Building a Raised Herb Bed

Along with our vegetable garden, husband and I decided to take a flower bed just off the deck and turn in into a raised bed for herbs. It’s a sunny little area (about 4′ x 16′). Most herbs are sun-lovers, plus being close to the kitchen will make it convenient to clip what we need for different recipes. Some of the herbs I have ready to be planted are rosemary, sage, sesame, lavender and several types of basil. I’ll also be putting in some other edibles such as nasturtiums. I’ll get you a complete list when I finish planting.

Basil and Rosemary

Basil and Rosemary

I love raised beds because you can use them anywhere. They allow the soil to drain freely, help with weed maintenance and help you to adjust your soil conditions based on the plants you want to grow. In this case, the raised bed will allow us to grow herbs near the kitchen and keep them from being dug up by our dogs or crushed and damaged during a doggie playtime.

Beginning the Raised Bed

Beginning the Raised Bed

We have experience building raised beds as we’ve done several, but some great step-by-step information can be found in an this article How to Build Raised Beds that I really enjoyed reading. It’s thorough and concise and if you are wanting to build a raised bed, this would definitely help.

Cutting the wood for the raised bed

Cutting the wood for the raised bed

Husband cut the wood using 4×4’s to give a nice edge, but only framed 3 sides as the 4th side will be the house. Naturally, if you are putting the raised bed in an open area you will make a square or rectangle of the size you want. To protect the siding he attached a short layer of contractor quality black plastic around the inside of the frame and layered weedblock on the bottom of the bed. This will help keep out any weeds that might want to grow from the original soil. For your own raised bed, you can alter the length, width and height for your own garden. Because we will be growing herbs, 12″ will do fine for this bed.

Prepped for soil

Prepped for soil and plants

It’s been raining like crazy for 2 days and we haven’t been able to work outside to finish putting in the well draining soil mixture that the herbs will need. So right now the bed is sitting empty and the herbs, a mixture of nursery grown and transplants I grew myself from seed, are waiting to be placed in their new home.

Last week husband (bless him) built the herb bed seen below in a bed close to the kitchen. We raised it so that we would be able to have good drainage, to have the herbs close to the kitchen and, hopefully, to keep the dogs from digging in the bed.

Herb Bed

Herb Bed

We’ve had so much rain it took a bit to find a time when there wasn’t rain so we could go get the fresh garden soil and get it into the bed. We finally got a window late Friday. Whee!!

Because there was more rain scheduled for Saturday morning, husband went ahead and filled the bed with the soil. His logic told him if he did not go ahead, it would rain all day. Naturally he was correct because Saturday morning was cloudy, but not rainy so I was able to plant the herbs.

Raised Herb Bed

Raised Herb Bed

Herb Bed-Left

Herb Bed-Left

Herb Bed-Right

Herb Bed-Right

I’ve planted a variety of young herbs, some transplants purchased from local nurseries, some I already had and some I’ve grown from seed. I can’t wait to see how it turns out.

Some of the herbs I’ve planted are as follows:

  • Rosemary – both Arp and Tuscan Blue
  • 8 kinds of basil (guess we’ll be making lots of pesto – lol)
  • Mint, Pennyroyal and Oregenos in small windowbox containers sunk into the bed to prevent their agressive nature)
  • Sage
  • Lemon Verbena
  • Cilanto
  • Chives, Onion Chives
  • and a few other miscellaneous herb varieties.

Herbs can be grown in beds or in containers near a kitchen door or in a kitchen window. They are great for using fresh in cooking or drying for other uses. Do you grow herbs? If so, what kind and how do you use them? I love learning new things and sharing them with everyone.

Have a green day! – Hugs – Ellen

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