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.
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.
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.