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Raised beds do not necessarily have to be made of wooden boards or bricks. Instead, there are many creative options and materials that can be used to build beautiful raised beds. For example, gabions are ideal for building raised beds.

Slopes can be fixed with gabions - and raised beds can be created

Gabions offer many possibilities

Gabions are lightweight wire mesh baskets that were originally used to secure steep embankments and in hydraulic engineering and landscaping. In the meantime, lattice boxes have become a popular part of garden design. They can be used to set up individual raised beds as well as entire terraced landscapes. They are usually filled with stones or round pebbles, but other materials such as pieces of wood, loose rubble or old bricks are also possible. The size of the filling pieces depends on the mesh size of the wire mesh. With gabions you can build both square and round beds as well as those in a curved shape.

Assemble gabions

You can get the wire mesh baskets as ready-made kits from any hardware store. The assembly is very simple: You simply connect two related parts with a supplied spiral, which you screw in the outer edges of the parts in a clockwise direction. Gabions always consist of an inner and an outer basket, which is mainly used for stabilization. And this is how you build a raised bed made of gabions:

Choose a location and secure the subsurface

First of all, you need a suitable location for your gabion raised bed. Choose a sunny and sheltered place, where the ground should be firm and level and not traversed by thick tree roots. Dismantle the turf and carefully remove larger stones and weeds. Now dig a pit about ten centimeters deep and level the ground thoroughly. Lay out a rodent grid and, if necessary, a weed fleece (€21.70).

Assemble and stabilize wire mesh

Now join the wireframes together as described. Stabilize the inner basket with steel anchors or other spacers. Finally connect the inner and outer basket in the same way. With a rectangular raised bed, long stakes or sticks that you drive into the ground from the inside into the four corners of the bed provide additional stability.

Fill the raised bed

Cover the walls of the inner basket with fleece or, if you want it to be cheaper, with coconut mats. (21.90€) Covering with foil is also possible, but basically not necessary - after all, the material does not have to protect against moisture, but only the filling of the raised bed needs to be protected from falling out. Now you can fill the wire baskets yourself: Field stones or other natural stones are suitable for this (round stones look particularly pretty), but also pebbles, larger pieces of wood (e.g. sawn pieces of trunks or thicker branches), chunks of glass, rubble or old bricks. You can then fill the raised bed yourself, either just with soil or in the classic layering:

  • Rabbit wire as protection against voles
  • Roughly chopped branches, brushwood and garden chaff as drainage
  • Initially dug and turned over sods and topsoil
  • Mixture of roughly decomposed compost, straw and leaves
  • Potting soil (e.g. a mixture of topsoil and fine compost)

Make sure that the individual layers are not too thick - they compost more easily if you spread them loosely and thinly in the raised bed.

Fill gabions with soil

Incidentally, you do not have to fill the gabions with stones or the like - instead, simply fill in soil and thus gain an additional planting area that can be used wonderfully for herbs etc. So that the substrate does not fall out, you can cover the side parts from the outside with reed mats, for example. This not only looks visually appealing, but is also quite cheap to buy. You can get thatched mats individually cut to size by the meter in many hardware stores. Small wild bees also like to nest in the reeds, which find a suitable habitat here.


Instead of gabions, (old) wire baskets can also be used as mini raised beds. To prevent the substrate from falling out, simply wrap the baskets in coconut mats and/or thatch mats.

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