The Complete Guide to Concrete Raised Garden Beds

concrete raised garden bed are becoming an increasingly popular choice for home gardeners. These raised beds are made of strong, long-lasting concrete. They let you grow flowers, herbs, vegetables, and more, and they look nice in your yard as well.

In this complete guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about concrete raised garden beds, including:

  • Benefits of concrete raised beds
  • Drawbacks to consider
  • Types of concrete raised beds
  • Ideal dimensions and layout
  • Constructing your own DIY concrete raised bed
  • Decorating and finishing touches
  • Caring for your concrete raised garden bed
  • Cost breakdown

Why Choose Concrete Raised Beds?

There are several advantages that make concrete raised beds a great choice

  • Durability: Concrete is extremely sturdy and stands up well to the elements. A properly constructed concrete raised bed can last for decades.

  • Weed prevention: Concrete beds don’t contain soil, so weeds can’t sneak in from below or the sides. This makes maintenance much easier.

  • Customizable Concrete raised beds can be constructed in practically any shape or size to suit your space.Rectangle square circle – you decide!

  • Decor potential: Concrete allows for tons of customization when it comes to color, textures, finishes. This allows your new garden bed to be an attractive focal point.

  • Height: Concrete raised beds can be built taller than wooden versions, which reduces bending and strain for gardeners. Often 12-18 inches tall.

  • Containment: The solid concrete sides prevent soil erosion and containment any plants that tend to spread aggressively through roots or seed dispersal.

While concrete raised garden beds have many advantages, there are a few drawbacks to consider as well:

  • More expensive at first: buying raised beds made of concrete that are already made can be pricey, and making your own takes more work and materials than making a simple wooden frame bed.

  • Weight – Once filled with soil, concrete raised beds can be extremely heavy and difficult to move if you later want to rearrange your garden layout.

  • Cold soil – The concrete sides conduct warmth more than wood or plastic raised beds, meaning soil may stay cooler in early spring.

  • Drainage – Concrete beds must have drainage holes incorporated during construction to prevent waterlogging plants.

As long as the benefits outweigh the drawbacks for your particular garden space and needs, a concrete raised bed can be an excellent choice!

Types of Concrete Raised Beds

If you decide to install a concrete raised bed, you’ll next have to decide what style or type works best for your space. Here are some of the most popular options:

Pre-cast concrete planters – These are pre-made concrete beds that you simply purchase and have delivered rather than building yourself. They come in set dimensions, often square or rectangular. Pre-cast concrete planters offer simplicity, but can be heavy and you’re limited on custom sizing.

Masonry block beds – Construct your raised bed by stacking and adhering concrete masonry blocks, also called cement blocks. Arrange blocks to desired dimensions then adhere them with mortar or special bonding cement. This offers more flexibility but requires some construction work.

Poured concrete – For the highest level of customization, you can build wooden forms and pour fresh concrete to create your raised bed shape. This enables any size and even curved beds, but is labor intensive.

Decorative concrete blocks – For added visual appeal, look for decorative concrete blocks in shapes like stars, curves, diamonds etc. Stack them just like regular cement blocks to make an eye-catching bed.

Planter wall blocks – Small blocks meant for assembling concrete planter walls offer simplicity and flexibility. Lay blocks in the configuration you desire, interlocking and adhering them as you go.

Ideal Size and Layout

When planning your concrete raised bed, there are some key factors to consider:

Height – Typical recommended height is 12-18 inches which reduces bending for gardeners. However, the height depends on your own reach and comfort level.

Width – Limiting beds to 3-4 feet across makes it easy to reach the center for planting, weeding, and harvesting without stepping into the bed.

Sun exposure – Ideally, situate concrete raised beds in a spot that receives 6-8 hours of sunlight daily. Proximity to water sources is also helpful.

Layout – Straight rows, squares or rectangles allow the most efficient use of space. For a freestanding bed, be sure to leave 18-24 inches between all sides and any structures.

Number of beds – Consider how many you can comfortably care for. Multiple smaller beds provide flexibility in crop rotations, versus fewer large beds.

For most home gardens, concrete raised beds between 3-4 feet wide and 8-12 feet long make an ideal size that fits nicely into many backyard plots. Square foot gardening techniques can help maxmize plantings within that space as well.

Building Your Own DIY Concrete Raised Bed

While you can certainly purchase pre-made concrete garden beds, building your own raised bed allows for full customization. Here are the basic steps to follow for a DIY concrete raised bed construction:


  • Decide on location, shape, length, width and height needed
  • Sketch out design with dimensions
  • Purchase adequate materials – concrete blocks or wood for forms, gravel base, drainage pipes, etc.


  • Clear and level the bed site
  • Dig 12 inch deep trench for foundation and drainage
  • Fill trench with gravel for drainage, pack down firmly
  • Install perforated drainage pipes on top of gravel leading away from bed site

Base Level

  • Arrange concrete blocks (or build wooden form) for first course as foundation
  • Level and interlock blocks, leaving space for drainage ports
  • Fill blocks with gravel and compact firmly
  • Ensure first layer is perfectly level

Additional Levels

  • Stack additional courses of blocks on top of base (second level and higher if desired)
  • Adhere each layer together and to base using concrete adhesive
  • Stagger seams between blocks and layers
  • Leave small drainage gaps between blocks


  • Spread thin concrete/mortar coating over blocks if desired
  • Allow concrete to cure fully before filling with soil
  • Add enriched garden soil blend, leaving several inches below top edge
  • Plant flowers, vegetables or herbs and enjoy!

Following these basic steps will allow you to create a raised garden bed out of concrete blocks that suits your space and gardening needs perfectly. Be sure to incorporate drainage ports at the base and leave small gaps between blocks to prevent waterlogging.

Decorating and Finishing Concrete Beds

Part of the appeal of concrete raised beds is the ability to decorate and finish them in styles that become an attractive decorative element in your yard and garden. Here are some ideas:

  • Stain or paint – Apply exterior concrete stain or paint in any color you wish to complement your home. Darker colors may absorb more warmth from sunlight. REds, browns, and tans work well in natural garden spaces.

  • Add texture – Use textured paint rollers or stamps to imprint patterns on the concrete surface before curing for extra visual appeal.

  • Incorporate items – Affix decorative tiles, glass shards, stones, shells or ceramic pieces on the exterior sides of your concrete raised beds for pops of color and interest.

  • Plant trailing greenery – Let the concrete bed frame your garden view by training vines or trailing plants along the edges. Ivy, jasmine, vinca, and English ivy all work well.

  • Use as divider – Position a concrete raised bed in your yard as a garden divider or border. For example, placing one along a path or driveway creates an attractive separation.

  • Pair with decor – Cluster your concrete raised beds with complementary decorative items like sculptures, sundials, chunky planters, gazing balls and benches to create a cohesive theme.

  • Go modern – For sleek modern appeal, build a basic concrete block raised bed and leave unfinished with a neutral gray concrete color. Surround with contemporary patio furniture and modern sculptural elements in contrasting materials.

Let your imagination run wild when it comes to decorating and accessorizing your DIY concrete raised beds. They make the perfect focal point in your landscape!

Caring for Concrete Raised Garden Beds

Caring for your concrete raised bed involves just a few simple tasks:

Watering – Check soil moisture frequently and water plants whenever the first few inches become dry. Trickle irrigation systems or soaker hoses can simplify watering.

Weeding – Pluck weeds as soon as you spot them, especially important while plants are young and more vulnerable. Weeding a concrete bed is simpler than garden plots.

Fertilizing – Follow package instructions for feeding vegetables and flowers in your beds. Slow release granular fertilizers offer an easy hands-off option.

Replenish mulch – Maintain 2-3 inches of compost or organic mulch on top of the soil to conserve moisture and nutrients. Replenish as needed.

Tending plants – Follow individual care guides for the flowers, herbs or vegetables grown in your raised bed. Stake, prune and tend them as needed.

Refresh soil – Every 2-3 years, remove and replace some of the soil with fresh organic planting mix to replenish nutrients.

Clear drains – Use a hose to flush out drainage ports clogged with soil or debris that prevent bed from draining properly after rains.

With just 10-20 minutes of effort per week, you can keep your concrete raised bed looking great and your plants thriving!

What Does a Concrete Raised Bed Cost?

If you add up costs for materials, labor, tools and decor, building your own concrete raised garden bed typically runs $100-$500 depending on size. Pre-made concrete planters can range anywhere from $250 on the low end to $1000 or more for intricate designer raised beds.

Here are the costs associated with a DIY concrete block raised bed:

  • Concrete blocks – $1.50 – $2.50 per block
  • Gravel base – $20-40
  • Adhesive mortar- $20-40
  • Soil mix – $10 -20 per cubic foot
  • Decorative finish or stain – $30-60
  • Tools if not already owned – $50-150
  • Plants – $3-10 each
  • Total = Around $250 for a 3×8 foot bed

You can save on some costs by sourcing used blocks or getting free soil from your property when excavating. Plant starts from your own gardens or friends also reduce the investment.

For most homeowners, the cost can easily fit into a garden budget. And with proper construction, a DIY concrete raised bed will provide growing space for decades to come!

The Lasting Benefits of Concrete Raised Garden Beds

As a durable, sturdy, and customizable gardening option, concrete raised beds offer many advantages for gardeners willing to make the initial investment. With proper planning and construction, they can provide year after year of handsome form and productive gardening function.

If built correctly, you’re creating a permanent bed that may even increase your property value. The initial effort pays off for the long term. So don’t hesitate to tap into the versatility and beauty of concrete for your next raised garden bed project!

Concrete Raised Garden Bed Molds – Plastic ABS Portland Cement based Forms


Is concrete good for raised beds?

We explore whether this is right for you and how to set yours up for garden success. Is it a good idea to put a raised bed on concrete? In short, yes… if you do it properly. While most people opt to place their raised beds directly on the soil, more and more people are opting for paved back yards.

Is it safe to grow vegetables in concrete?

Yes it is safe to grow in concrete, and it is also safe to eat that which is grown in concrete. It might not be very productive for some vegetables, but it is certainly safe.

How many concrete blocks do I need for a raised bed?

20 blocks will give an interior bed area of 4′ x 8′. Leave a side open to bring in the soil until the new bed is filled. No mortar or special installation is necessary unless you desire a bed which is higher than 8″ raised over the surrounding area. Just set them on the ground!

Can you make a raised garden with concrete blocks?

Here’s How to Make a Raised Bed Garden with Cinder Blocks: Lay down some weed fabric, cardboard, or newspaper, and add your soil to both the main bed and all of the holes in the blocks. If you like to sit while you garden, leave a couple of the holes in the blocks empty. Then start planting.

Can you put raised beds on concrete?

However, it has the potential to contaminate the garden soil and leach any chemicals on it into your food supply. For this reason, it’s best to only place raised beds on concrete that is clean and free of chemical treatments and to have a liner on the bottom of the bed to create a barrier between the soil and the ground.

Can a garden bed be built on concrete?

The opposite is actually true, as long as the bed is open on the bottom! A well-built raised garden bed on concrete will actually drain faster than one sitting snugly down within the soil of your yard. Therefore, you may even find the need to water a garden bed on concrete more often than others, like most container gardening.

Are raised garden beds better than concrete?

The benefits also can outweigh the drawbacks. You won’t have weeds surrounding your raised garden beds if they’re on concrete. Concrete also can help the soil to warm up more quickly in the spring, a real benefit if you want to start growing food early in the year.

How much does a concrete raised garden bed cost?

The average price for Concrete Raised Garden Beds ranges from $250 to $1,000. What’s the best-rated product in Concrete Raised Garden Beds? The best-rated product in Concrete Raised Garden Beds is the 7.5 in. x 7.5 in. x 5.5 in. Tan Brown Planter Wall Block (Pack of 24). What are the shipping options for Concrete Raised Garden Beds?

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