How to Make Your Own Raised Garden


Raised beds provide plants with a deep, rich area to grow. You can create a raised bed on top of lawn that you no longer want or on a weedy or rocky area. Aside from being easy to build, one of the advantages of raised beds is that they remain light and fluffy so your plants get good aeration. You can encircle your raised bed with rocks, bricks or build a wooden border, but these are not needed in order to have an area that will enable you to grow abundant vegetables, flowers, fruit trees, roses and other ornamentals.

Making Your Own Raised Bed Garden

Step 1

Plot out your raised bed by measuring an area about 4-by-8 feet long.

Step 2

Mow or weed whack the area, cutting close to the ground. Then drive one stake into each corner of the area where you will be building your raised bed.

Step 3

Flatten cardboard boxes and then lay them on the ground in between your stakes. Be sure to overlap the pieces of cardboard so no weeds or grass will pop through any cracks or gaps in the cardboard.

Step 4

Dump layers of organic materials such as topsoil, grass clippings, compost of any type, peat moss, dried leaves, sawdust and any other small plant parts. The thicker your bed, the better, but you can grow small plants such as marigolds and many herbs in a raised bed that is only 2 or 3 inches deep.

Step 5

Rake your bed so the top is level and even.

Step 6

Plant young starter plants as soon as you want. Just dig into the layers of organic matter piled on your raised bed, making holes large enough for the roots of the plants you're growing. Water the area well by setting a sprinkler on it for at least 30 minutes and then repeat watering at least once each week for most plants.

Things You'll Need

  • Measuring tape
  • Lawn mower or weed whacker
  • Stakes
  • Hammer
  • Flattened cardboard
  • Peat moss, compost, wood ash
  • Shovel
  • Rake


  • Ohio State University: Raised Bed Gardening
  • "Lasagna Gardening"; Patricia Lanza; 1998
  • "How To Grow More Vegetables"; John Jeavons; 1974
Keywords: raised bed, productive garden, lasagna gardening

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.