HOW TO BUILD A RAISED GARDEN BED WITH PAVERS
Raised garden beds are favoured by beginners and experienced gardeners alike. In this article, we look at the benefits of raised garden beds and how to build a dry-stacked garden bed using stone cladding or pavers.
Benefits of Raised Garden Beds
There are various reasons why raised garden beds are so popular with gardening enthusiasts.
- Aesthetics. Well-designed garden beds can bring charm to the landscape. The use of clear perimeters around raised beds can tidy up the garden and facilitate maintenance. They add definition bringing a more formal and manicured look to any garden.
- Drainage. Raised garden beds support improved drainage as it’s easier to lay out a good drainage base and apply a customised soil blend to reduce the chances of water clogging.
- Customised Soil Blend. With a raised garden bed, there’s no need to dig a large ditch to apply your own soil blend. Your can choose or mix your own soil blend to suit the plants. Erosion, too, is kept in check with the bed walls.
- Greater Sun Exposure. The design allows for greater sun exposure, which can extend your growing season, help plants thrive, and broaden the range of plants you can use in your garden.
- Space Efficiency. Better soil and more sun exposure can allow plants to be grown more closely together.
- Flexibility. Raised beds are great if you want to build your own greenhouse or fencing, or for reducing back strain. There’s no limit to the height – choose a height that suits your crop.
- Plant Protection. Raised beds provide protection from pets, wildlife, and young children.
Pavers are a wonderful material for raised garden beds, and superior to wood as they come in a huge range of colours and materials. They can add considerable style and durability to your garden bed. To get started, you’ll need the following materials:
- String and wooden stakes to make the corners
- Carpenter’s level
- Stone tiles, pavers, or suitable cladding of your choice. Choose a paver type that’s suitable for dry-stacking.
- Carpenter’s level
- Hand tamper
- Bedding sand
- Soil mix of your choice
Follow these steps to build a raised bed with your pavers:
Start by marking the location of your raised bed. Drive stakes into the corners and tie a length of string between the corners to mark off the walls. Remember to mark off the perimeter and allow sufficient room for your pavers.
Using your shovel, dig a trench in the base. Use a carpenter’s level to check that the base is level.
Pack the soil down with a hand tamper at the perimeter. Compacting helps prevent the pavers from sinking into the soil.
Spread a one-inch layer of sand around the perimeter to create a base the pavers. Use a paver to measure how wide this layer should be. Smooth over the top of the sand with your level or a rake.
Depending on the soil in your garden, you may wish to line the base with some subsoil, rubble, pea gravel, or coarse stone to improve drainage at the base.
Set a row of pavers along the perimeter of the raised bed. Make sure that the pavers are fitted together as closely as possible. Repeat until you reach the desired height.
For each new row of pavers, make sure that the centre of each paver overlaps with the meeting point of two pavers below.
Fill up the raised bed with the soil of your choice. The soil should reach 5 to 10 cm from the top of the pavers.