How to Build Raised Flower Beds


A raised flowerbed allows the soil to drain faster and to warm up earlier in the spring for a longer growing season. You also do not have to bend as far, so weeding and other maintenance chores are easier. A raised flowerbed can be attractive, easy to maintain and versatile. You can add a trellis for vining plants, or hoops made of PVC pipe to support frost cloth during cold weather. Build a raised flowerbed with two-by-fours to custom-fit your garden.

Step 1

Choose a location for the raised flowerbed and decide how big it will be. A width of 4 feet is easy to maintain from both sides without having to stretch.

Step 2

Hoe and rake away the grass and weeds from the area. You also could mow the grass and weeds as short as possible and cover the area with black porous landscape cloth.

Step 3

Cut the 8-foot board into 2 pieces, each 4 feet long. Cut the remaining two boards to the desired length of the raised flowerbed, if they are not the correct length already. Form a box shape with the boards in the area cleared for the flowerbed.

Step 4

Stand two boards on their narrow edges and join the ends together to form a corner. Drill several 3.5- or 4-inch decking screws through both boards to hold them securely. Repeat this process with the other three corners.

Step 5

Place the box in the position you want it. If it is not level, add some soil under the lower side of the box or remove some soil from under the higher side.

Step 6

Fill the box with potting soil or topsoil, compost and any other amendments you want to use.

Tips and Warnings

  • Do not use wood that has been treated with creosote, cuprinol, copper sulfate or pentachlorophenol. These chemicals can be toxic to plants, animals and humans.

Things You'll Need

  • Hoe
  • Rake
  • Mower
  • Black porous landscape cloth
  • 8-foot 2-by-4, or wider, construction boards
  • 2 boards of desired length, same width as 8-foot board
  • Circular saw
  • Drill
  • 3.5- to 4-inch decking screws
  • Potting soil or topsoil
  • Compost
  • Other soil amendments (optional)


  • University of Missouri Extension: Raised-Bed Gardening
  • Colorado State University Extension: Raised Bed Vegetable Gardens
  • University of Minnesota Extension: Raised Bed Gardens

Who Can Help

  • University of Vermont Extension: Building a Raised Bed
  • Purdue University Extension: Container and Raised Bed Gardening
  • Cornell University Extension: How To Make a Raised Bed Garden
Keywords: build raised flowerbeds, build raised beds, raised flowerbeds

About this Author

Melody Lee worked as a newspaper reporter, copywriter and editor for 5 years. In addition, she has edited magazine articles and books. Lee holds a degree in landscape design and is a Florida master gardener. She has more than 25 years of gardening experience, which includes working at nurseries and greenhouses.