Things You'll Need
Builder's line and pegs
Build raised beds no wider than 4 feet so that you can reach into the center to tend the plants.
If you find you need to cut pavers, there's a range of methods you can use. A cold chisel and lump hammer cuts thin pavers, and a block splitter can handle pavers 1 inch to 9 inches thick. A diamond-bladed power saw with a continuous water feed can also be used for thick pavers. Wear safety goggles and thick gloves, or chain mail gloves if using a saw.
Rest every 15 minutes or more often when digging and when lifting pavers, and stretch your back.
Building raised beds with pavers takes longer than using timber but gives a sturdier, more durable result. Pavers also offer a wide range of choices in color, texture and size, so that you can create raised beds that complement your garden's style. Use interlocking, heavy pavers to provide the strongest walls. To eliminate the need to cut pavers, build circular beds or beds that measure a multiple of the pavers' length plus one width. For example, if the pavers are 12 inches long and 6 inches wide, create beds 8 feet 6 inches long and 4 feet 6 inches wide.
Mark the dimensions of a raised bed with a line and pegs, and spray the ground along the intended edges with landscape paint. Remove the line and pegs.
Dig a trench along the marked edges of a raised bed, 6 inches wider than the pavers and 2 inches deep.
Fill the trench to the top with gravel and level it with a rake.
Place the first layer of pavers along the center of the gravel-filled trench and check they are level with a builder's level. Add or remove gravel as necessary to level the pavers.
Place a second layer of pavers on top of the first in a staggered pattern. At the corners of the raised bed, turn one paver 90 degrees so that its width completes the end of the row. Continue in the same way until the pavers reach the desired height, and create the other raised beds in the same way.
Till the ground inside the raised beds with a garden fork to loosen the soil. Place landscape fabric against the inner raised bed walls before filling them with a mix of 1 part compost and 2 parts soil.
- The Family Handyman: The Best Garden Bed Edging Tips
- AgriLife Extension: Building a Raised Bed Garden
- Colorado State University Extension: Raised Vegetable Bed
- Home Depot: Pavers
- Paving Expert.com: Cutting Paving Materials
- Alabama Cooperative Extension System: Raised Bed Gardening
- Colorado State University Cooperative Extension: Vegetable Gardening in Raised Beds
A graduate of Leeds University, Jenny Green completed Master of Arts in English literature in 1998 and has been writing about travel, gardening, science and pets since 2007. Green's work appears in Diva, Whole Life Times, Listverse, Earthtimes, Lamplight, Stupefying Stories and other websites and magazines.