How to Create Raised Beds Using Interlocking Concrete Blocks

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Make your garden stand out by building a raised flowerbed filled with colorful blooms. Using interlocking concrete blocks to create your raised bed will cut the installation time in half, compared to using lumber or poured concrete. Do-it-yourselfers can appreciate the simplicity of using interlocking concrete blocks -- they're easier to install than bricks, poured concrete and boulders. In some cases, interlocking concrete blocks are easier on the wallet, too.

Things You'll Need

  • Tape measure
  • Chalk string or colored spray
  • Stakes
  • Strings
  • Shovel or flat spade
  • Landscape fabric
  • Gravel
  • Interlocking concrete blocks
  • Level
  • Masonry chisel
  • Mallet or small sledge hammer
  • Weed barrier
  • Assorted plants
  • Mulch
  • Measure the area where you will build your raised bed, including height, width and depth. Most raised beds have a depth of 3 to 4 feet and can have any length or shape. The height of a raised bed can vary from 6 inches to waist high. If you have a bad back or knees, or if an elderly person will also tend the garden, it's best to go waist high.

  • Purchase interlocking blocks based on your measurement. For a 4-foot deep by 8-foot wide raised bed, you will need at least 40 to 50 blocks.

  • Mark off the area for your raised bed, using stakes and string or colored turf marker. Remove grass, roots and other debris from the soil using a shovel or flat spade.

  • Dig a level trench as deep as the height of one of the bricks. The first course of bricks needs to lay below grade for stability. Using a square shovel makes it easier to level the bottom.

  • Put commercial grade fabric in the trench. The fabric will prevent dirt from leaking out. Place the excess towards the interior of the bed. Put down 3 to 4 inches of gravel and the first level of blocks on top of the fabric to hold it in place. Use a rubber mallet to settle the blocks to keep them leveled.

  • Check each layer with a level. This step will define the succeeding courses, so it's important to keep the blocks straight and level, so the next layers of blocks will remain aligned and straight.

  • Add the next layer of blocks. Match the tongues of the following layers of blocks with the grooves of the lower level of blocks.

  • Fill the bed with dirt and add weed barrier.

  • Add plants and mulch.

Tips & Warnings

  • Add flat blocks on top of the final layer of blocks as finishing touches.
  • Trim the edges of the blocks using masonry chisel so that the blocks will fit snugly.
  • Purchase extra blocks to use as replacements in case of breakage.

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References

  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images
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