Ways to Build a Raised Garden

A garden that grows fewer weeds, produces more vegetables and is easier to care for is the aim of just about every gardener. Raised bed gardens can do all of that. The soil is never compacted, so roots can dig in deeper, producing stronger plants that shade out much of the weed growth common in other gardens. Raised beds take a bit of work the first year, but the work pays off many times over in the results you'll see year after year.

Double Digging

The simplest form of a raised garden is a double dug mound. Remove the topsoil from your garden bed and set it aside. Loosen the soil underneath for about 6 inches. Replace the topsoil, mixing it with compost and adding more commercial topsoil if needed. Form the returned dirt into a mound that is raised up higher than the surrounding ground. Plant in this mound.

Bed With Walls

Raised bed gardens with walls are more permanent structures. Beds are dug in much the same way as a mound, but permanent walls are created. Make walls out of bricks, cinder blocks, plastic edging or boards. Make sure that the walls are weatherproof and sturdy. You can pave paths between these beds with gravel or mulch for an attractive look.

Raised Beds for the Handicapped

Raised beds can be built on legs for an accessible garden for wheelchair users and for those who have a difficult time bending. Build a box at least 8 inches deep and at least 3 feet across. Build legs to hold the garden or place it on an old unused sturdy table. Drill holes in the bottom of the box, line it with screening and fill it with a mixture of topsoil and compost. These beds can be planted just like any others. Vining plants can hang down from the garden rather than growing up a trellis for easier access.

Keywords: raised bed garden, make raised garden, accessible garden

About this Author

Anne Baley is a writer and photographer living in Southeast Michigan. Her degree in public law and government began a lifetime love of research, and has served her writing well. Baley has written articles for EndlessSunday.com, GardenGuides.com and hundreds of articles for eHow.com.