How to Create Raised Garden Beds


Raised bed gardens raise the level of soil in your gardening area slightly above the rest of the soil. This has several advantages, including higher yields, improved soil conditions and ease of working, says Ohio State University Extension. Making the raised garden with a width between 4 and 6 feet allows you to work around the garden as opposed to standing in it, reducing soil compaction and improving water drainage. Raised gardens are cheap and easy to build.

Step 1

Remove soil a sunny location, digging one shovel deep, says the University of Missouri Extension. Till the area underneath. Digging and tilling fluffs the soil and improves aeration and soil drainage.

Step 2

Place down old railroad ties or scrapwood around the dug area, making the bed only as wide as can allow you easy access to the middle from both sides. Pile the ties so that they are 12 to 16 inches high, and secure the ends with metal braces and screws to hold them together, says the University of Illinois. Drill holes into the sides for drainage.

Step 3

Fill the frame with the soil dug out before tilling, and fill the excess area with compost and new topsoil to improve soil quality. Plant your garden according to the plant and seed varieties.

Things You'll Need

  • Compost
  • Tiller
  • Topsoil
  • Shovel
  • Plastic tarp
  • Rail road ties or long scrap wood


  • University of Illinois: Build a Raised Bed
  • University of Missouri: Raised-Bed Gardening
  • Ohio State University Extension: Raised Bed Gardening
Keywords: raised bed gardening, raised gardening space, small garden design

About this Author

Cleveland Van Cecil is a freelancer writer specializing in technology. He has been a freelance writer for three years and has published extensively on, writing articles on subjects as diverse as boat motors and hydroponic gardening. Van Cecil has a Bachelor of Arts in liberal arts from Baldwin-Wallace College.