Building a Raised-Bed Berry Bramble

A Raised Bed Garden for growing blueberries and blackberries

My name is Whitney, and I’m a mail-order gardening catalog addict. (Hi, Whitney.)

And that’s why, at some point in the dormancy of winter, I apparently decided to order a whole bunch of plants that I simply did not have room for in my existing self-watering raised bed garden, or even my in-ground partial-shade garden beds.

In particular, I ordered a bunch of blueberries, which, as any gardener¬†worth their salt will tell you requires a very particular type of planting media. And a media that’s not generally found in Texas, mind you.

So there was only one thing left to do…build another raised bed garden. Unlike my other, 8′ x 4′ x 4′ garden, this one could be a bit smaller. The total proportions were 8′ x 2′ x 1′. But the really big difference here is that we were not going to be including the self-wicking reservoir, but instead placing this directly into the ground.

Raised bed garden before dirt is added

The first step was to build the box, which the hubby took care of, while I pulled out the sod and began digging down a bit in the destination location. We dug out roughly four inches of soil, and placed it on a tarp to reincorporate later.

Finally, we lined the opening with a landscaping material to prevent weeds from growing through (or the grass from growing back in, and stapled it to the sides of box once we got it in place. Then it was just a matter of filling it back up.

Soil additions for our new raised bed garden

Blueberries love an acidic, well-drained soil, so we settled on a soil mix of:

  • 50% peat moss
  • 20% the soil we’d dug out
  • 20% sand
  • 10% compost

And with that, the blueberry plants went in! ¬†We probably won’t get any berries this first year, but with a little luck, we’ll be awash in berries from this raised bed garden by this time next year. Stay tuned!


  • Did you get self-pollinating blueberries, or do a mix of varieties that bloom the same time? Your soil looks LOTS better than what I had when I lived in Gatesville, TX. I definitely wouldn’t have had to buy any sand…the entire yard was sand and sand burs.

    • Yes, three self-pollinating varieties, which I ordered from Burpee. And then a blackberry plant as well, which hopefully will not takeover the whole box!

      In North Austin, we have quite a bit of clay in our soil – almost no sand at all!

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  • Kim

    Great post! I think one other point would be that a lot of millennials (especially those living in support expensive cities) save their money up by living at home. I’m from NYC, and a lot of my younger friends has the money to put down in their own homes, but why should they if they’re not ready to settle down and living with parents out family is beneficial all the way around?!