Raised beds can provide you with many benefits:

  • The can be built on concrete and in small spaces.
  • They make your gardening easy and are kinder to your back – instead of digging down, you’re building up.
  • They’re easy for older or disabled gardeners to work in.
  • They build up your soil, protect it and improve its structure and its teture/
  • They reduce moisture loss
  • They use up old newspapers, and your compost and the casting from your worm farm
  • They leave soil life undisturbed because you’re not digging in the earth.
  • If laid on top of land that was full of weeds, they suppress weeds.



  • Water
  • Lime
  • Newspapers
  • Manure
  • Hay
  • Grass clippings
  • Garden scraps
  • Soil
  • Compost
  • Organic mulch
  • Seeds, seedlings or plants



  1. Select your site – it can be on concrete, soil or lawn. If you’re building on soil or lawn, give it a good watering.
  2. Scatter on some garden lime, to bind any heavy metals present.
  3. Cover the area with well-soaked newspaper, at least six pages thick, well overlapped. This will exclude the light and kill off whatever’s on your site now, and later it will compost down and condition your soil.
  4. Add a layer of manure, garden clipping, old hay, rotten grass cuttings, worm castings and other materials that will compost down to provide nutrients for your plants.
  5. Cover the area with soil and compost at least 10cm thick if you’re building on a soil base, or at least 20cm thick if you’re building on a concrete base.
  6. Water the soil and compost well.
  7. Totally cover the soil with organic mulch: it could be Lucerne or pea straw, for example
  8. Part the mulch where you want to put plants, and add a good helping of compost to those places.
  9. Plant into these pockets of pure compost.
  10. Water the plants in well.
  11. Keep your garden well watered and watch it grow!