Raised Beds on Concrete

Raised Beds on Concrete

If we are thinking of building  raised beds on concrete, this is a fabulous idea and can very easily become a reality.  It is a concept that has many advantages, it’s not overly expensive and  when complete, looks very appealing and attractive. We have two options to look at here; firstly, we can construct these raised beds on concrete surfaces, which will make for a solid foundation and secondly we can easily construct a raised bed from concrete or builders blocks which we can locate in our backgarden. Either of these two  options will work and both ideas can become very worthwhile projects.

If our backyard is completely concreted over, then obviously we have an ideal surface for your raised bed.  If we decide to carry-out this job ourselves, select a nice level area and begin building with the first course of blocks. A height of two rows high should be sufficient as this will give your bed a depth of approx 1-2ft. The standard size of these beds is about approx 8-10ft x 4 ft, but it can vary depending on the amount of space we have and also the amount and type of building materials.


Raised beds built from concrete


Building a raised bed on concrete;


Hiring a blocklayer or tradesman would be a great idea for this project, as we need this task to be a job that looks well, is sturdy and it also needs to be waterproof. We don’t need any excess brown coloured water to be seeping from the bed as it would look very unsightly and could easily discolour your existing concreted surface or yard. Before we fill this concrete raised bed with soil, we will need a small layer of gravel and stones on the bottom to absorb any excess water. This system ensures that the bed never dries out completely, as plant roots will always reach downwards in their search for water. Some gardeners line the inside of these concrete raised beds with a membrane liner so as to prevent the soil touching the concrete walls. It is a water seeping preventative measure and in some cases is not required, if the walls are rendered over.



Concrete raised beds in our backgarden;


Building a raised bed from concrete blocks on your garden surface is another option. For this job I would strongly advise hiring a blocklayer or tradesman again. The reason is something  similar to above. We need to dig a trench roughly the size of our bed frame, a base foundation of mortar is made for the blocks. The reason for this is to create a solid foundation so as to prevent subsidence and thereby giving us a solid base for our concrete blocks, which will  make the walls of our raised bed. This method will make a sturdy, safe, sustainable structure and should last a life-time. We might consider this method  expensive, but if we have any blocks lying around from a previous building project, these will also suffice and will help defray some of the project costs.


Cost of concrete raised beds;


The cost for a project like we have just described will be considerably more than building a raised bed from wood. However there are no comparisons between the two types of gardening beds. The concrete version , if built to a high standard will in all probability last us for a lifetime, so that is an issue worth considering before starting a construction like this. Lets look at a standard 4ft x 8ft x 3ft high, concrete raised bed and how much an exercise like this would cost. The materials would come in at approx $300 and the labor would be in the region of $250. That said, it would be a great investment and one that would pay us back in bucket loads over the decades.


In summary;


The two above methods of raised beds on concrete are both rot and pest resistant. The other great advantage is that the blocks, which are made from concrete, will hold most of the heat from the mid-day sun and carry same well into the night. This extends growing periods and provides healthy, sustainable conditions for your plants, vegetables, flowers or shrubs. If we ever need to erect a polythene cover over our bed we have a sturdy structure for implementing and installing this option. A strong sturdy trellis can easily be added to the equation as we have strong base walls to support and attach same.

There are so many ways to build raised beds nowadays and as we have just covered, building raised beds from concrete is just another option. It certainly, if done properly and skilfully will last us for years. Like the images shown above, we could if we wanted, build these up to waist high, which would be very useful to our senior gardeners and those of us that don’t like bending or kneeling, while attending to our gardening exercises. I trust that this information is useful and beneficial. If you would like to contact us for any gardening issues or concerns, please do via the comments box down under. We will endeavour to get back to you as soon as possible and help with your gardening enquiries.

6 thoughts on “Raised Beds on Concrete

  1. I am one of the unfortunate as I do not have a garden to call my own.

    There is land around my property but I do not have the permission to use it for gardening purposes.

    I do however have 3 balconies and was wondering if it is possible to apply the methods you talk about here on one of them?

    Great information and it has given me some ideas!



    1. Hi there, Chris.

      Many thanks for your site feedback and comments. Its unfortunate that you cannot make a raised bed on your property, as I can see that you are very enthusiastic about them. Yes you can easily have raised beds on your balconies, they would make a great focal point to be looking out at, from your kitchen, living or sitting room. Have’nt we all seen people with flower pots and window boxes on their balconies. Afterall, a raised bed is just a large planting box. However I would caution that it is imperative that we line these raised beds with a waterproof, membrane liner, as you don’t want the watering of these to cause leakage or seepage out onto the balconies as it would look unsightly and could cause discolouration. If you know a handyman/woman, they could make them to your speficitations and would absolutely look very attractive when planted with flowers or veg etc. Thanks again for your comments.

      Best wishes………………Phil Browne

  2. I like the layout of your website, you seem very passionate about raised beds. Your website is very informative and easy to navigate. Your headlines and images go very well together. I really would like to be constructive but I can’t. Keep up the great work and I wish you success in the future.

    1. Hi there, Lucky,

      Thanks for your feedback and site appraisal, its greatly appreciated. I am glad that you found the information useful and interesting. I trust that this post will be helpful to you sometime down the road.
      Happy gardening. .

      Best wishes to you and have a great 2017

      Thanks again, Cheers….Phil Browne

  3. Hi wonder if u have any advice or remedies for our raised beds. They are built on concrete with rendered blocks. There is rubble at the base then soil. The builder did not line them or damp proof in any way. We painted with masonry paint which bubbles and flakes off. Last year we removed the loose paint and sealed with a masonry sealer then repainted. We are just over a wet, cold winter and now back to peeling paint!! It all needs to be done again. Should I now add weep holes and liner?

    1. Hi there Claire,
      My advise would be to line these raised beds with membrane polythene liner, which you could get at any hardware store. It is a long term solution for this issue and will save you a lot of grief and trouble going forward. The liner will protect the soil from any leeching run-off from the cinder blocks and also gives peace of mind, knowing that it’s safe to grow vegetables with this in place….knowing that there won’t be any toxins leeching or leaking into your growing soil from the paint or sealants etc etc. If you live in an area that is susceptible to a lot of rainfall, it would be a good idea to make some drainage holes in the liner at floor level, so as that it will allow excess water to escape.
      Here’s hoping that this solution will work
      happy gardening,
      Cheers PB

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