How to Build a Raised Garden

Landscaping can be an expensive luxury, however, if you are able to do the work yourself, then you can save a lot of money and increase the value of your home at the same time. One easy way to add to the value and aesthetic beauty of your yard is to build a raised garden. To do this you will need the following basic materials: containment material, gravel, sand, garden soil, and plants.

The Design

The first thing that you will need to do after deciding to build a raised garden is to sketch out its basic design. When sketching your raised garden take into consideration the size and shape of your yard, the other landscape features in your yard, and your access to water. If you don’t have a lot of experience with landscaping you also may want to make your design shape simple. Stick with basic shapes like circles, squares, rectangles, and triangles. When deciding on where in your yard to position the raised garden take into consideration how much shade and light the plants you plan on putting in your garden will need.

The Materials

After deciding on where to position your garden in your yard, and what shape it should be, your next step is to buy the materials that you will need for your raised garden’s construction. The first material that you will need is the board materials that will contain the raised garden. You can select from a number of new and recycled materials. You can use old tires, timbers, concrete blocks, bricks, or boulders. Your material choice needs to reflect your vision for the garden, its shape, and of course, it will need to be within the means of your garden budget.

You can find concrete garden wall stones at your local home and garden center for between $3 and $4 a piece. Concrete blocks are about $2 to $3 a piece. To determine how many you will need measure the perimeter of your planned garden and divide this number by the length of each brick, timber, etc. This will give you the number of border items you will need for one course of containment material around your garden. You will then need to multiply this number by the number of rows high you want your garden. If you are using bricks or garden border bricks then two or three rows will be needed.

When you are buying your containment materials you should also price gravel, sand, and soil. These materials will be the foundation of your raised garden. The gravel and sand are used for proper drainage, and the soil will be the substrate that you plant your flowers and other vegetation in. Store that offer these types of materials will also offer flowers, vegetable starters, and other garden accessories that you may want to purchase for your garden.

Putting It All Together

When you have all of your materials you are ready to start building your garden. In addition to the above mentioned materials you may also want to use: a shovel, gardening gloves, a hose, water, string, stakes, spray paint, and help.

Before you start laying out your garden boarder you may want to mark the shape of the garden in the grass, dirt, or concrete. To do this you can use spray paint or strings and stakes. After marking the border make sure that the ground where you will be laying down your garden boarder is free of rocks and bumps. Use a hoe, shovel, and/or rake to level out this area. When this area is clear and basically level you can start laying your foundation layer of your garden boarder.

If you are using bricks you won’t need to set them in mortar as the weight of the brick and the dirt will be enough to keep them in place. Just don’t build your garden edges up higher then two or three rows. If you are using timbers you will probably need to drive in stakes about every three feet on both sides of the timbers to keep them from falling away from the garden.

After your border material has been set into position your next step is to put down a layer of gravel at the bottom of your raised garden. This layer will help with drainage. On top of the gravel you can put an optional layer of sand. This will not only help with drainage, but it will also help to transition your garden from gravel to dirt. On top of the gravel, or sand layers, you will place your garden soil. Fill your raised garden to about one inch from the top of the border materials. This margin will prevent erosion and it will keep your rich garden soil inside your raised garden.

It is important for a land to be fertile in nature to prevent soil erosion because it is the only way to handle a raised garden because they form a link amongst each other where the border materials play a significant role.

When your soil is in your garden your next step is to plant your flowers and other vegetation. You can buy pre-started flowers and vegetables, or you can plant seeds in your new garden. Whichever method you use you will want to water and feed your garden after you plant. This will help ease your plants out of shock from being transplanted, and it will help them establish their root hold in your garden. For the first week you will want to water your garden daily. Not to a point of saturation, but just enough to keep the soil moist. After the first week you can water as is recommended for the plants that you have selected.

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