So you’ve decided that a raised bed is the right type of garden for you this growing season. Yay! However, there is one more decision you need to make. Aside from the ease of planting, another bonus point when it comes to raised beds is that you can build your own from materials you can find at a hardware store or hardware store — or maybe from your own home. There are many raised bed garden ideas out there (thanks, Pinterest!), but most use wood, brick or stone, metal, concrete, or straw. To help you go from planning to planting faster, we’ve narrowed down the benefits of each and provided some pointers on what you’ll need to get the job done in a day or less.
Raised bed made of brick or natural stone
Garden raised bed made of wood
Metal raised bed
Concrete raised bed
Straw bale raised bed garden
Whichever style you choose, start by creating an outline of the bed on level ground using rope or a garden hose. This will help you get a feel for the size before you start assembling the bed. You may dream of a classic 4×8 foot bed, but then realize it takes up half your yard. Any dimensions that allow you to reach the center of the raised bed will work, so play around until you find a size that works for you. Once you are happy with the size and location, remove the grass in that area to prevent weeds from growing through the ground. If you love your lawn too much for that, lay out cardboard or landscape fabric; It works like a club bouncer, letting pesky weeds know they’re not invited to your plant party.