19 Inspiring Ideas for Building Your Own Raised Vegetable Garden Beds

Raised garden beds are an increasingly popular way to grow vegetables, herbs, and flowers. Growing in raised beds offers many advantages over traditional in-ground gardening, which makes them an excellent option for beginner and experienced gardeners alike. In this article, we’ll explore some of the top ideas and benefits of using raised beds, as well as provide step-by-step instructions for building your own.

Why Choose Raised Beds?

There are several key reasons why raised vegetable garden beds have become so popular:

  • Improved drainage – Raised beds allow for superior drainage compared to planting directly in the ground. The loose, amended soil in the bed drains faster while the edges prevent waterlogging

  • Warmer soil – The loose soil heats up quicker in the spring allowing for earlier plantings.

  • No compaction – There is no foot traffic compressing the soil so plant roots can grow unimpeded.

  • Design that is flexible: beds can be made in any size or shape to fit your room.

  • Height – Raised beds elevate plants to make tending and harvesting easier on your back.

  • Weed control: Keeping plants away from grass and weeds around them keeps the beds cleaner.

19 Design Ideas for DIY Raised Beds

When it comes to building your own raised beds, the possibilities are endless! From rustic wooden boxes to modern cedar planters, here are 19 unique ideas to inspire your vegetable garden.

1. Classic Wood Frame Box

For the traditional raised bed, you can make a frame out of wooden boards or timbers that are any size or shape you want. Pine, cedar, or redwood work well as they resist decay. Stack boards to desired height, screw corners together, and fill with soil. Add bottom boards if you like.

2. Brick or Stone Beds

Use brick, cinder blocks, or stone to create decorative raised beds. Lay blocks in the pattern of your choice without mortar. Finish with soil and mulch.

3. Metal Ring Beds

Make round raised beds with large metal rings designed for gardening. Look for different sizes online or at farm stores. Set rings on flat ground and fill with at least 12 inches of soil.

4. Galvanized Stock Tanks

Turn galvanized livestock watering tanks into cute round raised beds! Many sizes are available and they last for years. Elevate on bricks or blocks for drainage.

5. Repurposed Dressers

Give old furniture new life as a raised bed. Dressers, nightstands, and cabinets make for pretty beds. Just remove drawers and line inside with plastic before filling with soil.

6. Concrete Block Beds

Standard concrete blocks are an affordable way to make raised beds. Lay blocks out in the desired shape and checkerboard stack for height. Top with soil.

7. Plastic Garden Beds

For a lightweight and budget option, try snap-together plastic raised beds. Many options are available at home improvement stores and online. Easy to set up and durable.

8. Rock Wall Beds

If you have boulders on your property, put them to use building a unique rock wall raised bed. Use larger rocks on bottom with smaller rocks and fill on top.

9. Straw Bale Gardens

Grow your plants directly into straw bales! Condition bales with fertilizer ahead and set in place. Add soil on top and plant. The straw provides drainage and nutrients.

10. Earthbag Garden Beds

Earthbag beds use woven polypropylene bags filled with soil as building blocks. Arrange into desired shape, compacting each layer. Top with soil or mulch.

11. Wine Barrel Planter

Wine barrels sliced in half make for a charming raised bed with a built-in edging. Set on a level surface, brace sides with stakes, and fill with potting mix.

12. Whiskey Barrel Beds

Small whiskey barrels are the perfect size for herbs, flowers, or strawberries. Find reclaimed barrels or purchase new ones. Add drainage holes and soil.

13. Elevated Wood Beds

Maximize growing space by building tall multi-level raised beds. Use rot-resistant wood stacked up to 4 feet high. Include shelves and vertical planting pockets.

14. Raised Ponds

Incorporate water into your raised bed design! Build wood frames, line with plastic, and add recirculating water features. Grow water plants or use to irrigate beds.

15. Fabric Beds

An easy temporary option – make raised beds with landscape fabric or weed block material. Cut to size, line with cardboard, staple closed and fill like a pot.

16. Tiered Block Beds

Make the most of hillsides and slopes with stacked cinder block gardens. Arrange blocks to create tiers, backfill with gravel and top with soil.

17. Pallet Collar Beds

Surround in-ground garden spots with a collar of pallets. Drive pallets into ground around plot, fill inside with soil. Allows raised bed benefits anywhere.

18. Table Beds

Old tables and workbenches can be upcycled into raised beds with a smooth, flat top for planting. Just add weatherproofing and soil. Attach legs if needed.

19. Built-In Hardscape Beds

Incorporate raised beds into patios, retaining walls, and landscapes for ornamental appeal. Use materials like brick, stone, or concrete to match.

How to Build a Simple Wooden Raised Bed

Building your own raised bed is easy, cheap, and rewarding. Here is an overview of how to construct a basic wooden raised bed:

Choose a Sunny Spot

Pick a location with full sun – at least 6 hours per day. Make sure to position beds so tall plants won’t shade shorter ones.

Decide on Size

Width between 3-4 feet allows easy access from both sides without stepping in the bed. Any length desired. Standard heights are between 8-12 inches.

Gather Materials

You’ll need:

  • Untreated wood boards or timbers (cedar, redwood)
  • Wood screws or nails
  • Power drill
  • Shovel
  • Landscape fabric (optional)
  • Weed barrier
  • Compost and soil mix

Build Frame

Cut boards to length as desired. Assemble into a rectangular frame using screws or nails. Use corner joints for clean connections.

Add Base

Line the bottom with weed barrier, landscape fabric, or cardboard to discourage weeds. Some also add wood boards along the bottom.

Move into Place and Fill

Set frame in place and level. Fill with at least 6 inches of compost and soil mix. Top off with mulch.


You’re now ready to plant your raised bed with vegetables, herbs or flowers! Enjoy the benefits for years to come.

Tips for Planting and Maintaining Raised Beds

Follow these tips to help your raised vegetable garden thrive:

  • Enrich soil with aged compost before each growing season.

  • Use drip irrigation or soaker hoses to conserve water.

  • Cover beds with mulch to retain moisture and inhibit weeds.

  • Rotate crop locations each season to prevent disease and pests.

  • Use trellises and cages to support vining crops like tomatoes.

  • Leave 3-4 inches between plants to allow air circulation.

  • Fertilize throughout season to replenish nutrients.

  • Check beds daily for pest problems or diseased plants.

  • Clean up dead plants promptly and discard away from garden.

Get Creative with Your Raised Bed Garden!

Creating and cultivating a raised bed veggie garden is one of the most satisfying hobbies. We hope these ideas have sparked inspiration for designing beds that work for your space and needs. The possibilities are endless, so look around your yard for unique containers to upcycle or build the perfect customized bed from scratch. Soon you’ll be growing your own organic herbs, fruits, and greens in a beautiful, bountiful raised bed garden!

Inspiring Raised Bed Ideas Pt 2! // Garden Answer


What vegetables grow best in raised beds?

Most garden vegetables will grow well in raised beds. Try growing lettuce, greens, radishes, and strawberries. Bush type vegetables, such as tomatoes, cucumbers, and beans also do well in raised beds. You can install trellises for vegetables that need support, like some tomatoes and beans.

How deep should a raised garden bed be for vegetables?

They should have at least 8 inches of soil depth to accommodate the root systems of plants, because the majority of plant roots require 6 – 8 inches of soil for healthy root growth. A depth of 8 – 12 inches will suffice for most gardening situations.

What should I put at the bottom of a raised garden bed?

Best Soil for Raised Garden Beds We recommend buying high-quality, nutrient-rich soil in bulk. Or, you can make a soil mix with equal parts topsoil, organic materials (leaves, composted manure, ground bark), and coarse sand.

What is the cheapest way to build raised garden beds?

Raised beds made of cinder blocks or concrete blocks Cinder blocks and concrete blocks are very inexpensive (typically $2 to $3 a piece at home improvement centers), and they make it really easy to build the outline of a raised garden bed.

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