How to build a raised bed


This section gives you short descriptions, links and manuals about useful things we have learned along our way. We hope they are helpful for recreating and further developing them by yourself. If you have experience with any of the things and skills you see here, please leave your suggestions and remarks in the comments.

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How to build a raised bed?

A raised bed can have great advantages in your garden and it is not that difficult to build. You can grow your plants with homemade, nutrient-rich soil without using chemical fertilizers. If you have ever wondered why wine grows on slopes, it’s because plants can make better use of the sunlight when they grow at the right angle. Another advantage of having your own raised bed.

Before you start, ask yourself if you need to have a raised bed at all. For example, if your plants are already at a good angle to the sun – approximately 10°  – and you produce enough healthy and tasty food, you may not even need a raised bed. It is not part of permaculture thinking to build something unnecessary which needs lots of material, that is not already in your garden.

If you decide to build one, here‘s what you need to know. It is important to have solid, flat soil at the bottom. The first layer is made of dead wood. Be sure not to displace insects from their habitats while collecting it. After having built a strong wooden foundation you can start to fill the open space with smaller branches. The next step is to put a layer of dead leaves on top. If you cut your lawn, add the grass as a mulch layer. Cover the bed with some organic leftovers from your kitchen. Repeat this step throughout the year. You can also add earth you have previously dug out to make the ground even. Wait until the components are turned into fresh earth. This can take a few seasons.

Once you have produced healthy earth, plant your vegetables. You will see them grow healthier and faster due to better nutrient availability. How and when to seed which plant is a different story. Read our articles about urban gardening in Jena, Permaculture Dreisamtal and Gartencoop in Tunsel to get more insights into gardening.

Your own raised bed