Building a Raised Flower & Vegetable Garden


The advantages of growing flowers and vegetables in a raised bed are many. Not only can you plant more intensively in a raised bed, the watering and weeding needs are reduced considerably. You can build raised beds by simply piling up dirt, or using a wide variety of wood or stone materials.

Step 1

Select a location for the raised bed that receives full sun, especially if planting vegetables.

Step 2

Till an 8-by-4 foot area to a depth of 6 to 8 inches. Use a shovel to remove the tilled soil to a nearby location.

Step 3

Till the remaining soil in the area to a further depth of 4 to 6 inches. Add 1 inch of compost to the tilled soil and re-till to mix the compost with the soil.

Step 4

Lay in the first layer of 4-by-4 inch lumber to make a large rectangle. Continue stacking the 4 by 4 lumber until all the boards are used. This should give you a bed area approximately 12 to 14 inches above the soil level of the remainder of the garden.

Step 5

Add 10 cubic feet of manure or compost to the soil you removed from the location. Blend the compost into the soil to create a good mixture of both throughout the pile.

Step 6

Shovel the compost/soil mixture into the raised bed.

Things You'll Need

  • Tiller
  • Shovel
  • 4-by-4 inch lumber, 8 feet long (8)
  • 4-by-4 inch lumber, 4 feet long (8)
  • Potting or top soil
  • Manure or compost


  • Oklahoma Cooperative Extension: Raised Bed Gardening
  • University of Illinois Extension: Finding the Best Site for a Garden is More than a Random Process
  • "Encyclopedia of Organic Gardening"; Organic Gardening and Farming Magazine eds.; 1975
Keywords: raised vegetable beds, raised garden beds, raised flower beds

About this Author

G. K. Bayne is a freelance writer, currently writing for Demand Studios where her expertise in back-to-basics, computers and electrical equipment are the basis of her body of work. Bayne began her writing career in 1975 and has written for Demand since 2007.