Building a Raised Garden Bed

Where would our business be without the humble raised garden bed? The answer: with more back problems and less satisfied customers. The raised garden bed was what our business was built on and in the early years we couldn’t escape the smell of cypress pine or red gum timber. It was our bread and butter, and always served with cups of tea and biscuits.

We remember those early years fondly; an uncomplicated life of power tools, timber and bolts. You’d leave early in the morning hungry for the feel of a circular saw, then return home with a nose full of sawdust. Satisfaction and food growing infrastructure guaranteed.

What is a Raised Garden Bed: It’s any constructed or salvaged structure that elevates the growing height of the garden, allows for the importation of new soil medium and is open to the ground. The last part of that definition is the key difference between a raised garden bed and a pot. When we talk about raised garden beds we’re usually referring to sizeable growing infrastructure.

Materials: Materials need to be cost-effective and functional, so 99% of the time it will be timber – but you can also use rock, metal or plastic. One of our best, and worst, raised garden bed experiences involved bluestone blocks, in which we underquoted, underestimated the difficulty of building, and undid and then redid the grout to finally get the colour right. We ultimately left this job so satisfied, knowing that we’d probably never do another or come back, because we’d left them with a bed that would last for generations to come.

Size: Your bed can be as long as your space can accommodate or your garden bed ego demands. Width is different. Ideally you don’t want to have to walk in the growing space, nor do you want to struggle to tend your crops, so without Inspector Go-go-gadget arms, the maximum width is 1.5 metres (approximately 5 ft). Height should be dictated by budget and usability. Optimum tending height is around 60 cm (2 ft), but be conscious that the higher you go the more costly it becomes.


  • Allows for the importation of new growing medium
  • By elevating the growing height there is greater access to sunlight
  • More ergonomic height to tend
  • Excellent drainage
  • Less competition from ground level trees and shrubs
  • Building an enclosed space for growing food builds ownership


  • Can be costly and/or time consuming to build
  • Having the base open to the soil still exposes you to the risk of contaminants and creeping tree roots
  • Bulk soil can have fluctuating pH levels

Here's how we build a raised garden bed. Watch video

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