Raised Bed Designs

It’s time for another collection of raised bed designs from around the world. The kitchen gardeners out there are really creative when it comes to shapes and materials used. Although many types of raised bed kits for gardens are available in shops you might get inspired to construct your very own based on the gallery below. Making a raised vegetable bed is a good investment of your energy if you want a high yield in a small space – actually 4 times as much compared to a normal bed, according to John Seymour.

Photo by Linda N.
Linda got this raised bed kit from naturalyards.com. I find it interesting because if you look carefully at the lower corner you’ll find a pin sticking out of the wood and I assume that these pins are holding all the planks together in each of the raised bed corners. It’s probably metal pins of some sort. I also find it interesting because you would be able to make one by yourself because of the neat way the planks are joined in the corners. A cut has been made in the end of each plank and you could easily drill the holes yourself. Furthermore it would be easy to replace one of the planks if it deteriorated. It looks like the planks in the sides are joined in the same way. The raised bed is stabilized at the middle with two metal rods from one side to the other.

Photo by mazaletel.
These raised beds are deeper than normal and excellent for root vegetables. The trellis for plants looks nice and matches the raised bed. It would work great as a trellis for peas for example.

Photo by Linda N.
I still dream about building my own raised beds from cinder blocks instead of wood since the blocks will last for a lifetime with no maintenance. The disadvantages are that the cinder block pricing is higher than the wood pricing, and the weight of cinder block is bigger. Usually you plant something in the holes inside the cinder blocks too but in this case the top has been covered with smaller concrete edging blocks, and it looks nice. The trellis to the left is for cucumbers or beans.

(If you’re looking for trellis design plans you should check out my ebook called Bean Trellis Tips, that I’ll send you for free if you sign up for my newsletter in the sidebar to the right. There’s a bunch of DIY trellis pictures in it, to get ideas from.)

Photo by boboroshi.
This is a seriously deep raised bed with nice details on top of each pole. My guess is that the owner has problems with rodents hence the chicken wire along the edges, which ought to keep them from building nests in the bed and eating the root vegetables.

Photo by cogdogblog.
Here’s a combination of natural sandstone and cinder blocks to form a raised garden bed. The holes in the cinder blocks will be used for flowers to attract pollinators. The bed has been fenced off with chicken wire, probably to keep rabbits and other animals out.

Photo by Simply Vicki.
I like these beds because they’re simple to make. Big, raw planks – beautiful.

Photo by jeffmason.
You can also use smaller raw planks and just use two instead of one plank.

Photo by Baugher Webmaster Services.
Square Foot Garden (SFG) in a simple raised bed, with peas, radishes, yellow squash and Geisha Girl flowers.

Photo by JoePhoto.
Many people put down a layer of wet cardboard under their new raised bed. I believe it’s some kind of weed stopper to get your raised bed off to a quick start on top of the lawn. Or on top of whatever plants or weeds were there in the first place.

Photo by nickton.
I just had to add this one because it’s a beauty. I’m not sure if the wood has changed color because it got wet or if this is the natural color. After all, it is covered in hail, in March. Notice the planks on top of the edges which means that you can do the weeding while you’re sitting down on top of the raised bed.

Photo by treesftf.
These people really mean it when they say raised bed – what a comfortable working position! Your back will be grateful. This particular bed is for seedlings only so the bed sides are only half the height of a normal growing bed.

Photo by treesftf.
Who told you that you needed to go buy materials for a raised bed? Pft… Just go old school, with some sticks and large leaves and what have you. Although it has a perfect working height the bed was actually raised to protect the vegetables from leaf cutter ants.

Photo by treesftf.
This is how it all started: When you loosen the soil it will expand in volume and the vegetables will grow faster, bigger and longer. Unless you walk on the soil again, like the kid in the middle of the picture… whoops 😉

A wooden frame around the bed is just to keep the loose soil contained.

(The students are from Rafaela Herrera.)

Photo by JAGwired.
Yeah, why not? 😀 Wonder what the kids would say if they found out? 😉 And they probably will, since this is a driveway salsa garden, with tomato and pepper plants.

Photo by styro.
Flowers out – vegetables in! Way to go 😉 Watch out for tomato thieves though. You have to admire the courage these people have to put vegetables right in front of the neighbors. “That’s not how we normally do things around here.” … and who told you normal is good, you stubborn…

Photo by mazaletel.
A few PVC pipes arched over your raised bed, covered with 4 mm plastic – and you have yourself a high yielding poly-tunnel. (shown to the right, in the back.)

Photo by Baugher Webmaster Services.
When you grow peas you don’t want the birds to eat them before you do, but a floating row cover will prevent just that.

Photo by espring4224.
What a cool way to keep the birds out 😀 Indeed cool, since the wind will blow right through the cover. Remember to let the bees in and out though to take care of pollination. Not optimized for a post peak oil world but a creative solution nonetheless.

Photo by USFS Region 5.
No special raised bed designs in this photo, but it just got to me. Handing over the kitchen gardening knowledge first hand to the next generation, helping the kids grow strong and prepared for the new world. Using raised beds for vegetable gardens might be an old trick, but it’s worth knowing about and hopefully we can keep improving the method to provide us with even more of that wonderful high quality food we deserve as human beings.

4 comments on “Raised Bed Designs

  1. -

    Nice collection 🙂

    Also, ive seen old tires from tractors being used for raised beds, heard they like it alot, the plants 🙂

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