How to Raise a Gardening Bed


Raised bed gardens are a way of improving your gardening space by slightly rising the soil of the garden higher than the soil around it. The soil of a raised bed garden stays warmer than the soil surrounding it, improves the plant yield, allows you to control the soil condition easily, and improves drainage. Building a small raised garden allows you to work on it from all sides without having to step on the soil, preventing soil compaction. Raising a garden bed does not require any surrounding material to hold the soil.

Step 1

Measure out a 4-foot width for the garden to keep it thin and easily workable from all sides, and 2 feet for a garden workable from one side only, says Purdue University. Place the raised garden bed in a sunny area.

Step 2

Dig through the top soil one spade's depth deep, and place the topsoil to the side, says the University of Missouri.

Step 3

Till the soil underneath to a depth of 4 to 6 inches using a rototiller.

Step 4

Replace the topsoil removed earlier and place a thin layer, between 1 and 3 inches, on the topsoil. The bed should be raised about 6 inches. Mix compost into the topsoil using a rototiller.

Step 5

Slope the sides of the raised bed slightly so that the middle is slightly more narrow, and the sides are gently sloping, using a shovel or hoe. This prevents rain erosion, says Purdue University.

Things You'll Need

  • Measuring tape
  • Shovel
  • Spade
  • Rototiller
  • Compost or peat moss


  • University of Missouri Extension: Raised-Bed Gardening
  • Ohio State University: Raised Bed Gardening
  • Purdue University: Container and Raised Bed Gardening
Keywords: raised-bed gardening, raise a garden, raised gardening space

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.