DIY Low-Waste Garden Bed (Anyone Can Do!)

How to build a raised garden bed with old bricks – anybody can do this! You’ll get great results, and at the same time it’s different and unique from all the stone bed borders (and a great way to reuse old bricks you may have lying around).

One of my big goals for this year (something that’s been on my bucket list for some time now!) has been to grow a garden full of plants I can use to make essential oils with!

I’ve always found the idea of making my own essential oils exhilarating (it’s the little things in life), and recently, with lockdown going on, I set about making this goal happen.

BUT, I encountered a problem… I had no where to grow these “essential oil plants“.

So, I created my own DIY garden bed, where I could dedicate a section of my garden to these plants. I used new soil, compost, weed mat, old bricks. It was a whole new set-up.

If bricks aren’t your thing, you could always use wood panelling or stones for the edging of your garden bed.

Before we get started in learning how to make this super easy, low-waste garden bed – if you like what you’re seeing, subscribe to my email newsletter at the bottom of the page to keep up to date on the latest recipes, DIYs, gardening and health tips I share!!

Before and after; these were the bricks I found on my trash walks, now tucked snug into the edging of my garden bed.

If you make this garden bed, please let me know! Leave a comment below, and if you take a picture and share it, please tag me on Instagram @simplynaturalnessa or use the hashtag #simplynaturalnessa so I can see! I’d love to know how you went!

DIY Low-Waste Garden BedStep-by-step

To start with, you’ll first need to dig – to a depth you desire – a square, rectangular, circular, oval, or other shaped hole that you’ll be covering with weed mat. The weed mat is necessary to help prevent any roots from trees, plants, etc. in the vicinity from taking important resources away from your new plants.

DIY garden bed 1
Dig out the soil where you want to place your garden bed. This provides a space for you to lay weed mat down to prevent other plants in the vicinity from stealing resources from your new plants.

You want to lay your weed mat along the bottom and up the sides of the hole. To keep it in place, carefully pour the soil back over the top of it.

From here, you can either fill the hole back in with the old soil, or replace with fresh soil from your local nursery, or make your own! The hole should be filled almost to the top.

Next, build up your soil as much as you can with fresh compost.

I mixed some ‘whoflungdung‘ – we bought from our local nursery – in with the compost and soil. It’s an organic, natural, sustainable super mulch that plants love, and when added to soil, introduces a wide range of beneficial bacteria.

Now, it’s time to add an edging around the perimeter of your garden bed. This can be done with reused materials such as old bricks, stones, wood panelling, etc. or other materials that you wish to use to create the boarder around your garden.

Next, spread the soil out so it meets the edging of your garden – but not overflowing over your edging. If the soil overflows, simply build up the edging until it falls in line with the soil, or vice versa.

Now it’s time to give the soil a good water! The soil must be damp before you plant your veggies, flowers, herbs, etc. into it, as they take to the soil better when it has been freshly watered. Once you’ve finished watering, leave the soil to sit and the water to soak in for 20 minutes or so before you start planting.

You’ll also need to give your new plants a good water before transplanting them, as they fair much better if they’ve been watered beforehand.

Once both soil and plants have been watered well, you can start replanting them into your new garden bed!

DIY garden bed 20
Time to plant in your new additions to your garden!

Once planted, give them another good water to give them the best start possible, and ensure they take to the soil, as transplanting is a big ordeal for plants, and causes them a lot of stress.

Then, your DIY garden bed is finished! Time to bring out the champagne and celebrate!

Let me know how your plants go and what you’re growing! I’ll be sure to update you on how my “essential oil plants” are going, and the essential oils I make with them.

DIY garden bed tutorial

As always, this is not personal medical advice and we recommend that you talk with your doctor before trying or using any new products. It’s important to check with a doctor before taking this or any new product, especially if taking any other medicine or supplement or if pregnant or nursing. Be sure to check ingredients to make sure there is no risk of an allergic reaction.

What plants are your growing in your garden? Have you used any of them in recipes or homemade products? Share in the comments below.

Lots of love,

🖤 Vanessa