Stone Walls For Raised Garden Bed

With the first raised garden bed, I found I liked having the stone walls. I like the looks of the walls. And stones have advantages.

Stones heat up quickly in the sunny south facing wall. They stay hot after sunset. This keeps the dirt in the bed warmer for the plants.

Stones do get cold when the temperatures drop and clouds hide the sun. Using the liner inside the walls should help insulate the dirt as there is air between the two. Air is insulating.

stone walls of raised garden bed
I’ll admit a few of the stones are purely decorative. They are ones I saw along the creek and found interesting or pretty or both. However, the main walls are solid enough to sit on or lean on. Presently the gap between the walls and the liner is large enough to harbor a chipmunk. This is probably a mistake. However, it is cute. It probably won’t last long as a copperhead came through the other day. That was a surprise. It wasn’t impressed with the flood coming from the hose and moved out quickly.

Building the new stone walls was different. The first time I put in a rock layer, filled in with dirt, then repeated the process. This time the walls were free standing around the lining of roofing tin.

The walls had to be solid. I sit on them. I lean over them. I work around them. The stones are heavy and I don’t want them to collapse under or on me.

Assembling the rock jigsaw puzzle was challenging. I assembled, took down, repositioned, took down, tried another rock and rebuilt several times. The final test was leaning on the stone walls to pull the numerous morning glory seedlings coming up inside.

Now that the stone walls are up, the raised garden bed needs dirt. The bed is roughly three feet wide, ten feet long and two feet high. It will take sixty square feet of dirt to fill it.

That is a lot of dirt.

dirt needed inside stone walls
The roofing tin liner will hold the dirt inside the raised garden bed. The front corners needed corner pieces as the gaps between the front and sides was too big. As the dirt fills the bed, the tin is pushed out closer to the walls.

I had some dirt in feed sacks from disassembling the old raised bed. I dumped it in. The raised bed now has one inch of dirt in it.

There is a small pile of dirt I can move. There is a big pile of composted goat manure to move. I plan to fill and move four buckets of dirt every day, more if possible.

Why so little each day? Heat and humidity make working outside in the sun impossible for me by noon. Shade doesn’t return to this area of the garden until late in the afternoon.

As the dirt level rises, the liner will press outwards against the stone walls. This will further stabilize them. And I have about six weeks before planting time to get that dirt moved.