How to Make Raised Beds With Rocks

Overview

Raised beds are a good solution if your soil is heavy clay or if you have a patch of old, weedy lawn that you want to transform into an attractive flowerbed or vegetable garden. If you surround your raised bed with rocks, the soil will stay where it belongs better than if you simply build your bed with no supporting border. Raised beds are good growing areas for ornamental plants such as roses, vegetables and fruit trees.

Step 1

Measure the area where you plan to build your raised bed. If you make your bed about 4 feet wide by 8 feet long, you'll be able to reach into the center of the bed from either side and never need to step on the soil, which can compact it. Mark the area by sprinkling white flour around all four sides, according to the book "Lasagna Gardening." Then pull all weeds or unwanted plants--no need to remove unwanted lawn.

Step 2

Collect or purchase rocks that are about 3 or 4 inches in diameter and stack them on top of the bed border you marked with flour. Make your raised bed a few inches tall or more if you plan to plant a tree or other larger plant.

Step 3

Lay several thicknesses of newspaper or flattened cardboard on top of the soil or unwanted lawn inside your rock boundary. In time, the grass and any weeds under the paper will die.

Step 4

Spread alternating layers of peat moss, top soil, sand, compost of any type, fallen leaves, grass clippings, wood ashes and chopped plant parts--you can use materials you have available and purchase other ingredients such as the peat moss. Fill your rock border to the top with layers of these items.

Step 5

Rake your bed's surface flat. Water it well, then plant your plants or seeds as soon as you are ready.

Things You'll Need

  • Measuring tape
  • White flour
  • Cardboard or newspaper
  • Topsoil
  • Compost
  • Peat moss
  • Fallen leaves
  • Garden spade
  • Rake

References

  • Mother Earth News: Lasagna Gardening
  • Lasagna Gardening; Patricia Lanza; 1998
  • University of Missouri: Raised Bed Gardening
Keywords: raised bed, rock borders, gardening spaces

About this Author

Barbara Fahs lives on Hawaii island, where she has created Hi'iaka's Healing Herb Garden. Fahs wrote "Super Simple Guide to Creating Hawaiian Gardens," and has been a professional writer since 1984. She contributes to Big Island Weekly, Ke Ola magazine, GardenGuides and eHow. She earned her B.A. at UCSB and her M.A. from San Jose State University.