Raised flower beds add depth to a landscape and provide a solution for gardeners with poor soil. Creating a raised bed with bricks is a basic process of stacking the bricks to form a 12-inch-tall enclosed box. Fill the raised bed with native top soil, and the plants germinate sooner due to increased soil temperatures. Once complete, raised beds are low maintenance and can last for years.
Things You'll Need
- Wood stakes
- Square shovel or spade
- Premade concrete mix
- Mortar mix
- Bubble level
Choose a spot for the bed and decide on the size. Ideal conditions for many plants call for a minimum of 8 hours of sunlight. Sink wooden stakes into the four corners, and wrap a string around each to define the boundaries of the bed.
Remove turf and root systems from the area within the stakes using a square shovel or spade.
Measure 10 inches outward from the wooden stakes on each side. Create a second perimeter 10 inches out from the first stakes. Use additional stakes and string to outline this second perimeter. Dig a trench 10 inches wide by 6 inches deep between the inner and outer stringed outline, framing what will be the raised bed site. Tamp the ground with a hand tamping tool.
Mix concrete with premade concrete mix and enough water for a thick, batter-like consistency. Pour a 3-inch layer of concrete in the trench and shift it around with a shovel until even. Wait two days.
Mix mortar with a bag of mortar mix and a small dose of water to make it stiff. With a trowel, smooth 1 inch of mortar over enough of the concrete to set four bricks. Smooth 1/4 inch of mortar on the sides of each brick. Push bricks into the mortar side-by-side leaving as narrow a space as possible between the bricks. Continue setting the bricks in mortar four at a time until the entire first layer is set on all four sides.
Spread 1/2 inch of mortar over the first layer of bricks, also known as a course. Stagger each added layer of bricks so the joint lines do not line up. Begin every other row with a half brick. Remove excess mortar with the side of the trowel. Check that the bricks are even with a bubble level, and press them deeper into the mortar as necessary.
Continue laying the bricks one full layer at a time. Standard bricks are 8 inches long by 4 inches wide. After three layers, the bed will be about 12 inches tall. Wait four days for the bed to set before filling it with top soil.
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