Garden beds create a special area of your garden that’s uniquely prepared for the type of plants you’re growing. You can prepare a special soil mix to add to your garden bed to help the plants in your garden bed thrive. Raised beds, especially, can be helpful for strong root growth, healthy and disease-free soil, and preventing pest infestation. These unique garden bed ideas will help you have fun with your garden beds!
Use Interesting Materials, No Assembly Required
Who knew a tire could be so multi-functional? If you have some old, recycled materials that you think will make a good container to grow plants in, you’re probably right. You don’t have to assemble your own garden bed with wood and nails or screws. Look what you have around your home already, and you may be surprised at what you find that can be turned into a garden bed.
Using recycled materials, or out-of-the-box materials, can also save you a lot of money when creating garden beds. For example, Gardenista suggests using water troughs, like the kind you’d use for animals. They’re perfect for vegetable gardening, especially, because they provide the depth needed for underground growth.
Plastic tubs, old bathtubs, and even wheelbarrows can act as a vessel for a garden bed. Whatever you choose to use, make sure it’s completely clean and isn’t treated or lined with any toxic chemicals that can seep into soil and harm your plants. And, make sure your new garden bed has plenty of drainage, even if you have to drill some holes into the bottom.
Give It Eye-Catching Edging
There are so many budget-friendly ways to create a unique garden bed, just by giving it some eye-catching edging. Think outside the box for materials to line your garden beds with to make them stand out in your garden.
The example above uses terracotta pipes to create a unique edging. The best part about this particular design is you can utilize the edging for extra growing space by adding soil to each pipe!
Consider using materials for edging that you have around your home. Bricks, logs, old wood pieces, cinder blocks, or PVC piping can all create interesting garden bed edges that make your garden beds stand out from the rest.
Flea Market Gardening provides some examples of ways to use old wine bottles to create an edging that will sparkle in the sunlight. You can even insert solar powered lights into some of your bottles to give your garden a beautiful glow at night.
Outline Your Outdoor Space
Your garden beds don’t have to take up a ton of space in your garden. Utilize your outdoor space wisely, while still giving yourself plenty of growing area, by using garden beds to outline your outdoor area. Build garden beds along your fencing, porch, or pool deck, so you can leave the majority of your outdoor space for entertaining and recreation.
Before you build, though, consider the material you’re putting your garden bed against. If it’s a treated material, like a coated or painted wood, you’ll still need to build your garden bed with four sides using a clean, untreated material so your soil isn’t at risk for contamination. A brick wall may also harbor dirt and bacteria that you don’t want to get into your soil (source).
Consider making your beds at least a foot deep and a foot wide to allow for proper spread of most plants if you’re growing vegetables. Research the requirements for the plants you want to grow, so you can ensure that your space-saving garden bed will still have plenty of space for the garden of your dreams.
Let the Flowers Be Your Guide
A garden bed doesn’t have to be raised. It can simply be an area of your garden that’s prepared especially for optimal growth of your plants. If you want to create a garden bed that’s level with your yard, you can even use plants or flowers as an edging.
Consider using a plant or flower with a contrasting color from your other plants that will help create a natural edge. Or, grow some taller plants as edging plants for your garden bed.
You may even want to use plants that act as natural pest controllers to help protect the plants within your garden bed. Borage, chrysanthemum, clover, lavender, and marigolds are natural pest deterrents that protect against several types of insects that can destroy your plants (source). Plus, they’ll make your garden bed stand out against the rest of your outdoor space.
Build Space-Saving Tiers
For extra space-saving in your garden, you can build raised garden beds in tiers. These are perfect for growing plants in areas with little to no outdoor space, allowing you to grow a number of plants on a patio or indoors.
A tiered garden bed can actually help you produce more plants in a smaller space. So, if you’re considering vegetable gardening but don’t have a lot of room in your yard, create a raised garden bed with three or four tiers for optimal yield in a small space.
Additionally, a tiered garden bed can help prevent competition between your plants, as their roots won’t need to compete for nutrients and water (source). You can keep plants that thrive growing near each other in the same tier to help maximize their production.
Don’t Be Afraid to Experiment with Shapes
Garden beds can be more than just functional within your garden. They can also provide dimension and aesthetic appeal, becoming one of the most eye-catching features in your garden. So, don’t be afraid to make them unique and think outside the box, literally!
Consider the overall design of your outdoor space when planning your garden bed. Are you going to have curved paths through your garden? If so, create a curved garden bed that lines the path. This Old House demonstrates how to create curved edging using brick, which would also work for other materials:
Experiment with your geometry skills for you garden beds. Your garden should complement the overall design and shape of your outside space to make it look more natural in its surroundings (source).