Get the gang together to build a brick raised bed near your patio or other grilling area, so you’ll have fresh veggies right where you need ’em. Plant it up with grilling favorites like sweet and hot peppers, grape tomatoes, eggplants, and squash. Once harvest time rolls around, invite your pals back for a super-fresh feast. Pick one minute, grill them the next — what’s tastier than that?
To estimate how many bricks you need, divide the length of your bed by the length of the bricks and multiply by 4 (for the 4 sides). Divide the desired height of the bed by the height of the bricks and multiply by 4. Add the two numbers together. Not good at math? Ask a store salesperson for advice. Either way, buy extras, so you don’t run out.
Here’s how to make your own grilling garden.
- Measuring tape
- String and stakes
- Work gloves
- Square shovel
- Short board
- Hoe to mix concrete
- Wheelbarrow or large container
- Concrete mix
- Mortar mix
- Mortar trowel
- New or recycled bricks
- Miracle-Gro® Raised Bed Soil
- Miracle-Gro® Shake ’n Feed® Tomato, Fruit & Vegetable Plant Food
1. Find a sunny, level spot near the grilling area. An area that gets at least 6 to 8 hours of sun and is located near a hose or other water source is ideal.
2. Mark the outline of a 3’ x 3’ square with stakes and string.
3. Remove weeds and grass from the square, then use a square shovel to dig a trench just inside the strings. Make it 6‚ deep and as wide as the bricks. Use the end of a board to tamp down the soil in the trench.
4. Mix water and a bag of ready-to-use concrete mix in a wheelbarrow or large container, following the bag directions.
5. Pour the mixture in the trench, filling it to 2‚ below the top. Smooth it with a trowel and let it dry, as directed on the bag.
6. Next, mix water and ready-to-use mortar mix, again following the product directions. Use a trowel to spread mortar on the bricks and press them down onto the concrete.
7. Add another layer of bricks and mortar. Stagger them, so the end of each brick is roughly in the center of the brick below. Put a bubble level on the bricks from time to time, and tamp them down if needed, to keep them level. Skip the mortar on the right end of every third or fourth brick; those small gaps will allow water to drain.
8. Add more layers, staggering the bricks, until the bed is as high as you want. Once concrete and mortar are dry, add a drainage layer on the bottom of the bed. This can be a mixture of small rocks, sticks, broken terra cotta pots, pieces of concrete, or whatever similar materials you have handy.
9. Fill the rest of the bed with Miracle-Gro® Raised Bed Soil to within 3‚ of the top. It’s pre-mixed to be the perfect consistency for beds of this type. Water, let the soil settle for a week or so, then add more soil as needed.
10. Plant seedlings or seeds and water them thoroughly. Continue to water regularly throughout the growing season.