Join the RHS today and support our charitable work
Keep track of your plants with reminders & care tips – all to help you grow successfully
For the latest on RHS Shows in 2020 and 2021, read more
RHS members get reduced ticket prices
RHS members get free access to RHS Gardens
Free entry to RHS members at selected times »
Reduced prices on RHS Garden courses and workshops
Our Garden Centres and online shops are packed with unique and thoughtful gifts and decorations to make your Christmas sparkle
020 3176 5800
Mon – Fri | 9am – 5pm
Help us achieve our goals
Join the RHS today and support our charity
Raised beds are great for growing vegetables, fruit and flowers and are especially useful if your soil is wet or poorly-drained. They're also handy for gardeners with bad backs
On clay soils, a raised bed will give improved drainage.
Dig out strips of turf wide enough to accommodate the timbers. Pressure-treated softwood sleepers are an economical alternative to hardwoods like oak.
Lay the timbers out in position and check that they are level using a spirit level. Check the levels diagonally between timbers as well as along their length
Ensure the corners are at right angles by checking the diagonals are equal in length. For a perfect rectangular or square bed, it's worth having the timbers pre-cut to size when you buy them.
Using a rubber mallet, tap the wood so that it butts up against the adjacent piece; it should stand perfectly level and upright according to the readings on your spirit level.
Drill through the end timbers into the adjacent pieces at both the top and bottom to accommodate a couple of long, heavy-duty coach screws. Screw firmly into position, securing the base ready for the next level to be built.
Arrange the next set of timbers, making sure these overlap the joints below to give the structure extra strength. Check with a spirit level before screwing in the final set of fixings, as for step 5.
If you want to grow plants that love good drainage (such as alpines), fill the base with builders' rubble or chippings. Fill the bed up nearly to the top with topsoil and compost.
The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity. We aim to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.