Are you dreaming of homegrown veggies, herbs, and flowers – but the only space you have for a garden bed is on concrete, a patio, or other hard surface?Or perhaps you’re like us and have a good-sized yard, but want to maximize growing space by adding raised garden beds on your hardscape areas as well.Read along to learn tips and best practices for building a raised garden bed on concrete or other hard impervious surfaces.In this example, I’ll show you how we prepped a new wood raised garden bed to go on top of our asphalt driveway.Finally, we’ll also cover alternate options for putting planter boxes on hard surfaces – such as self-contained pots and beds.Keep in mind that installing a raised garden bed on top of a deck may cause staining or water damage, unless drainage is controlled.Instead, we create a wire and fabric “basket” or bottom on our raised bed to both contain the soil but also promote drainage.If our example doesn’t suit your situation, read the “alternative options” for more ideas to add growing space to your patio, deck, or other hardscape area!Homestead and Chill gains a small commission from purchases made through those links, at no additional cost to you.Here is one alternate design that we’ll talk about near the end of the article: an elevated and mobile raised planting box.Even more, building a raised garden bed on top of concrete or other hard impervious surfaces brings about a whole new set of considerations.Instead, you’d likely want to protect your deck by using an elevated raised bed kit, or one that has a solid bottom and contained drainage system.On the other hand, the steps we used to modify our newest driveway garden bed will work well on top of concrete, asphalt, pavers, or similar surfaces.There is a common misconception that putting a raised garden bed on concrete or other hard surfaces will prevent it from draining well.A well-built raised garden bed on concrete will actually drain faster than one sitting snugly down within the soil of your yard.Well, excess runoff from your raised bed will run to wherever rain water usually collects on your hard surface.), quality soil (one with both adequate drainage but also good moisture retention), and the right bed height (taller is better!Most common vegetable plants need a minimum of 12 inches of soil to grow big and healthy.In fact, many plants prefer 18 to 24 inches or deeper, including tomatoes, carrots, peppers, eggplant, and even kale.With a traditional in-ground garden or raised beds open to the soil below, roots can grow deep and uninhibited.In contrast, putting a raised garden bed on concrete is essentially like creating a large pot or container.All that said, I suggest a minimum depth of 12 inches (preferably 18”) for any raised bed that will be put on a hard surface.Stacking four 2×6” boards to make a 22 to 24-inch deep bed is also great, but will take a lot more soil to fill.When it comes to filling a garden bed on concrete, invest in high-quality soil and compost to help compensate for the shallower root space.I suggest using a combination of some potting soil, some general planting or raised bed mix, and plenty of compost.Mulching the soil surface also increases moisture retention and reduces your need to water as frequently.It isn’t the best idea to add soil straight into a garden bed directly on top of concrete.I have heard it may slightly increase the pH of your soil over time when in direct contact with concrete.If you need any pointers here, please check out our detailed “How to Design & Build a Raised Garden Bed” tutorial.Next, we are going to line the inside bottom of the raised bed frame with hardware cloth wire fencing material.The hardware cloth serves as a sturdy and durable bottom for the bed, which landscape fabric will lay on top of next.It would also be easy to accidentally tear the fabric open on rough ground, such as when you’re setting the bed in place or if you ever move it.I’ve also found it helpful to stand inside the bed and step on the wire to press it into place.The common thin stretchy black plastic-like stuff will rip into shreds over time and make a huge gross mess.Add the landscape fabric to the inside bottom of the bed in a similar manner as the hardware cloth.It is important to leave the fabric very loose rather than taut, to provide give as it rests against the hardware cloth for support.Because there shouldn’t be much weight pulling down on the fabric, we simply used a staple gun to secure the cloth in place around the inner lower perimeter of the bed.When adding the landscape fabric to the bottom of the bed, I made sure we had plenty of excess and it sat loosely inside.I also pushed down on it, keeping the fabric flat against the bottom as I attached it, to ensure the staples wouldn’t pop out from being overly tight once soil was added.If this style and example doesn’t work in your situation for whatever reason, there are still a TON of other options to garden on a patio, deck, balcony, driveway, or other hardscapes!Others have a fully solid bottom and an internal drainage collection system, and you can direct runoff with a hose or valve.In fact, we have built our standard raised bed design and added a wood bottom on a few occasions!We drilled several large half-inch drainage holes in the bottom, before lining the interior with landscape fabric and adding soil.We chose this style because we wanted to elevate the small beds on heavy-duty furniture dollies with wheels, making them mobile.Otherwise, we personally avoid adding wood bottoms since they do inevitably inhibit some drainage and are prone to rotting over time.Plan to make beds that you wish to elevate on legs or dollies smaller than ones you’d put on the ground (either in depth, or width and length).We heavily rely on fabric pots or grow bags to supplement our raised bed gardening space. .
How to Build a Vegetable Garden Box for Your Deck
My sister and her husband have a large, sunny backyard, but they prefer to leave that space open for pickup football games and other neighborhood fun.He cut the lumber to size, then used wood glue to attach the boards on top of the plywood bottom (above).With the box ready, John and Elly filled it with a mixture of top soil and compost and planted their tomato and herb starts. .
50+ Free Raised Bed Garden Plans (Simple & Easy)
If any backyard furniture deserves an award for being highly utilitarian, the raised garden bed is a top contender!A raised garden bed provides drainage so your plants don’t get their feet wet.The enclosed space and elevated design makes your garden harder to reach for critters and pests.Whether you want to add an irrigation system, a place to sit and relax, decorative details to enhance your yard, or hardware cloth underneath the soil for better protection against pests, a raised bed can accommodate all of these and much, much more.This massive round-up of garden concepts and plans has something for everyone – from simple straightforward designs for the beginner to those that take lots of experience and offer a bit more challenge.Here’s my list of fifty different plans for you to choose from, organized in size order for ease of selection!This 2×2 garden bed suits flowers and herbs and can fit even in the tightest of backyards.If you fancy trying this DIY idea, know that you will need more than a dozen different tools and materials – from saws of different sizes, nail gun, sander, to kreg jigs and more.The latter helps children grow closer to nature, develop life-skills, and gain mental clarity.If your child is showing interest in plants and nature, this raised bed might just encourage him to take the plunge.It doesn’t take much to build – a free afternoon, basic carpentry skills, and supplies you can easily find.And with hooks on the side, you’ll also have a place for hanging your gardening tools.The guide doesn’t leave out any detail, and it also comes with a cut list you can print out.Materials Wood, deck posts, balusters, plastic utility tub Dimensions 3’ x 2’ x 3’ Difficulty Medium Cost $$.Do you love planting cool season vegetables like beets, broccoli, and cauliflower?This requires some woodworking skill, so try to get some practice with scrap wood so you don’t waste your pyramid supplies.Michelle loves deer and their cutesy faces – but not when they mow down everything in her yard, her veggies and herbs included!The quickest thing to do would be to call a grab hire company to come and collect your waste – but don’t do that just yet!Different herbs need varying amounts of space for optimal growth, and some can be quite invasive.Materials Chimney tiles, cinder blocks Dimensions 3’4” x 3’4” x 8-12” Difficulty Easy Cost $.It’s higher than your average raised beds, and it comes with benches where you can sit as you harvest, water, or plant in your garden.This raised bed idea can be the perfect gift for elderly gardeners or anyone looking for an attractive and stylish addition to their yard.So instead of shopping around for a garden bed, he built this two-tiered model that puts every inch of the space to good use.It adopts a square design, able to accommodate more plants than rectangular garden beds.You will love this elevated bed idea, especially if you’re living in an apartment, a condo, or anywhere with no space for an in-ground garden.But this garden bed is a nice addition on any patio or deck, especially when fresh and organic vegetables start growing from it.Each bed occupies a square foot, so just build more if you need a larger space for your veggies.Maureen Fitzgerald, a Wisconsin mommy, found a lovely VegTrug elevated garden bed while shopping one day.You can find the supplies you’ll need for this elevated garden bed at the local hardware store, and building this DIY project is as straightforward as it could get.Materials Pressure treated wood Dimensions 4’ x 4’ x 3’ Difficulty Easy Cost $$.The technique is a great way to build a small yet intensively planted garden.This guide walks you through everything you need to know to get started – from choosing the location, creating the right soil, to the simple finishing touches.This attractive raised bed leaves a lot of room at the bottom, so your veggies’ roots can grow freely and get a better grip on the soil.This raised bed can keep its soil in place and stand its ground when rowdy pets, kids, and other stuff bump into it.This decorative planter sports diamond patterns, which are optional but can help add more color and variety to your space.Do note, however, that this DIY project is a bit more advanced and requires more tools (and precaution) than your plain garden bed idea.This one uses cinder blocks instead of wood, eliminating the need to measure, cut, and work with power tools.All you need to do is find the right spot, level the ground, place the blocks, and you’re ready to grow your favorite veggies!The removable cover keeps the plants safe and sound from the elements, while allowing you to work on your garden without any hiccups.Materials Wood, PVC, wire mesh, garden cloth or plastic sheeting Dimensions Variable, but as shown, 4’ x 6’ x 1’ box, height varies Difficulty Medium Cost $$$.These 8-feet long raised beds can take shelter a variety of plants, keeping them protected from pests and invasive weeds.This garden bed uses corrugated metal and pressure treated wood.Materials Corrugated aluminum, wood Dimensions 4’ x 8’ x 2’3” Difficulty Medium Cost $$.But maybe tilling and removing sod and creating a mess in the process isn’t your cup of tea?It lifts your greens and keeps them away from pests on the ground, while the built-in self-watering system wicks water from the container and to the roots.Materials Wood, plastic bins, PVC Dimensions 5’3” x 2’3” x 3’ Difficulty Medium Cost $$-$$$.Rayan, the creator of this design, has a gripe with prefab planter kits all too common in stores.Materials Wood, requires specialized tools Dimensions 5’7” x 3’7” x 15” Difficulty Hard Cost $$$.Building a vegetable garden in raised beds can take up space, and it can consume most of your yard.Read the post, grab the essential tools and a few rot-resistant cedar boards, and you’re ready to build.It has a composting basket at its core and uses multiple layers to preserve moisture, resulting in a highly productive garden.And by using stone to build the keyhole/garden bed, plants are spared from the harsh heat of the sun and cold winter temperatures.This garden bed will require a lot of heavy lifting, but it’s worth every ounce of extra effort.In this guide, Ana White shows you how to create a cedar garden bed using fence pickets she found at a big box store.Materials Cedar fence boards Dimensions 6’2” x 1’7” x 1’ Difficulty Easy Cost $$.If you’re limited in terms of your garden space, or all you’ve got is an apartment balcony, this DIY project may be perfect for you.This raised planter uses scrap steel from a roof as a lining, with drainage holes drilled along the base, and heavy-duty wood for the framework.Sturdy and surprisingly spacious, its 2-foot planting depth means you can grow everything from carrots to cucumbers.Materials Wood, sheet steel (old roofing), landscaping fabric Dimensions 6.25’ x 2’ x 3’ Difficulty Easy-medium Cost $.Not because they can sleep in or go on a Netflix binge, but because they can create cool stuff like this planter box.The DIY project is the couple’s first attempt on growing a vegetable garden, and it’s a splendid start!Raised beds provide some degree of pest and animal control.Materials Wood, dowels, PVC, furring strips Dimensions 8’ x 2’ x 3’ Difficulty Easy-Medium Cost $.But a closer look reveals that this one is anything but ‘meh!’ Follow this step-by-step guide by Johanna Silver and learn how to build the ultimate garden bed.Materials Wood, PVC, rebar, floating row cover, hardware cloth mesh Dimensions 8’ x 4’ x 1’ Difficulty Medium Cost $$-$$$.Plain wooden boards and fence pickets are the go-to’s when building raised beds.Materials Landscaping timbers, stakes, rebar Dimensions 8’ x 4’ x 12” Difficulty Medium Cost $$.If you have the woodworking chops and the entire weekend to spare, pick up this project idea.It’s similar to the other garden enclosure, but this one takes detail and structural stability up a notch.Materials Lumber, chicken wire Dimensions 8’ x 8’ x 6’ Difficulty Hard Cost $$$.Mavis Butterfield was having serious dirt (and fence) withdrawals until the HH built her a handful of spacious raised garden bed.This raised bed is massive, so make sure you have enough space in your home before giving it a go.You’ll also need to set aside at least $500 and a whole lot of soil to fill the garden bed.The original project uses untreated pine, but you can opt for the tried-and-tested cedar instead to get more bang for your buck.Wooden railway sleepers pack a lot of utility even after retiring from the railroad.The number of ways one can repurpose these durable pieces of wood is only limited by the imagination.This idea turns railway sleepers into raised beds – and they come with benches, too!If you’re looking to create a home for your veggies and a place for rest on the yard, this project nails down both!Materials Railway sleepers, wood Dimensions 21’ x 8’ x 3’ Difficulty Hard Cost $$$$.But if building one for your garden isn’t suitable, this hooked raised bed idea might be just what you need.If you want to get an early start or extend the outdoor growing season by a few weeks, cold frames are a fine addition to this garden bed.This pallet planter is easy to build, and the post also includes a 3-minute video to show you how it’s done.Not only does it save you money, but giving old things a new lease on life brings a soothingly satisfying feeling, too.It uses some straight timber, smaller branches, and thicker logs you can easily find lying around.But the end result will be worth it: a raised garden bed that’s as natural as it can be.Materials Scrap lumber, old branches Dimensions Variable depending on what you need Difficulty Medium Cost $.These timber raised beds from the DIY Network don’t take much to build.Plus, it only takes a day to build so you will have an easy time fitting this project into your schedule.The guide uses thicker-than-usual timber and leaves you with some handy tips on setting up your raised beds for success.Materials Timbers Dimensions Variable by personal need Difficulty Easy-Medium Cost $$-$$$.Barns, buildings, and old fences, in particular, are excellent sources of free reclaimed wood.But even better, her garden bed design comes with a frame to offer support for vines.Flexible wooden branches are woven around stakes, creating a durable and all-natural border that you can easily shape and fill to make a raised bed.This guide teaches you how to bring this ancient fencing practice to your modern garden in 12 steps.Materials Willow branches or other flexible green wood Dimensions Variable – depends on need Difficulty Easy-Medium Cost $.All you need is landscaping fabric, scissors, soil, seedlings, and of course, milk crates which are generally easy to find.A high raised bed eliminates the need for stooping and bending over, a blessing for people with back aches.How are you going to fill a massive and deep raised garden bed with soil without spending a fortune?Read and download the plan to find out what they did instead of packing their beds with dirt.Materials Wood, milk crates, hardware cloth, landscaping fabric Dimensions Variable – build to suit Difficulty Easy Cost $-$$.If your backyard has more concrete than soil, why not design a garden bed to complement the current architecture?Materials Concrete blocks and toppers Dimensions Variable Difficulty Easy Cost $$. .
Raised Bed on a Deck Question
A Growing The Home Garden reader sent me this question asking how I would build a raised bed on a deck.Dave, I want to build a raised bed garden to put on my deck and I need ideas for the design of the bottom.Should the bottom be raised by an 1″ or more so I don’t have a constant moisture problem with the floor boards of the deck?In my pots I’ve been using a 50% compost and 50% mix of peat and fine bark mulch which might work well in a raised bed.The compost will retain the water and provide nutrients while the bark mulch creates drainage.Another idea for the base is to create a solid interior that will catch water and send the excess to a hose that drains off your deck and maybe into another garden or bucket to save for later use.Build the raised bed as deep as you can so that the roots have plenty of room to grow.Also remember that a raised bed dries out much quicker than an in ground vegetable garden so water accordingly.looks like it would be easy to setup and effective at growing a raised bed garden on a deck! .
How to Build Raised Garden Beds (DIY)
The list of reasons for switching to raised vegetable garden beds is long, but these are the main advantages:.When looking at gauges of metal, remember that a higher number means thinner material.To avoid assembly mix-ups, note that the rails fit between the stiles on the side frames.Outdoor miters look better than square-cut butt joints at first, but they inevitably develop ugly gaps as the wood absorbs and releases moisture.Here’s how to install the planter: Set it into position, then slice into the soil around it, marking its footprint.Move the planter aside and dig a shallow perimeter trench, just a couple inches deep.When the planter is in place, cut a couple large slits in the bottom of the plastic liner so excess water can drain into the soil below—unless you plan to install a self-watering system.One common filler is plastic milk jugs (with caps screwed on tight). .
12 Free DIY Raised Planter Box Plans
You'll spend less time pulling weeds, have better soil control, and have the flexibility to move the planter box around (depending on its size and type of construction). .
How to Build a Raised Garden Bed: Best Kits and DIY Plans
Whether you’re handy with tools or don’t know a drill press from a driver, there are kits on the market that are easy to build with little time or expense.Raised bed designs come in a variety of heights to make reaching your crops less stressful on your body over time.In the backyard or the front, a series of raised planters surrounded by paths looks neat and well tended all year round.Raised garden boxes are known to deter rabbits, which will handily nibble in-ground crops growing at eye level.Raised beds filled with nutrient rich, organic soil warm faster in spring due to their elevation away from the cold ground—and their improved drainage. .
Transforming a Deck to an Amazing Backyard Garden
I’ve been wanting to add garden space to our yard for the past couple of years.Even in a suburban neighborhood, finding a decent flat area in our yard was a challenge, so we put it off.I’m so excited to share how we transformed this underused space into one of my favorite features of our house.The strange thing about this deck was that it did not connect to the concrete patio or have any doors from the house leading to it.The tall arborvitaes were planted for privacy I’m sure, and the shrubs were probably just added for low maintenance landscaping.Our original intention was to simply tear out the shrubs around the deck and put in some new flower gardens.While I don’t like to remove established plants, these shrubs had not been growing well and had a lot of brown and bare spots.We also left the back corner of the deck intact so that we would have a platform for a small shed.This also gave me a much better sight line across our yard to the kid’s play set.After some cleaning and removing nails and screws we realized we were going to be able to salvage plenty of the wood from the deck and turn it into garden beds.It looks perfect behind our house and we’ve been really happy with our new storage space for gardening and landscaping tools.We started with planting some sets of onions and peas in late April.After Mother’s day (and threat of any frost in Southwest Ohio) we planted the rest of the garden with peppers, tomatoes, basil, cucumbers, green beans, zucchini and a raspberry bush! .