Gardens are a good place to get creative and add some color to your property. Unfortunately, you only have so much space to work with when it comes to planting.
Fortunately, with the help of a few raised garden beds, you can get creative and maximize your garden space.
Before we get into the proverbial meat and potatoes, though, what is a raised garden bed? Well, it’s a bed built above the ground – typically with a frame of wood, stone, or whatever you have on hand.
These can be as fancy or as simple as you want and are fairly cheap and easy to maintain.
So, let’s look at some raised garden bed ideas to maximize your space.
1. Custom-Designed Beds
Whether you make the beds yourself or have someone do the job for you, you can have the beds exactly how you want them. Frame shapes, materials, dimensions, placement, it’s all up to you and the space you’ve got.
2. Built-In Beds
A raised bed made of brick or wood is not only aesthetically pleasing, but when built properly it’s ridiculously sturdy. You can keep tunneling pests out of your plants (always a plus) and have full control over soil quality and water drainage.
3. Grow-Bag Beds
Those black, plastic bags that local nurseries have the plants in are great for raised beds. They don’t take up a lot of space and are super easy to set up. You could have a garden set up in a few minutes.
4. Spiral Gardens
These are interesting and will provide an interesting talking point with guests. They can be built with stones, wood, or piling up the soil. The spiral shape won’t take up much space in your garden and you can grow whatever you like.
5. Trough Gardens
Using metal feeding troughs/bins is another option for raised beds. The metal conducts heat allowing the soil to warm easily.
You can use either new troughs or second-hand ones, it depends on what you want the garden to look like – just don’t forget to drill the drainage holes in the bottom.
6. Milk Crates
Milk crates are very useful as raised beds because you have the option of moving the bed as needed – which you don’t have with a lot of the other options on this list. You can set up your garden in whatever way you like without difficulty.
7. Cinder Blocks
Cinder blocks are a popular option for raised beds. Newer ones are heavier than older ones, but you can grow many different plants in them – it’s best to use plants that thrive in alkaline soil as cinder blocks leech lime which will raise the soil’s pH level.
Older blocks are also viable but may have fly ash in them (the ash left from burning coal).
8. Woven Willow Beds
Willow beds insulate the soil and provide more than adequate drainage and airflow for your plants. They also blend in with your garden’s layout, providing a subtle, aesthetically pleasing touch.
9. PVC Raised Bed
PVC beds are easy to build and can be put together in a few minutes. You can find DIY kits that make assembly a breeze and allow you to do some deep soil planting.
10. Corrugated Metal and Wood Bed
Another fairly easy DIY project, all you need are a few sheets of corrugated metal and a wood frame, and you can put together a garden bed can hold in the heat of the sun and withstand exposure to the elements.
11. Stacked Stone DIY Bed
While bricks might be neater, there’s just something nice about rough, natural stones. This raised bed idea is simple, stack natural stones on top of each other to form a barrier/container for your plants.
It’ll take a bit of muscle but the end result is fantastic, the natural stones blend in nicely with the rest of your garden. It’s practical and looks great without being ostentatious about it.
12. Tiered Raised Bed
Tiered beds are both interesting to look at and very convenient when it comes to meeting the needs of individual plants.
Each tier has a different depth for different plants’ needs and you can easily identify what plants are what at a glance.
13. Wood Raised Bed
My mom’s got something similar in her garden, the idea is that you have a wooden box in which you plant your fruits, flowers, or veggies.
You can do it yourself or have a professional come in and do it for you; either way, you get a reliable raised bed in which to plant.
14. Copper Raised Bed
Copper-raised garden beds are nice to look at but, given the steep price tag of copper, you’ll probably make your wallet cry. One way to get around this is to use copper-colored spray paint on a steel tub/container.
You get the look of a copper piece without giving your wallet and bank account a proverbial heart attack.
15. Planters are also an Option
Freestanding planters – the pot that stands in a little bowl – are also an option for a raised bed. Your plants are kept well under control and the planters can be moved indoors as/when needed.
16. Micro Bed
If you have very limited space in your yard, you have the option of making a micro-sized bed. Take a design and scale it down, and use wood scraps/offcuts to make a smaller raised bed to fit into a smaller space.
17. Benches Work Too
If you can’t put plants in the ground, then use pots and put them on a bench or two. It may sound like cheating, but it works just as well and if it works, why not use it?
18. Old Bathtubs and Wood Palettes
If you’ve got an old bathtub and some wooden palettes on hand, you can put the tub on the palettes and fill it with gravel for drainage and then topped with rich soil for plants.
19. Palettes are Perfect
We’ve just talked about wood palettes as elevation for a bed, now let’s look at using them as beds.
If you’re a fan of herbs and want a small, controlled space in which to grow them, why not take an old palette and make it into a raised bed to hang off your fence? They work well and have endless possibilities.
20. Reuse Old Shelves
I’m a bookworm and have recently had to improvise shelf space (yes, I ran out of shelf space). Now, while I didn’t have to scrap my bookcase, I know there are people who tend to either scrap or sell old bookshelves.
If you’re looking to make a raised garden bed, take a jigsaw and drill and make holes in the shelves for your pots. The video below shows you another alternative for old bookshelves.
21. Raised Beds from Tires
Old, worn-out tires can be reused to make a sturdy raised bed for your plants. You can get them from pretty much any autobody shop or scrapyard either for free or for a low cost.
Now, you will have to pick up a few things just to make a sturdy structure, but these are fairly simple to build and don’t take up much space.
22. Planters on Wheels
There are many garden box design ideas on the web that you can choose from. If you want to make them portable, you can add legs and wheels. This will allow you to move the planters as needed.
23. Tree Logs and Stumps are Free and Look Good
You can use tree logs and stumps to make raised beds for your garden. They’re often free and give your garden a nice rustic look.
24. Straw bale Beds
Straw bales from local farms can be used to make raised garden beds as shown in the video below:
It’s important to use bales that haven’t been sprayed with chemical herbicides as those chemicals will likely hinder plant growth.
The Options are Endless!
These are only a handful of ideas for your garden. The options are truly endless, as they say you’re only limited by your imagination.
With a little bit of planning and ingenuity and you’ll have a garden that’ll turn your neighbors green with envy! I hope you all have enjoyed the article and that it’s given you some ideas for your own gardens.
Greg spent most of his childhood in camping grounds and on hiking trails. While he lives in the suburbs nowadays, Greg was raised on a small farm with chickens. He’s a decent shot with a bow, and a huge knife enthusiast. Find out more about Greg.