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How to Use Rocks to Build a Raised Garden

By Julie Richards ; Updated September 21, 2017

Using rocks to build a raised garden adds beauty to the landscape while still allowing it to blend into the natural surroundings. The raised garden bed becomes a focal point of the landscape and automatically draws attention to itself just by its form. When you use rocks to build a raised garden prepare for more than one day from start to finish.

Lay out the area of the raised garden by using the garden hose or marking string. Simple designs make laying the rocks easier when trying to build a raised garden bed.

Remove any debris or top soil and grass before laying the rocks. Use the topsoil and sod in other areas of the yard or add to the compost pile. You can also save the topsoil as back fill for the final layer.

Choose a large square-shaped rock to start the corner of the raised garden. The larger rocks will be at the bottom of the wall of the raised bed. The rocks need to slant backwards slightly toward the center of the garden bed so the wall does not fall forward during weeding and routine maintenance.

Lay the rocks in a line formation around the entire area, fitting them together like a puzzle. Flat sides connect to flat sides while chipped edges may line up with other broken edges of other rocks. Remove small edges or points with the mason's hammer to allow a better fit between rocks.

Lay more rocks on top of the first layer by covering the joined edges of the lower layer with rocks in the upper layer. Back fill the rock wall as you go to add support to the wall. Back fill the top layer of rocks with topsoil for planting.

 

Things You Will Need

  • Flat rocks (various sizes)
  • Garden hose or marking string
  • Fill dirt
  • Top soil
  • Shovel
  • Mason's hammer

Tip

  • Use mortar to keep the rocks in place when creating a tall raised garden or when the design is intricate.

Warning

  • Allow small gaps between rocks every so often to allow drainage, prevent structural damage and keep the wall from shifting during freezes.

About the Author

 

Julie Richards is a freelance writer from Ohio. She has been writing poetry and short stories for over 30 years, and published a variety of e-books and articles on gardening, small business and farming. She is currently enrolled at Kent State University completing her bachelor's degree in English.