How to Build Raised Planting Beds


Raised planting beds are gardens raised up slightly from the earth around it, making them easier to work from all sides, and accessible for those who are wheelchair-bound or unable to lean over. Raised beds can be made to different heights depending on the needs of the gardener. Using a raised garden allows the gardener greater control over the soil quality, keeps the soil warmer throughout the season, and prevents compaction by removing the need to stand in the garden to work it.

Step 1

Measure out the area of the raised garden bed, says Texas A&M, and mark the corners by pounding stakes into the ground and connecting the stakes with string. The width of the garden should be 4 feet or less so that all of it is accessible from the sides.

Step 2

Remove all grass and vegetation from the area inside the stakes and string.

Step 3

Dig down a spades depth, says the University of Missouri Extension, and place the dirt to the side.

Step 4

Till the dirt in the gardening area using a rototiller to loosen the soil.

Step 5

Replace the dirt dug from the area and add 1 to 3 inches of organic matter, such as compost, to the top and till it in. This increases drainage and nutrients.

Step 6

Dig a 6 to 12 inch ditch around the raised bed area and pour concrete into it to create a footer for your raised bed. Drive a 3/8-inch reinforcing rod into the center of each side of the bed, reinforcing each footer.

Step 7

Stack cinder blocks one on top of each other to create your walls. Stagger each layer so that the walls are more stable. Mortar is not needed when the walls are 2 feet or less.

Step 8

Fill the remaining area of the raised bed with soil and plants.

Things You'll Need

  • Landscape fabric
  • Cement blocks
  • Soil
  • Stakes
  • String
  • Rubber mallet
  • Spade
  • Rototiller
  • Organic matter
  • Cement
  • 3/8-inch reinforcing rods


  • University of Texas A&M: Building a Raised Bed Garden
  • University of Missouri Extension: Raised Bed Gardening
  • Iowa State University: Special Considerations for Tabletop Gardens
Keywords: raised planting beds, tabletop planter, building raised bed

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.