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15 Best Raised Garden Bed Ideas By Airtasker Part 1

Raised garden beds are great for growing plants in smaller plots. Also called ‘no-dig gardens’, raised beds are simply a way to grow plants in soil that’s higher than ground level, where you have better control over soil texture and composition. This means that you can have an organic, eco-friendly way to grow your own herbs and veggies in a way that allows them to really thrive and provide you with bumper harvests all year round. But there are so many ways that you can make your DIY raised boxes, so let’s take a look at some different raised garden bed ideas.

The way that the beds are constructed, through layers of soil and ‘amendments’ (additions to the soil such as compost, etc) creates optimal, fertile soil which is well-draining and well aerated. This layering technique is also known as ‘lasagne gardening’ or ‘sheet mulching’, and it creates optimal growing conditions due to the fact the soil warms up more quickly, drains better, and doesn’t get as compacted.

Raised Garden Bed Ideas
Raised Garden Bed Ideas, image:

Raised beds can be built just about anywhere, so they’re perfect if you only have pavement, or if your natural soil is too rocky to be useful. They’re quick to set up, can be tailored to suit your plants, help protect against weeds, and of course enable you to garden without the backbreaking maintenance of traditional garden beds.

There is some overlap between “raised bed gardening” and “vertical gardening”, which is understandable since both make use of vertical space. The difference is really that raised beds take up horizontal space as well, and because the ‘lasagne layering’ that occurs with raised beds may or may not be utilised in vertical gardening.

There is also some overlap with the concept of “square foot gardening”. This is a form of raised bed gardening where the beds are divided into a grid of neat squares, each which will feature its own type of plant and be managed individually. Proponents of square foot gardening say the method generates higher yields and is easy and fast to set up.

15 Best Raised Garden Bed Ideas

1. Simple tiered square

Simple tiered square

Raised beds can be as multi-tiered as you like. Some are especially decorative, resembling fountains and pagodas, but simple tiered structures are the ideal, neat way to make use of your space. Here, tiers are arranged to suit square foot gardening.

2. Tiered raised beds

Simple tiered square for Raised Garden Bed Ideas
These come as kits you can purchase, or you can construct one yourself. They’re literally child’s play to assemble.

3. Elevated garden bed on legs

Pyramid Raised Garden Bed

These very utilitarian inventions are especially useful for anyone with back problems and/or accessibility needs. Removes the backbreaking work that gardening can often represent. They can be purchased already constructed or are pretty simple to DIY.

4. Wheeled raised bed

How to Build an Elevated Garden Bed
Make This! How to Build an Elevated Garden Bed, source:

Containers on wheels are the perfect raised garden beds for renters, thanks to the portability. You can purchase a wheeled container, or construct one, or repurpose something like an old kitchen trolley. Just make sure there’s good drainage.

5. Simple stacked pallet

DIY Simple Vertical Planter With Pallet
DIY Vertical Planter,

One for the DIY pallet lovers. And actually, if you have more pallets then you know what to do with, check out these ideas with pallet furniture.

6. Patio raised bed

Patio raised bed ideas
Patio raised bed ideas, source:

Even a small patio can accommodate raised garden beds. This is a super modern look for any inner-city courtyard.

7. Border raised bed

Border raised bed

Line your backyard with raised beds unobtrusively up against the wall. This is especially good for a narrow side yard.

8. Custom designed raised bed

Custom Landscaped Water designed raised bed
Landscaped water stones,

Landscaping companies can help you design a raised bed garden to suit your unique space. You might incorporate water features for visual interest, or bench seating for functionality.

9. Add greenhouse hoops

Hoop House Project

It’s easy to turn a raised garden bed into a greenhouse using PVC pipe and clear polyethylene film. A greenhouse is great for a multi-season veggie garden, extending the plants’ growing season, conserving moisture and protecting them from bugs and wildlife. On warm days, avoid overheating plants by removing the cover, if it is removable, or simply cutting slits for air vents.

10. Freeform raised bed

10 Steps to Make Free-Form Raised Beds
10 Steps to Make Free-Form Raised Beds,

Nobody said raised beds had to have a certain neat, symmetrical shape. You may prefer the Zen of a freeform raised bed, with perimeters that you have constructed randomly or to suit a particular space.

11. Grow a herb spiral

How to Build a Spiral Herb Garden
How to Build a Spiral Herb Garden, source:

Spiral gardens are a permaculture technique, not just an eye-catching focal element in your yard. This is because spiral gardens increase the usable planting area without taking up further space, and plants are kept within reach. You can build one from almost anything, and you can even just mound the soil.

12. Create an arbour

Create an Stylish arbour ideas
Stylish Arbor Ideas, source:

Crossing over into vertical gardening, adding a trellis or arbour above a raised bed makes harvesting sprawling veggies much easier. An arbour enables flowering vines somewhere to go, while the plants below aren’t too deprived of sunshine. Simply create an A-frame out of two bamboo poles leaning together, truss them together and then cover with garden netting.

13. Make a beanstalk tepee

Similar to an arbour, try a tepee idea on for size. The kids will love it.

14. Terraced beds

Terraced raised beds
Terraced raised beds,

Terracing an entire area is great for creating the illusion of a level garden if you have a sloped yard. Starting by building up the beds in the lowest sections, then add shrubs at the back and perennials for colour and texture at the front.

Choosing the right material to construct the frame
Keep in mind your climate, the purpose of your raised bed, and the aesthetics that appeal to you. Factors such as cost and ease of installation will also come into play. Here are some of your options.

15. Timber

Hexagon Timber Raised Bed
Hexagon Timber Raised Bed,

Wood beds are easy to construct and the material is cost-effective and accessible, making it the perfect choice for DIY raised beds.  If you decide to go with wood, make sure you choose sustainably-grown wood or reclaimed timber. Whatever lumber you pick, ensure it isn’t treated with toxic chemicals (eg. older versions of treated pine contained copper and chrome arsenate, which you probably don’t want in your food). Railroad ties are best avoided in case they’ve been treated with toxin-releasing creosote.

Pine is often used as it’s cheapest, but other timbers you might consider include jarrah or cypress, both of which are both a natural decay and termite-resistant; spruce, which is durable; cedar, which has natural rot and insect resistance; and redwood, also naturally resistant to rot and bugs, but not as cheap.

You could also look into the newer composite woods, which contain both wood fibres and recycled plastics, and are especially durable. And if you need help constructing your timber raised garden beds, you can always hire a local carpenter.

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