Raised Bed Garden Designs

Raised bed garden designs

Raised Bed Garden Designs

If you are looking for raised bed garden designs, look no further!  This raised garden is one of the easiest plans you can do!

My daughter is eight years old and wanted a garden of her very own really bad.  I’m not sure how dedicated she will be to this garden to I decided not to take a huge portion of my backyard for her new found love of gardening.  Not yet anyway.

She recently outgrew her homemade tent bunk bed make from cinder blocks so I had no need for these anywhere else around the house.  These are just what I needed for my garden planning project!!

UPDATE:  Look at the little creature we found in our garden today!  Wow!  He’s not so little is he?  After much research it turns out that this is a Moth Hawk caterpillar and it will devour your tomatoes within hours!  If you are looking for a non-chemical way to treat them, here are a few options:  Fresh Garlic mixed with water will repel them.  Dawn soap with water will coat the plants and create a glue they don’t like.  I was also told to just pick them off and get rid of them.  Usually there are only one or two but they are very hard to see.

If you don’t mind using chemicals then I hear seven dust is the stuff to use.  I am planning the no chemical route so I will keep you posted.

Huge Caterpillar in our Raised Garden Bed

 

Garden Supplies and Directions for any raised bed garden designs:

First, Level out the space you want to use.  This is probably the hardest and most time consuming part besides lifting the cinder blocks.  Keep in mind when choosing a spot in your yard of what you actually want to grow.  Does it need full sun or part sun?  Shade?  Part shade?  Knowing ahead of time what you want to grow will help you determine the amount of space you need too.

raised bed garden designs

After your space and been chosen and leveled you want to lay out the cinder blocks with the holes facing up.  This will kept the potting soil in the garden and give you extra space to plant something in between the cinder block holes too.  If you plan to make a deeper garden than what we did you could also fill them with dirt (not potting soil) to make them sturdier too.



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Before we adding the soil we laid cardboard boxes at the bottom of the garden so we wouldn’t get weeds or grass growing in our garden.   I’ve also heard the cinder blocks have chemicals in them so we made sure to put the box flaps all the way up on the sides of the blocks too.  You could also lay down a weed barrier fabric if you didn’t want to do the boxes.  The boxes where highly successful in keeping the weeds out of our garden though so I will definitely be doing this again!

raised bed garden designs

Next you can put down a layer of rocks or straw to help with the drainage if needed.  We did not do this step in our garden.

Finally you are ready to add your soil!  We used a potting mix type soil as recommended for starting a garden.  My daughter has chosen to plant onions, cilantro, tomatoes, carrots and lots of flowers!  She is beyond excited!  I couldn’t be more happier with our easy DIY project!

Raised bed garden designs

If you wanted to get really artsy you could paint the cinder blocks or even do a bit of mosaics on them before starting your garden too!

We started out used plastic spoons and a sharpie marker to write what we were growing but later ended up painted some beautiful rocks to display what is growing where! That’s it!  How easy is that!  She is so incredibly proud of her garden and she can’t wait to see the fruits of our labor.

I have to admit…  out of all the gardens I’ve done this is the most simple of plans.

Be sure to check out our Planting Bulbs  and Daisy Garden posts!  I think you will like them!

One of our favorite gardening books is the All New Square Foot Gardening, Second Edition: The Revolutionary Way to Grow More In Less Space

Gardening Tip: I don’t think I could garden without the use of my Garden Bucket Caddy I purchase last year. It has been extremely helpful and I highly recommend it!  I put my cell phone in one of the spaces so it doesn’t get dirty or wet.

UPDATE!

We are extremely pleased with our garden plans!  We have not had to pick one weed so the box works nicely.  We plan to more than triple our next garden!  Here’s an updated photo to show our progress!  Cilantro anyone?!  :-)

Raised Garden Bed Designs

 

Check out one of my favorite books: All New Square Foot Gardening, Second Edition: The Revolutionary Way to Grow More In Less Space

Here’s another option:

Raised Garden Bed Kit

Greenland Gardener 6-Inch Raised Bed Garden Kit  (it’s plastic so there’s no rotting of wood!)

Look what’s new this year!!!  I found an easy way to create a raised garden bed and cheap too: Smart Pots Big Bag Bed Fabric Raised Bed

Stay tuned for updates on our garden.

We have tons more Gardening tips from Daisy Gardens to Vegetable Gardens here!

If you enjoyed this post, you may also get a kick out of our Painted Fence Ideas post here!

Painted Fence Ideas

 

Be sure to look at some of the rocks we’ve painted and displayed around our garden too.

hand painted rock designsArtist: Lee Wisner

 

Update:  I just had the sweetest neighbor move in close to me and guess what?!!!  She loves gardening and “being green” just as much as I do!!!  She wanted to give iSavers a gardening tip by recycling some items that we normally just throw away.  She started her own seedlings using toilet paper rolls.  How cute is that?!!  You can plant them directly into your garden bed with the roll still on it too!  LOOK:

Seedling starters from toilet paper rolls

Enjoy!

 

Pin It Here:Raised Garden Bed Designs

 

 

Comments

  1. Glenda says

    We are planning one of these for next year. I was wondering if you have trouble when you have a big rain with water pooling in garden or blocks. And if you do, what steps you take to control it.

  2. Patty says

    I was so thrilled to find your site and the raised cinder block beds. My husband and I spent a week digging out our lovely 4″ think cedar plank raised beds, as they were filled with roots, massive roots from last years crop. Then we spent every night in an Epson Salt bath and then slathering each others backs and arms with Tiger Balm. Talk about back breaking work! I’ve sworn off those beds for the future. They will now house berry bushes that will grow continuously and don’t ever have to come out.

    We will be putting another garden, in another location, next year and all of our beds will be made out of cinder blocks. The cardboard in the bottom of the bed is a great idea. I wonder if it would keep out the Mountain Misery that we had in ours. It came up from below the bed. We live in the Sierra’s and that stuff in invasive. We also have a problem with moles, voles and gophers, so we always lay down hardware cloth under our beds. No more problems with those critters.

    Now instead of digging out, we can just remove the cinder blocks at the end of the season and scoop the dirt into our sifter and yard cart to mix with steer manure and replant. Color me happy!

    We have also placed a row of cinder blocks around our chicken coop, and planted grape vines in several of the holes. They will grow up and over the coop providing an extra treat for the chicken and shade in our hot summers. In the other holes, I’ve planted kale and other greens that are good for the chickens. .

    Thank you again for this post, and your site. We will be forever grateful! :)

      • Peggy Mills says

        I just found you as well, Jennifer. Thought I would mention that I also have cinder blocks laid out like this outside my chicken coop. I have it separated down the middle and use it to compost the chicken manure. One section is for the older litter that is ready to be put on the garden and of course the other is for the newer. Just made it this season and am liking the convenience of a close spot to dump the manure.

      • daniel says

        I am doing a cinder block raised bed around my patio extension. This is so my dogs can stop trying to dig up my garden, and my 2 sons can help plant. I have three areas mapped for them. 2 on the side of the house, one in the back.

  3. Dee Anne says

    Can you paint the blocks so they don’t look so foundation-like? If so, what kind of paint should I use? I wanted to paint them dark and stencil on the outside.

  4. Carla says

    I am building my first raised garden. I’m also using center blocks. My question is do you think it’s ok to lay plastic down on the ground instead of boxes ect. ? To keep weeds and stuff out?
    Thanks!

  5. says

    I have been using this method for years for an herb garden. I live in the high mountain of Colorado so our summer is very short. Mine is located on the back corner of the house where the sun shines the most. I love being able to put extra herbs in the holes. The only problem I have is the dogs love to run across it when they are taking a short cut! I have put wire over the top in the past, and will probably do so again this year. I tried putting in long sticks (sticking up) all through the garden, but they just took them out to chew on! :)

    • Patty says

      If you put a piece of rebar in each of the corners in the hole letting it stick up 2 to 3 feet, then wrap it in wire, chicken or other. This should keep the dogs or cats out of the bed. We have deer that love to eat our plants so we wire cage (cover) everything. Best of Luck.

  6. Sherri Godsey says

    So happy I found your page. I discovered The Garden Glove via Pinterest, which I love. Your cinder block raised bed is a great idea. I’ve been wanting to do raised beds for a while, but couldn’t afford the ones that you buy to put together. Can’t believe how expensive they are! I kept trying to think of some kind of stones or whatever that would work, and the cinder blocks hit the nail on the head! I’m older and have difficulty going to the ground these days, so need higher beds so I can sit while working. And the cinder blocks can be piled or expanded or the placement shaped however I need in a given area. A real plus is that I can spray paint colors, or even paint flowers on the outside of the blocks. I paint on regular rocks and would love to do a nice border on the blocks. I could probably smooth out the cinder grain with a gesso or something, and spray a sealant over the finished painting. I’m very excited about the idea now! Thanks for sharing.

  7. says

    Aren’t those worms ugly? They seem to show up out of nowhere and I know from experience that they will literally devour and destroy your tomato plants overnight! I have had to resort to Sevin dust a time or two, but the best thing you can do is check very closely on pretty much a daily basis and pull the repulsive things off and squash them. You will notice that they sometimes have eggs all along their backs and I used to think that these were their own means of reproduction. Reading on the subject I have found that these are actually the eggs of a specific wasp that feeds on this particular worm. The eggs will mature into wasps that I believe are not the stinging kind. They kill the host worm by devouring it as they grow. Since they have been such an aggravation to me in the past, I have done a good bit of research on them. They are also called Tomato Horn Worms!

  8. Joyce says

    I found you on Pinterest. I am getting ready to put two of these in my backyard. I was wondering how much potting soil you used? Thank you!

  9. Liz says

    I have done this for several years, one of my beds has an obelisk for cucumber vines. I lined mine with layers of newspaper, works just as well as cardboard. I also made mine two blocks high, that way I can sit on the side to do the planting, weeding, picking … my knees preclude my kneeling.

  10. Cosy says

    This is a great idea but be careful with children around the cinder blocks. I have had snakes find them very nice homes since the blocks tend to stay cool. I has to get rid of mine when I found a best of copperheads.

  11. Sharon says

    I noticed when you put the cardboard down you went up the sides a little, this is great because it should help the dirt to NOT flow out between those blocks. Love this

  12. Jennifer says

    Very nice! I see extra blocks in the later picture. Do you need to go around the edges twice to keep it stable? Thanks!

  13. Jennifer says

    Hi, thank you for the great and cheap idea! I found you on Pinterest and I see this is an older page but I hope you can answer a question. It looks like you added more cinder blocks around the edges in the picture showing your grown herbs and veggies. Is that correct? Do the blocks become uneven over time? Any other updated advice? Thanks!

    • says

      Great question! No, the cinder blocks do not become uneven or unstable. We added more only because we had some left over from another project just sitting around. We decided to face them down so that we would have a place to kneel down when we harvested. It was also a good place to step so we weren’t stepping in the mud around it. Honestly, I kind of made a mistake when I positioned the garden bed right there because it’s in a corner of my house where the roof top water spout comes down. I need to put up some gutters so that the huge water down pour doesn’t create a mud pile for me when it rains. I plan to expand this garden in the spring and use those same cinder blocks to make it even bigger with one row around it and slightly away from the house. I hope that helps you. We had so much fun with this project! The box at the bottom of the dirt was amazing in blocking the weeds. Jen

  14. cyndi says

    Thanks for this. I have given up on gardening because I am gone a lot and can’t keep up a space in the ground – it is overrun with weeds by the end of the year. This is a perfect solution for fall gardening.

    On a different note, this is kind of eerie because these pictures could be my house – everything from the deck on the right to the wood fence on the left, the brick and the large space for the foundation at the bottom. I now have a wooden flower box built in next to the patio but it hasn’t always been there. Crazy.

  15. says

    I have been wanting to do some kind of a raised bed garden, and love the idea of using the cinderblocks for the walls, with the separate holes for planting containers. I’ve got the perfect spot for that. Thanks for the tutorial.

  16. Neely says

    Thanks so much for the tip about using cardboard boxes. We were getting ready to cut chicken wire to keep out the moles, but this sounds like it might do the trick- and it looks like it kept out the weeds. YAY!

    I’m so excited I found your blog!

  17. says

    Thank you so much for this incredible idea! I was about to spend $150 for a wood above-ground garden…which was just wood boards. Instead, the cement blocks will last a lifetime and the cost is MUCH less!

  18. Alicia says

    Thank you for this easy idea. I am ill and don’t have a lot of help but, still am determine to be independent and do the things I love. This is something that I can do.… With the help of the boys at Home Depot :-)

  19. Brandi says

    Thank you. This will probably be my last garden since I am so ill. But what a great one because of you.

    • says

      Oh Brandi, I hope and pray you get better real soon. I’m very happy to have made you smile during your difficult time. Hugs to you my friend.

  20. says

    This is genius! I am planning my garden for the summer and was dreading having to ask my dh to construct one. We could totally do this. tks!

      • says

        Thanks Jennifer, it’s actually by coblogger Amanda’s gardens mostly featured on our site, I have learned so much from her. Plus I love how she connect gardening with her kids, they are amazing vegetables eaters I think because of it. Can’t wait to see how your garden turns on this year, it’s so much fun with the kids get involved too.

  21. Dana Vegas says

    Great idea. I used cardboard on bottom, then a layer of shredded mulch, then soil… then herbs..and more mulch. Better water retention on herbs.

    • says

      Awesome! Thanks for sharing Dana!! Good idea on the mulch! We use shredded newspapers on the top of our garden too for mulch. My kids love tearing the paper to shreds…

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