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

DIY garden bed step-by-step guide

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.

DIY Low-Waste Garden Bed (Step-By-Step)

To start, 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

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’ that 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 of your choice.

Next, spread the soil out so it meets with the edging of your garden bed (but doesn’t overflow). If the soil overflows, simply build up the edging until it falls in line with the soil, or vice versa.

Lastly, give the soil a good water! The soil must be damp before you plant your veggies, flowers, herbs, etc. as they take to the soil better when it’s been freshly watered.

Once watered, leave the soil to soak up the water for 20 minutes or so before planting.

Make sure 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 are watered, it’s time to start replanting them into your new garden bed!

DIY garden bed 20

Once planted, give them another good water then your DIY garden bed is finished!

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.

For more ideas on making a DIY garden bed at home, see Good Housekeeping’s guide to Building a Simple Raised Garden Bed or EarthEasy’s step-by-step guide.

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. I am not a doctor. All opinions expressed are my own personal thoughts and feelings of the products mentioned. Check with your doctor or health practitioner if you are uncertain about trying out any of the products, recipes or tips mentioned in this post.

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

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