Start growing a variety of herbs this summer by building a simple raised herb garden. Made with easy-to-install stones and wooden dividers, this budget friendly project is a great way to get fresh food into your life. Learn how to create this raised bed by reading the tutorial below.

For many years we have had several of our favorite herbs planted directly into our backyard garden plot. Walking into the garden is like visiting an outdoor supermarket. I step in, grab a some zucchini, a few sprigs of thyme and voila, an instant side dish to pair alongside some roasted chicken for dinner.

While the herbs grew well in our garden for awhile, over the last year they had begun to expand and take up too much space. My husband and I live on less than half an acre so we must be strategic about how we maximize our gardening space. In order to grow more vegetable plants within the garden we needed to move the herbs to a separate area.

Container gardening is an excellent choice for small spaces. However, it can be quite expensive to purchase several large, heavy duty pots to transplant herbs into. After a bit of consideration and planning, building a raised herb garden was the best solution for us. By using about two dozen retaining wall blocks, I was able to build a garden bed for my herbs for less that what a large pot would cost.

Creating a stone garden bed was easy and quick. All I needed were a few concrete blocks, some landscaping fabric and a couple bags of potting soil. Adding in some wooden boards to the center of the raised bed allowed me to create a divider between the plants. This is particularly helpful when you want to plant an invasive herb such as peppermint. 

If you are looking to increase your food security or delve into herbalism, whether you live on a quarter acre or 10 acres, constructing a budget friendly raised herb garden might just be the perfect way to expand your garden. Learn how we built our herb garden in the step by step tutorial below.

How Deep Does a Raised Garden Bed Need to Be to Grow Herbs?

The soil in a raised herb garden can be fairly shallow. About 10-12 inches is sufficient. The dirt in this retaining wall raised garden is approximately 12-24 inches deep, depending on how much potting soil you plan to add.

What Can You Fill a Raised Garden Bed With?

In this tutorial, a couple bags of quality potting soil with some compost will fill the garden bed. If you have a larger, deeper raised bed, you can fill the bottom with untreated straw, grass clippings, leaves, mulch, wood chips or even tree stumps. This is a great way to save money instead of purchasing a lot of dirt.

What Can You Plant in a Raised Herb Garden?

When deciding what to plant in your herb garden, there are a variety of plants to choose from. Here are just a few ideas.

  • Thyme
  • Oregano
  • Mint
  • Comfrey
  • Sage
  • Basil
  • Chives
  • Calendula
  • Lemon balm
  • Yarrow
  • Chamomile
  • Lavender
  • Parsley

Should I Line my Raised Garden Bed?

If you have a weed or pest problem, lining your raised garden bed with a fabric, mesh or plastic ground cover can be beneficial.

Where to Plant an Herb Garden?

When selecting a location for your raised herb garden, choose a spot that gets plenty of sunlight, has good drainage and is, ideally, close to a water source. It is easier to water, maintain and harvest the herbs if they are near your home.

DIY Outdoor Herb Garden

Materials Used to Build a Raised Bed Herb Garden

Size of Raised Herb Garden: 4 feet

26 4” x 11.75” retaining wall blocks (such as these)
4’ x 4’ piece of weed barrier fabric
11” x 4” x 6’ wood common board (from a place like Home Depot)
Potting soil
Herbs

Instructions on How to Make an Herb Garden Bed

To begin building the outdoor herb garden, select a spot in your yard that is fairly level. Clear away any old stumps, debris or weeds that may interfere with your herb garden. Next, lay your weed barrier or landscape fabric.

Create the first layer of the raised garden bed by placing 13 retaining wall blocks in a circular shape on top of the landscape fabric. Make sure the blocks are side by side without any gaps in between. If any of the fabric juts out the side of the bed, simply fold it under the block or trim it off using a utility knife. If the ground is not completely level, you may notice the blocks do not lay flat. A quick fix is to level out the ground with a little extra soil. This will help fill in those spots that are making your blocks crooked.

When you’ve finished the first layer, add the remaining 13 blocks on top. Stagger the bricks so that half of the block overlaps the next block. You do not want the joints of your wall to be even or the walls will become weak and may shift over time.

Fill the raised herb garden with quality potting soil or a mixture or soil and compost.

Cut your 6 foot wooden board into three pieces – one 36”, two 17.5”. Set the 3 foot board (thin side up) into the center of your herb garden. Using a hammer, pound the board into the dirt until it is level with the concrete blocks. Place one 17.5” board into the center of the bed, perpendicular to the 36” board. Hammer into the soil. Repeat with the second 17.5” board on the opposite side.

Plant your chosen herbs into any of the four sections. Our herb garden contains thyme, oregano, sage and comfrey. Give the herbs a healthy drink of water after transplanting.

Ready to start an herb garden? Learn how to grow herbs to add flavor to your meals or discover how to build a natural medicine cabinet full of herbs to treat a variety of ailments. 

How to Build a Raised Herb Garden

How to Build a Raised Herb Garden

Start growing a variety of herbs this summer by building a simple raised herb garden. Made with easy-to-install stones and wooden dividers, this budget friendly project is a great way to get fresh food into your life. Learn how to create this raised bed by reading the tutorial below.

Materials

  • 26 4” x 11.75” retaining wall blocks (such as these)
  • 4’ x 4’ piece of weed barrier fabric
  • 11” x 4” x 6’ wood common board (from a place like Home Depot)
  • Potting soil
  • Herbs

Instructions

  1. To begin building the outdoor herb garden, select a spot in your yard that is fairly level. Clear away any old stumps, debris or weeds that may interfere with your herb garden. Next, lay your weed barrier or landscape fabric.
  2. Create the first layer of the raised garden bed by placing 13 retaining wall blocks in a circular shape on top of the landscape fabric. Make sure the blocks are side by side without any gaps in between. If any of the fabric juts out the side of the bed, simply fold it under the block or trim it off using a utility knife. If the ground is not completely level, you may notice the blocks do not lay flat. A quick fix is to level out the ground with a little extra soil. This will help fill in those spots that are making your blocks crooked.
  3. When you’ve finished the first layer, add the remaining 13 blocks on top. Stagger the bricks so that half of the block overlaps the next block. You do not want the joints of your wall to be even or the walls will become weak and may shift over time.
  4. Fill the raised herb garden with quality potting soil or a mixture or soil and compost.
  5. Cut your 6 foot wooden board into three pieces - one 36”, two 17.5”. Set the 3 foot board (thin side up) into the center of your herb garden. Using a hammer, pound the board into the dirt until it is level with the concrete blocks. Place one 17.5” board into the center of the bed, perpendicular to the 36” board. Hammer into the soil. Repeat with the second 17.5” board on the opposite side.
  6. Plant your chosen herbs into any of the four sections. Our herb garden contains thyme, oregano, sage and comfrey. Give the herbs a healthy drink of water after transplanting.

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