How To Make Raised Garden Beds

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How to Make Raised Garden Beds

Raised garden beds can be incredibly beautiful! When the design is well planned, these can become works of art and add to the value of your home.

So how do you make raised garden beds? The first consideration you need to make is location. The second consideration is the type of flowers, vegetables or shrubbery that create the most impressive, artistic designs.

Raised bed gardens look great in the center of a large, lush lawn. They also fill in corner areas and are quite pleasing to the eye as foundation arrangements. If you don't know how to make a raised bed garden and are discerning about location and choice of plantings, consider a professional landscaper. This is a cost-effective way to get the most from your landscape.

How Raised Garden Beds Are Made

There are several additional issues to consider. These include:

  • Climate
  • Moisture
  • Compatible plant genus

Vancouver has a relatively temperate climate. So, it is a region that has an abundant growing season. To make a raised garden bed, start by choosing a design that fits within your landscape. For example, there are several shapes you could use to help aid your landscape design: circular, rectangular, pyramidal, squared, octagonal and in unique shapes like "Figure 8" and kidney shape. The design of raised garden beds depend entirely on the curb appeal you are giving your landscape and the already present landscape ideas.

Raised bed gardens require garden tools and materials and a good eye to ensure the planned design is properly measured for space and height. Avoid locating raised garden beds if there isn't sufficient space and height, are blocked from the sun or are placed too near to downspouts and gutters. With the amount of rainfall our area receives in the shoulder season, it's important to watch out for the areas that could pool water or fill up from rains.

In a pyramidal raised garden bed, the widest level is the base or foundation with each succeeding level narrowing until you have reached about four or five levels. Any of these designs can also be used for vegetable or flower gardens.

Materials to Use When Making a Raised Garden Bed

You will also need to decide on which gardening materials you want to use: wood, concrete, landscape ties, and allen blocks are all great products to start with.

Some great local places to buy landscaping materials to build the beds:

Home Depot Raised Garden Bed Kits

Landscape and Stone Supply

Costco Raised Garden Bed Kits

Landscape Center

Raised Garden Beds with a "Theme"

You want your landscape to speak volumes of your fastidious attention. Give your raised garden beds a theme. Many landscape designs include raised garden beds with plantings that bloom from morning until night.

Create one raised garden bed with blooms that emerge as soon as the sun comes up for a "morning garden" and add a "moon garden" with blooms like Moonflowers and primroses that bloom as soon as the sun goes down. (Although, we hope your neighbors aren't staring at your new raised garden beds all day)

A vegetable or herb garden theme can be beautiful and practical at the same time. Just think of grilling fresh picked veggies from your raised garden and the money you'll save!

Here are some great resources to help you make a raised flower or vegetable garden bed.

Popular Mechanics

Earth Easy 

This Old House

The Vegetable Gardener

Selecting Correct Soil

Now that you've built your raised garden, ensure that you select the correct type of soil so that your plants are successful.  Read the label on the bag or talk to your bulk soil provider, and choose soil that is made specifically for what you're growing: flowers, herbs, vegetables or shrubs...

  • Calculate the quantity of soil you require
  • If less than 1 cubic yard, bagged soil is likely your best option.  Seasonal departments at big box stores or your local landscape supply centre will carry good options for you.
  • For more than a cubic yard, bulk delivery will be easier for you.  Ask your local bulk landscape material supplier what kinds of soil they offer for your purpose.  You're looking for a manufactured soil that is weed-free due to proper composting.  Don't purchase a topsoil as you risk importing weeds in the soil.  View great soil options here.
  • You may wish to add woodchips for ground cover around / beneath raised garden boxes.

Happy growing!  We'd love to see your raised gardens - feel free to share on our social media pages.