Project Guide

How to Build Raised Garden Beds

Select a Location and Assemble the Kit
Someone hammering a raised garden bed using a rubber mallet.
  • Choose a flat, sunny spot to build your raised garden bed. Don't worry about the condition of the soil in your chosen location since you will be adding your own quality soil.
  • Put your raised garden bed kit together according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Some kits are stackable, so you can grow plants with long root stems.
Line with Landscape Fabric
Someone rolling out landscape liner instead a raised garden bed.

Line the bottom of the bed with weed block or landscape fabric. This barrier between the soil in the bed and the soil in your yard helps keep weeds and grass from growing in the bed.

Tip: Remember that this fabric is porous and will allow water to pass through for drainage.

Add Soil
Garden soil being poured into a raised garden bed.
  • Choose the correct soil for the plants you intend to grow. 
  • For most applications, a good basic mix will include 60 percent topsoil, 30 percent compost and 10 percent potting mix. These ratios can be adjusted and other soil amendments added according to the needs of the plants you select.
  • Add enough soil mix to almost fill the bed.
Add Plants or Seeds
Person planting edible plants in a raised garden bed.
  • Add plants or seeds.
  • As they grow, support them as needed with plant stakes, props or tomato cages.
  • Water regularly if rainfall is scarce.
  • Plants need about one inch of water a week once they are established and actively growing.
What to Grow in Your Raised Garden Bed
A raised garden bed with mature plants.

What you grow in your garden depends on your appetite. Choose to grow a themed edible garden - one that has all the ingredients you need for a delicious meal, right there in your back yard.

Salsa Garden

  • In the front of your raised bed, plant 1 oregano plant, 2 cilantro and 9 red onions. 
  • In the middle of your raised bed, plant 1 serrano, fresno chili or chile de arbol pepper (staked), and 1 Roma tomato (caged). 
  • In the back, plant two tomatillos. Tomatillos must be planted in pairs to cross pollinate.

Salad Garden

  • In the front of your raised bed, plant carrots, radishes and onions.
  • In the middle of your raised bed, plant lettuce and baby spinach.
  • In the back of your raised bed, plant peppers (staked) and tomatoes (caged).

Kitchen Herb Garden

  • In the front of your raised bed, plant oregano, cilantro, and parsley. 
  • In the middle of your raised bed, thyme and sage and rosemary.
  • In the back of your raised bed, plant chives and basil.
  • Once your herbs are mature be sure to harvest a little every few days to keep the plants producing.

Tip: Mint makes a great herb for a kitchen garden, but it is a runner plant and will often crowd out and take over a bed. It is best to plant mint in a separate container and place it a few steps from the raised herb bed.

You can also build raised garden beds to hold flowers or bulbs. Try planting alternating rows of seasonal flowers so that you have something blooming all year round.

Once you’ve gotten your raised garden bed going, keep digging into garden projects with the help of some of our other guides. See some other creative flower pot ideas, find the best planter for your garden, and even learn to build a hexagonal planter