Welcome to our guide to raised garden beds!
If you are looking to spice up your garden, a raised garden bed is a perfect addition to increase interest and dynamic visuals to your garden. It also helps with easing any manual labor as the plants are off the ground and easier to control.
Table of Contents
There are two major approaches to a raised garden bed: you can choose to purchase a prefabricated bed that is simple to install and manage, or you can go for a DIY solution. The DIY route can be a bit more work, but you have more control over the look and construction of your garden beds.
Prefabricated raised beds can be found in a large variety of styles, shapes, and sizes. Because of the wide variety, they can range anywhere from $100 to $600.
DIY solutions are, as always, a possibility, and there are many different materials that you can choose from. There are quite a few different materials you can make your raised garden beds out of, including wood, metal, stone, brick, and many others.
In this guide we’ll cover a few of the most popular materials, as well as give you an overview of the cost of installing them in your backyard.
Not sure if you want raised garden beds? Find a ton more great backyard ideas in our definitive guide to backyards!
The most popular option for a raised garden bed is a wooden construction. These are not incredibly complicated in design. If you decide to build your own raised garden bed, make sure the wood you select is rot resistant and not preserved with toxins. The best choices for raised garden beds are cedar and redwood.
Wooden garden beds are some of the most cost effective, as there is little more cost than the wood, a lining, and the soil. All of the materials for these kinds of beds are readily available and easy to find. Wood always looks good and is a classic choice. Simple and easy to construct, these are the ideal raised garden beds for the DIY type.
Sadly wood does not last forever and will eventually fall apart and need to be replaced. If your wood is untreated the bed can last around 10 years, and if it is treated it can last longer.
With wood, you can make your raised garden bed as large as you would like, but on average, the wood for an average sized garden bed costs around $150 per bed. (Source: Houzz)
This is a tall wooden raised garden bed. These beds are great lined up next to one another. Since they are not very long, you can get many of them next to each other to increase the garden space.
There are a number of long raised garden beds in a wonderful gardening area. On some of the beds there are coverings over the plants. The wood is thick and sturdy so that these beds will last for some time.
These tall raised garden beds have ledges around the edges. These ledges are not just visually appealing, they are also useful, as you may place tools on to these ledges while working. Source: Zillow Digs™
These are short raised garden beds with a natural wood frame. These are great for smaller yards, as they take up much less space than others. The planks are thin so that the perimeter of the bed does not cut too far into rest of the yard.
There are two lovely neutral toned wooden raised garden bed in this wonderful garden area. These styles of raised garden bed are perfect for any back yard or personal garden area. It helps your garden contained, organized and looking good. Source: Zillow Digs™
Here are some short and simple raised garden beds in a greenhouse. These are a great and simple way to organize your garden, and loose stones between these beds are a classic walkway.
These basic and well constructed raised garden beds are both functional and stunning. They are simple but very appealing. A raised garden bed does not need to be incredibly flashy to look high-end. Source: Zillow Digs™
Here are series of short and attractive simple natural wood raised garden beds filled with vegetables.
Here are some pretty well finished wooden raised garden beds. These are built in a way that there are multiple levels, which creates wonderful and interesting visual appeal. Source: Zillow Digs™
Here are some small and pretty raised garden beds. Painting your garden beds is always an option. When you do this you can make your garden beds fit in with nearly any style.
In this picture, you can see eight darkly painted raised garden beds. When you have wooden raised garden beds, you can paint them any color you would like.
Here is a thin and well finished raised garden bed. This wooden bed is very visually appealing.
Here is a series of smaller raised garden beds over a large area. There is no need to have a plain and simple raised garden bed; if you want yours to have more visual appeal. Design elements like the ones on the corners of these beds are great for making your beds attractive. Source: Zillow Digs™
Here is a stunning set of raised garden beds. When you have a lot of space and make your own raised garden beds, you can make them in any shape you wish. This garden bed is in a long winding shape that circles the area.
Here is a long, and sturdy wooden raised garden bed, perfect for the serious gardener. There are a wide variety of vegetables that would be well at home growing in this wonderful raised garden bed.
Here is an interesting multi-tiered raised garden bed unit. This is a prefabricated unit. This unit would is perfect for a small area where you want to build some visual interest and grow some beautiful flowers. Learn more here.
Here is a series of raised garden beds made with thick and heavy wood beams to make the parameter. The construction of these garden beds is sturdy. It allows these raised beds to be large and square. These kinds of beds are perfect for flowers, to bring a great visual appeal to any area.
Here is a simple raised garden bed. This bed uses a single board on all sides to create the parameter. The unfinished look of the wood adds to a rugged and rustic look.
Another material you can use to build your own raised garden bed is concrete. This is a popular choice in urban areas, but can be very cool in any yard. It can provide an interesting chic and modern look to your garden.
If you install your concrete wall properly, they can last for quite a long time. Because of their look, they can work with a variety of styles and aesthetics. Concrete is also inexpensive.
Due to the difficulty of working with concrete, it can be a challenge for the average DIYer. You may need to get a professional to assist with the project.
While the materials are cheap, the labor can be somewhat costly. You can expect to spend around $30 per square foot. However, this price can increase if you have a difficult yard to work with, such as a sloped yard or other obstacles. (Source: Houzz)
Here is a large concrete flowerbed. Concrete is a good material for connecting your flowerbed to other structures as the material is easy to mold and usable in many different structures. Source: Zillow Digs™
Concrete is a great material that can make a flower bed with a thin profile so that the edges do not take up much space. Even when thin, concrete is quite strong, and can withstand a great deal of abuse before giving way. Source: Jennifer Rafieyan / Flickr
Concrete makes a clean and simple profile. This is the best choice for strong, long lasting structures that you want make a clean and simple impression on your space. Source: Zillow Digs™
Rock, Stone, and Brick
These materials are good for a DIY project. Large boulders, cobble stone, rough brick, or cinder blocks can be used. All loose materials like this are great for building up your raised garden bed. If your bed isn’t too high, you may not even have to mortar your stones into place!
Stones and rocks can create a rustic, cottage style look. These types of building materials are great for a casual feel. There are no special materials or skills needed to build beds out of these materials, and they can be found nearly anywhere.
These kinds of beds don’t work on every type of yard, as they are best for relatively level ground. Also, the trait that makes them so easy to build also contributes to their longevity. These are not built to last, and can be knocked over easily. Although some may consider this an asset if there is a desire to move them.
If you are lucky enough to have plenty of rocks on your property, this style may cost you nothing. But if you need to purchase them you may be spending around $85 per cubic yard for rocks. (Source: Houzz)
Stone holds moss very well, and gives a great rustic and natural look. If you let a bit of moss crawl on your bed, it can appear as if nature is taking over your garden. This is a great look for a very outdoorsy, aged, and worn appeal.
A stone garden bed looks great when paired with a stone walkway. Stones are a great way to make a multiple leveled garden bed, as stone stacks well even on uneven ground.
Stone walls and garden beds can work well together to build a great castle like look. When the stone is arranged properly, your yard will have a very regal and royal appeal.
Stone can blend nearly without seam when it is combined with a patio design that matches. Flower bed, floor, and steps all become one cohesive and unified design.
In this picture a stone flowerbed is overcome with moss and has an amazing worn and weathered look. Stone wears age well, as it gives the structure character and personality.
You can use nearly any metal basin or tub to create a garden bed, including a cross section of a drainage pipe or whichever suitable item you may find. Let your imagination run wild. While you can go buy new materials, you may be able to find some usable materials laying around, and people may be looking to get rid of usable pieces. You may be lucky enough to not spend anything to get your raised garden beds.
Metal beds have an interesting and contemporary look that is sleek and interesting. They are also easy to install, as there is very little work to be done at all. Metal, steel in particular, has a very modern appeal and a thinner profile than the parameters of other materials that can cut into yard space. Most metals are also weather resistant, so these kinds of beds can last a decently long time.
If you find a piece you like, but the size and shape are wrong, you may be able to fix it. This may require you to cut it yourself if you have the skills; if you don’t, you may have to get it professionally cut. Metal is a conductor of heat, so heat sensitive plants may be affected by the heat that a metal will transfer to the soil.
Metal containers vary in cost a great deal. It really depends on what you are looking for and what you can find. If you find something to reuse, this kind of bed can be nearly free, but if you buy a new metal container you may spend as much as $1,200. (Source: Houzz)
Here is a metal tub used as a garden bed. This sleek design is becoming more popular. It is mobile and easy to install as it is one solid piece. It may not fit every kind of landscaping, but has a modern look that fits urban areas well. Source: UGA College of Ag & Environmental Sciences – OCCS / Flickr
This raised garden bed is made from two materials. The metal provides and interesting and updated design aspect. This does not have the rustic charm of an entirely wooden garden bed, but does have a clean and finished appeal. Learn more here.
Metal sheeting can be used to shape interesting and unique garden beds. With the right framework, you can manage metal into almost any shape you can imagine. Source: Zillow Digs™
A cross section of metal pipe can be a good idea for a small raised garden bed. If this is an option, you may be interested in, you can look for discarded or extra bits of pipe that may be around. If you are lucky, a piece like this may not cost you anything.
Here is a small prefabricated raised flower bed made of metal. This is a nice addition to any small urban garden, or outside of a modern style home. Learn more here.
Metal tub beds are great for areas where you may not have the opportunity to landscape, such as an urban setting. With a few of these metal tubs, you can have a nice sized garden in no time, with very little effort. Source: UGA College of Ag & Environmental Sciences – OCCS / Flickr
Another option is a man-made material. Plastic, cloth and vinyl are materials that can be used to fabricate raised flower beds. These are good for being simple and fast options for your gardening needs. These kinds of models are often easy to assemble, and easy to move, but are not often a permanent fixture of your landscaping. These kinds of raised flower beds can range between $50 to $400.
A small portable plastic flower bed is perfect if you are limited on space or time to oversee the construction of a more permanent flowerbed. And if you are looking to grow a few smaller flowers this kind of bed is perfect for you. Learn more here.
Here is an interesting, multi material raised garden bed. This is a prefabricated model, ready for any yard or garden area. This is the perfect garden bed if you are looking to grow a few vegetables in a yard with a little bit of space. Learn more here.
Here are a couple of small black plastic raised flower beds that are stylish and simple. These are ideal for small flowers. Learn more here.
This small plastic raised garden bed is designed to look like brick. It also has a small storage unit attached. Here we see this garden bed being used as a small vegetable garden. This is great for a personal vegetable garden, or for a small group of people. Learn more here.
With small garden beds such as this, you can buy several to increase the size of your garden without building a permanent structure. Lean more here.
A garden with soft sides like this can be easily folded and stored when you no longer want to use it, or have nothing left you wish to grow. This make an ideal temporary place for plants, where you can tend to them closely before transferring them to a more permanent spot. Learn more here.
Here is a plastic, prefabricated raised flower bed. These are great if you don’t have the time or space to work on a DIY project. This bed is perfectly functional and is also stylish and clean. Learn more here.
This garden bed is ideal for a small garden of either flowers or vegetables. If you had multiple of this style of garden beds, you could line them up and they would look pretty stylish and increase your growing area. Learn more here.
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