2817 - 47th Street • Moline, IL 61265 (309) 762-6226

It may seem counterintuitive, but building raised garden beds is an ideal fall activity. When the weather is cool (but not freezing) and the ground is still absent of snow—it’s the perfect time to build your raised garden beds. It’s always nice to squeeze in one more fun do-it-yourself project before we’re greeted by cold winter weather here in Moline, Illinois. Plus, you’ll have a jump start on your spring gardening with perfectly maintained garden beds ready for planting.


meyer landscape raised vegetable bed

What is a Raised Garden Bed?

Raised garden beds are an alternative to gardening straight in the ground and typically consist of a planting bed that sits on top of your soil, somewhat like a container. Raised beds offer an opportunity to stylize your landscape and to get creative with how you want to display your garden, especially when you build your own. There are many different styles, from garden planters raised up on legs—an option that’s attractive and easier on the back—to large, showy raised beds that serve as a focal point in your landscape.

Raised garden beds aren’t limited to wood as a building material. Again, it depends on the aesthetic you want, but some other great materials to consider are: corrugated metal, plastic, concrete, bricks, stones, and patio pavers—anything that forms a frame and keeps your dirt and vegetation in place.


meyer landscape building raised garden bed

How to Build Raised Garden Beds

When preparing to build your raised beds, the first things to determine are:

  •  What do you want to grow?
  •  Where do you want to grow it?

Choose a spot that is on level ground, gets plenty of sunlight, and has some shelter from the wind—and somewhere close to the garden hose or other water source. The types of plants you want to grow will also determine how big you’ll need to build your raised beds.

Once you’ve decided on those key elements, you can get to work building your raised beds. If you choose to build directly on the ground, there are two ways to go about creating them. 

1. Mark out the area you want to use as your garden bed and dig it up, grass and all. Next, fill in the space with your soil and compost mixture and fence it in using the materials of your choice.

2. A more straightforward method is to lay down some landscape fabric directly on the grass and build on top of it without digging. Add soil until your bed is at the height you want, but keep in mind that plants with deeper root systems will need a certain depth to thrive in. For example, carrots will need a deeper bed than shallow-root plants like lettuce.

If you choose to build raised garden beds on legs, be sure to drill holes in the bottom so that excess water drains. Soggy soil is a recipe for root rot and lost crops.


meyer landscaping raised garden with lettuce growing

Benefits of Raised Bed Gardening

Raised garden beds  Have numerous benefits. Here’s why they are so popular:

  • They warm quickly, allowing you to plant seeds and seedlings sooner. 
  • The raised aspect of these garden beds provides better elevation, which is easier on gardeners backs.
  • Raised garden beds offer a more controlled and enclosed environment, allowing you to accurately maintain the soil quality and fend off any garden pests and wildlife.
  • They add another layer to your landscaping design, allowing you to experiment with style and aesthetics.
  • Less digging is required as the beds can be built on top of the existing landscape. 

For further inquiries about raised garden beds and how to build them yourself, visit Meyer Garden Center in the Quad City Metro area. Our knowledgeable staff are more than happy to assist you with all your gardening and landscaping needs.


meyer CTA


back to article library