of redwood and cedar and can be purchased in a variety of grades for a budget-friendly price. Choose mill-run Douglas fir, which has tight knots that prevent it from rotting.

Miller D.

Miller Daniels - A Backyard Enthusiast, is an author at Prime BackYard. He's been writing for the website since 2022 and has covered a variety of backyard-related topics, from landscaping to hosting backyard parties. Miller loves spending time in his backyard, whether he's decorating it or throwing a party for friends and family. He considers himself a backyard enthusiast and is always looking for new ways to make his yard more enjoyable.


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