how to make a raised garden bed on concrete

how to make a raised garden bed on concrete

Are you dreaming of homegrown veggies, herbs, and flowers – however the one house you’ve gotten for a backyard mattress is on concrete, a patio, or different exhausting floor? Or maybe you’re like us and have a good-sized yard, however wish to maximize rising house by including raised backyard beds in your hardscape areas as nicely. Possibly your patio is solely the sunniest spot you’ve gotten. Irrespective of the explanation, I absolutely help your effort to develop – wherever you may!

Learn alongside to be taught ideas and finest practices for constructing a raised backyard mattress on concrete or different exhausting impervious surfaces. On this instance, I’ll show you ways we prepped a brand new wooden raised backyard mattress to go on prime of our asphalt driveway. We’ll focus on essential considerations resembling drainage, soil retention, and soil high quality. Lastly, we’ll additionally cowl alternate choices for placing planter containers on exhausting surfaces – resembling elevated raised beds and kits.

You're reading: how to make a raised garden bed on concrete

Pssst… When you “don’t have any room” for backyard beds however have a grass garden, try this text: Kill or Take away Grass & Develop Meals As a substitute

Fast Abstract of Suggestions

  • Select a sunny, degree location for the raised mattress.
  • Remember that putting in a raised backyard mattress on prime of a deck could trigger staining or water injury, until drainage is managed. Discoloration on concrete must be straightforward to take away with a stress washer if wanted.
  • Present satisfactory drainage, mattress depth, and high-quality soil for the crops to develop finest.
  • I don’t advocate inserting the soil itself proper on the concrete. But I don’t essentially advocate including a strong backside on the mattress both. As a substitute, we create a wire and cloth “basket” or backside on our raised mattress to each comprise the soil but additionally promote drainage.
  • If our instance doesn’t fit your scenario, learn the “various choices” for extra concepts so as to add rising house to your patio, deck, or different hardscape space!

Disclosure: This put up could comprise affiliate hyperlinks to merchandise to your comfort, resembling to gadgets on Amazon. Homestead and Chill positive aspects a small fee from purchases made by these hyperlinks, at no further price to you.

Getting Began: Consider Your House

Earlier than you go slapping collectively a raised mattress and plopping it down in your patio, take a second to consider your house. As with all backyard house, a really perfect location ought to obtain full solar (or as a lot as doable). It also needs to be pretty degree. Much more, constructing a raised backyard mattress on prime of concrete or different exhausting impervious surfaces brings about a complete new set of concerns. What’s the exhausting floor like? Can it deal with the moisture and weight of a heavy raised backyard mattress?

For instance, for those who’re hoping so as to add raised backyard beds on prime of a pleasant wooden deck, the fashion of mattress I’m going to point out you on this article might not be your best option – which sits proper on the bottom and drains from the underside. As a substitute, you’d possible wish to shield your deck through the use of an elevated raised mattress package, or one which has a strong backside and contained drainage system. In that case, See the “Different Choices” part on the finish of this text.

Alternatively, the steps we used to change our latest driveway backyard mattress will work nicely on prime of concrete, asphalt, pavers, or comparable surfaces. If and once you ever resolve to maneuver the backyard mattress, it could have some discoloration beneath. But a stress washer ought to be capable of take away it!

Drainage & Water

All backyard beds want good drainage, together with raised backyard beds put in on exhausting surfaces! Soggy soil and drowning roots result in sad, unhealthy crops. Due to this fact, it’s not a good suggestion so as to add a safe strong backside in your mattress. That’s, until there are many drainage holes, an inner drainage system, or it in any other case has the flexibility to freely drain extra moisture from the soil. Alternatively, I don’t essentially recommend placing soil immediately on prime of concrete. (You’ll see what I imply in our driveway mattress instance and “containing the soil” part beneath.)

There’s a frequent false impression that placing a raised backyard mattress on concrete or different exhausting surfaces will stop it from draining nicely. The alternative is definitely true, so long as the mattress is open on the underside! A well-built raised backyard mattress on concrete will truly drain sooner than one sitting snugly down throughout the soil of your yard. Due to this fact, chances are you’ll even discover the necessity to water a backyard mattress on concrete extra usually than others, like most container gardening. Particularly for the reason that surrounding concrete could barely elevate the soil temperature, growing evaporation and drying as nicely.

However the place does all that water drain to?

Properly, extra runoff out of your raised mattress will run to wherever rain water normally collects in your exhausting floor. For instance, in case you have a drain system, a slight slope to direct water move off the sides, or a depressed space the place water normally collects – that’s the place the surplus raised mattress water will go too. Nonetheless, that doesn’t essentially imply a ton of water goes to be flowing out of your beds on a regular basis!

With a mixture of tailor-made watering practices (not an excessive amount of!), high quality soil (one with each satisfactory drainage but additionally good moisture retention), and the best mattress peak (taller is best!), your backyard mattress ought to be capable of retain a lot of the water you present it. While you water your new raised backyard mattress, present sufficient water to maintain the soil persistently damp. Alternatively, keep away from watering a lot that water comes pouring out from the underside. You’ll discover your groove.

Advisable Mattress Depth

Commonest vegetable crops want a minimal of 12 inches of soil to develop massive and wholesome. The extra space for roots, soil, and vitamins – the higher! In actual fact, many crops choose 18 to 24 inches or deeper, together with tomatoes, carrots, peppers, eggplant, and even kale. With a conventional in-ground backyard or raised beds open to the soil beneath, roots can develop deep and uninhibited. In distinction, placing a raised backyard mattress on concrete is basically like creating a big pot or container. The roots (and normal plant well being) are restricted to what house you present it.

All that mentioned, I recommend a minimal depth of 12 inches (ideally 18”) for any raised mattress that will likely be placed on a tough floor. Along with growing root house, offering ample depth and soil will scale back water runoff and hold the soil moist longer. The mattress we constructed within the instance beneath is eighteen inches, or three 2×6” boards tall. Stacking 4 2×6” boards to make a 22 to 24-inch deep mattress can also be nice, however will take much more soil to fill.

Soil Alternative

You might want to know: how to set up a raised vegetable garden

In terms of filling a backyard mattress on concrete, put money into high-quality soil and compost to assist compensate for the shallower root house. We crammed the brand new driveway mattress with the identical soil and compost combination we fill all of our raised beds with. You’ll be able to find out about constructing the best natural soil intimately on this article. In a nutshell, we use a mixture of high-quality bagged soils, bagged compost, and do-it-yourself compost. When filling many giant beds directly, we even have bulk soil and compost delivered.

The best raised mattress soil is wealthy in vitamins and natural matter. It ought to permit for satisfactory drainage, but additionally have good moisture retention properties. Don’t use “potting soil” solely. It’s fairly fluffy and can drain and dry out too quick. I recommend utilizing a mixture of some potting soil, some normal planting or raised mattress combine, and loads of compost. Compost is vital! Compost and worm castings will assist significantly with moisture retention. You don’t need all of the water and vitamins to run proper out of the underside of the mattress! Mulching the soil floor additionally will increase moisture retention and reduces your must water as steadily.

Interested in compost? Be taught composting fundamentals (and 6 alternative ways to compost at residence) on this article. Or try our detailed vermicomposting 101 article to be taught all about composting with worms!

Containing the Soil

It isn’t one of the best concept so as to add soil straight right into a backyard mattress immediately on prime of concrete. Why? For one, among the soil will seep and wash out from the underside of the mattress. That may make an enormous fiddle your mattress floor. It’ll additionally slowly scale back the quantity of soil within the mattress solely. Additionally, concrete is alkaline whereas most backyard soil is impartial to mildly acidic. I’ve heard it could barely enhance the pH of your soil over time when in direct contact with concrete.

Consequently, the easiest way we have now discovered to comprise the soil inside a raised backyard mattress on prime of concrete is to create a sturdy “basket” for the soil throughout the wooden body of the mattress. That’s, in lieu of including a strong backside to the mattress. We’ll additionally discuss extra about solid-bottom raised beds within the Different Choices part close to the tip of this text.

Now, let me show you what I imply…


Constructing a Wooden Raised Backyard Mattress to Set up on Concrete

Step 1: Construct or Get hold of a Raised Backyard Mattress Body

First, it’s worthwhile to construct (or in any other case receive) a wooden raised backyard mattress body to your house. When you want any pointers right here, please try our detailed “ Design & Construct a Raised Backyard Mattress” tutorial. There may be even a step-by-step video included! For our new driveway raised mattress, we merely used our normal mattress design – however modified the underside and set up. The size on this instance are 6 toes lengthy, 20 inches large and 18 inches tall. We would have liked to maintain it fairly slim so I wouldn’t hit it with my automotive going out and in of the driveway!

Notice that the next steps will work finest as-described beneath with a wooden mattress body that’s about 2 or 3 toes large. For beds wider than 3 toes, I recommend you contemplate including a pair wooden cross-beams alongside the underside of the mattress. They may assist help the burden of the soil on prime of the fencing and panorama cloth we’re going so as to add subsequent. Sorry, I don’t have a photograph however I did my finest to attract what I imply! See beneath. Use a sturdy wooden resembling cedar or redwood 2×4” or 2×6” boards. Set up them throughout the body (flush or simply up from the bottom degree) NOT connected to the outer backside of the mattress body. That might inhibit your mattress from sitting flat on the bottom. Make sense?

Step 2: Line the Backside with {Hardware} Fabric

Subsequent, we’re going to line the within backside of the raised mattress body with {hardware} material wire fencing materials. The {hardware} material serves as a sturdy and sturdy backside for the mattress, which panorama cloth will lay on prime of subsequent. With out {hardware} material, panorama cloth alone would simply rip underneath the burden of the soil. It might even be straightforward to by chance tear the material open on tough floor, resembling once you’re setting the mattress in place or for those who ever transfer it.

For this step, I extremely recommend utilizing {hardware} material over one thing like hen wire. Galvanized {hardware} material received’t rust, is extraordinarily sturdy and long-lasting. In distinction, hen wire sags, rusts, and breaks down over time. The gauge and gap measurement of the {hardware} material doesn’t matter all that a lot. We used this 2-foot large 1/2” opening {hardware} material, although wider rolls can be found too.

Fact be informed, we put {hardware} material underneath all of our backyard beds, together with these within the soil. Gophers are an actual downside right here, and it stops them from getting within the beds and consuming every little thing! It is usually the fabric we use for predator-proofing our hen coop and run.

Create a wire basket backside

Utilizing aviation snips or metallic snips, reduce the {hardware} material in a way that offers you a couple of additional inches of slack hanging over each facet of the mattress. With the mattress sitting right-side-up, place the {hardware} material on prime of the mattress. Bend up either side to comply with the form of the mattress, after which press it down into the mattress. Attempt to hold an excellent quantity of slack on all sides. Then fastidiously type the {hardware} material wire backside to suit the within of the mattress. The corners get a bit awkward. Simply do your finest to meld and bend the wire to be as flush as doable with the wooden. Put on good poke-proof gloves! I’ve additionally discovered it useful to face contained in the mattress and step on the wire to press it into place.

Why don’t we simply connect it to the underside facet of the mattress body, you ask? I imply, you definitely might. But in my expertise, wire connected to the underside edge pops free extra simply from the burden of the soil pushing down on it in comparison with wire connected on the within partitions of the mattress. You realize, physics. Additionally, a completely flat wire backside doesn’t create the identical kind of “basket” we’re aiming for, and should not drain fairly as nicely.

Connect the {hardware} material

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Now, go across the perimeter of the {hardware} material and safe it to the decrease inside partitions of the mattress each 6 inches or so. We used wide-head cupboard screws, positioned in a manner that caught and pinched the {hardware} material in place. You could possibly additionally use galvanized U-nails or poultry staples. Lengthy staples may go too, however might additionally pop free extra simply.

Step 3: Add Sturdy Panorama Material

As soon as the underside wire basket is in place, add a layer (or two) of commercial-duty panorama cloth on prime of it. That is what’s going to hold the soil inside your mattress, but additionally permit for wonderful drainage! I emphasize selecting commercial-duty or high-quality panorama cloth as a result of there’s a number of low-cost crap on the market. And I don’t simply imply “low-cost” as cheap; I imply poorly made. The frequent skinny stretchy black plastic-like stuff will rip into shreds over time and make an enormous gross mess. Two I recommend are this one or this selection.

Add the panorama cloth to the within backside of the mattress in an identical method because the {hardware} material. We had a roll of 4-foot large panorama cloth, so we folded it in half to create a twin layer within the just-under 2 foot large mattress. It is very important go away the material very free relatively than taut, to offer give because it rests in opposition to the {hardware} material for help. The function of the material is to forestall soil from leaking from the mattress, however it shouldn’t be accountable for bearing the burden of the soil. That’s the {hardware} material’s job. As a result of there shouldn’t be a lot weight flattening on the material, we merely used a staple gun to safe the fabric in place across the interior decrease perimeter of the mattress.

Step 4: Place & Fill Your Mattress!

Ta-da! Your new raised mattress is all prepped and able to be put in in its new hardscape residence. Set the mattress in place, as degree as doable. Ensure you like the placement earlier than filling it with soil! Now, add soil to the mattress, taking care to maintain the material flush in opposition to the within of the mattress as you go. Talking of taking care… keep in mind to be mild and dig solely flippantly on this mattress, now and sooner or later.

We’re large followers of no-till gardening right here anyhow, so we don’t intend on digging manner down into the soil any time quickly anyhow. However for those who do must do any digging, use warning to not by chance rip open your cloth backside. It isn’t the tip of the world if it will get somewhat tear. To be taught extra about ongoing soil care to your raised mattress, try this text about how we amend and fertilize our raised beds earlier than planting (or between seasons) utilizing a no-till methodology.

Alternate Choices

If this fashion and instance doesn’t work in your scenario for no matter purpose, there are nonetheless a TON of different choices to backyard on a patio, deck, balcony, driveway, or different hardscapes!

Raised Mattress Kits

As an example, there are a number of high quality elevated raised mattress kits on the market. Some have drainage holes that you possibly can add drip pans beneath, successfully defending the floor beneath. Others have a completely strong backside and an inner drainage assortment system, and you’ll direct runoff with a hose or valve. Vegepods and Earthbox are two examples of a fully-contained methods, and can be stellar on a deck or balcony.

Different DIY choices

Kits apart, there are additionally many different DIY raised mattress variations from what I shared right here at this time. In actual fact, we have now constructed our normal raised mattress design and added a wooden backside on a couple of events! See the photographs of our tree field beneath. The underside is basically strong, product of the identical redwood 2×6” boards used for the remainder of the field. We drilled a number of giant half-inch drainage holes within the backside, earlier than lining the inside with panorama cloth and including soil. We selected this fashion as a result of we needed to raise the small beds on heavy-duty furnishings dollies with wheels, making them cell. In any other case, we personally keep away from including wooden bottoms since they do inevitably inhibit some drainage and are vulnerable to rotting over time.

You could possibly use the identical design and concept as our solid-bottom rolling containers, however prop the mattress up on bricks as an alternative. Then, a drip tray can slide underneath and consistent with the drainage holes. Nonetheless, take into account that some water will nonetheless leak from the seams within the boards. But it is going to be extra concentrated from the massive drainage holes.

I’m leery to recommend including legs to a raised mattress, until you design it very fastidiously. For instance, utilizing quick 4×4” posts supported with metallic braces. Do NOT underestimate the acute weight of lumber and soil, particularly as soon as it’s moist! The dollies we use for our rolling containers are rated as much as 1500 kilos. Plan to make beds that you just want to elevate on legs or dollies smaller than ones you’d placed on the bottom (both in depth, or width and size).

Containers & Pots

Lastly, there’s the entire large world of container gardening on the market. There may be nothing flawed with rising issues in pots. We closely depend on cloth pots or develop luggage to complement our raised mattress gardening house. Honestly, we choose the mobility and added advantages (resembling “air pruning”) of develop luggage over raised beds for a lot of of our crops, together with to develop potatoes. Heck, they even make raised beds out of develop bag supplies! We additionally use half wine barrels as planting containers, with drainage holes added to the underside. Basically, any container with drainage can be utilized to develop meals!

And that’s the way you construct a raised backyard mattress to placed on concrete.

Or maybe I ought to say… how we love to do it! Clearly, there are a lot of alternative ways you may backyard on prime of exhausting surfaces. With somewhat creativity, meals could be grown in additional locations than most individuals think about! I hope this text gave you loads of new concepts to your house. Please let me know in case you have any questions. Completely satisfied planning, constructing, and rising.

Don’t miss these superior associated articles:

  • Design & Construct a Raised Backyard Mattress
  • Fill a Raised Backyard Mattress: Construct the Good Natural Soil
  • Composting 101: What, Why & Compost at Residence
  • Amend & Fertilize a Backyard Mattress Earlier than Planting (or Between Seasons)
  • Companion Planting 101, with Companion Planting Chart
  • Seed Beginning 101: Sow Seeds Indoors
  • 12 Locations to Purchase Natural, Heirloom & Non-GMO Backyard Seeds
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How to Build a Raised Garden Bed on Concrete, Patio, or Hard Surface

Find out: how to make a garden grow