How to Build a Brick Raised Garden Bed Without Using Cement

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Making a brick raised bed involves:
-getting it level at the start (see How to use a line level)
-determining measurements ( how many bricks per level; how high to go)
-Getting the first layer right ( the rest is easy after that)
-Finishing touches for a professional look

Things You'll Need

  • Line level, stakes and string
  • level (2-3 foot)
  • tape measure
  • bricks (can use cinder blocks for below ground level)
  • shovel
  • Construction Adhesive for masonry/brick (can be found in the paint department where caulk is located)
  • pipe hanger strapping (can be found in plumbing department)
  • hammer
  • Determine where to place the bed and how high it should be. Remember that a brick bed is more permanent so plan wisely. Are you just raising it by one o two rows of brick or would you like the bed high enough for people to sit on? If people will sit on it you should put in a strong base such as cinder block.

  • Get the size right. To keep it simple use the length of the brick to do your measurements. If the length of brick does not divide into the length of the side change your measurements or you will have to cut brick.
    example: You want the bed to be 2 feet(24 inches) by 2 feet. If your brick is 8 inches you would divide 24 inches by 8 inches
    for each side. That would be 3 bricks. If you wanted 2 1/2 feet(30 inches)you couldn't divide the eight into it evenly so you would have to cut brick. Not easy, not fun.

  • Use the line level, stakes and string to determine the highest/lowest corners of the ground. This step is crucial if you want a professional look. You have to do this if you go higher than six inches or you will have trouble making the layers match up.

    You will need to either fill in, remove dirt, or do both so the first course is level. Lay first layer of bricks using the level. Add or remove dirt under brick until level. Do this with each brick.

  • Put a bead of cement adhesive down one to two feet on top of one side of the first course.
    Cut the pipe hanger strapping to legnth and place on top of glue.
    Set the next layer of brick on top of glue and strapping and press down to assure glue adheres to both bricks.

  • For a more professional look put a cap on top of brick. You can use cement caps, brick veneer or wood. To be able to sit comfortably, use something wide enough such as 2 X 8's.

Tips & Warnings

  • Lay out the first layer before you glue it down to be able to make any adjustments
  • Use enough cement adhesive so that the it oozes through the strapping that way the next layer has adhesive to bind it to the first layer.
  • Straighten the strapping by lightly bending it to make it easier to lay the brick on top
  • Cover with tarp if it might rain until glue is set
  • Making sure the first layer is level is key. Can't stress enough how important this is!! Start the job with a good cup of coffee and finish it with a stiff drink. You will have earned it!
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