Modular cement garden bed forms

I stumbled across this video on youtube and thought I would share:


What a good idea. You can also stain or paint the cement, so it doesn’t stick out!

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It’s funny cause that same video just popped up in my recommendations the other day as well. I watched it and thought it was a great idea to wooden boxes.


Thanks for the link! We are going to put raised beds in our front yard this summer and have been trying to find a nice looking, not too expensive way to build them. This could be just the ticket!


Anybody think that if you built them soon enough to cure well they could be made thinner and lighter?

What options are available to strengthen concrete (fiber reinforcement, epoxy additives, whatever)?


what a great idea! i have a friend that does concrete. ill run this by him and see if he can make something like this. he makes his forms custom so maybe he can make some to fabricate these. he’s laid off in the winter. maybe could work inside his shop making these to sell as a alternate income? id definitely buy some.


Those are very nice! I would love to replace three of my wooden beds with them. So far I have been using cinder blocks - I can move one at a time and build gradually. But those cement ones are much nicer looking. The cinder blocks tend to settle and become uneven with time. I like that I can buil dthe bed a little taller, for easier maintenance for me. But that could be done with those nice cement panels too.


My thinking exactly! I wonder how tall you could go and not have a wobbly joint.

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I would like to figure out how to do a circular form as well. Anyone got any ideas?

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Just use a soft wood form you can bend and stake where you want. A 1/4 inch paneling will probably do the job.

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I’m looking to build a mold that would be half a circle that would connect together similar to the video rather than in the ground pouring. I’m thinking those concrete tubes but I’d want to make it reusable so I’m trying to figure out the best way to make the mold.

Can someone familiar with construction tell me how much this material cost compares to wood?

For example, 2 in. x 12 in. x 10 ft board of pressure treated lumber costs about $20 - actual dimensions are 1.5 x 11 in. Ignoring the cost of the form, how much would the concrete and mesh cost?

You can still do the same thing. Just put a board on the bottom. Stake out the bend how you want it with thin plywood. When you get where you want to be cut a piece to fit from the top you can just slide down to the bottom. The stakes hold everything in place. You may have to trim a bit of concrete that pours out cracks but that really should be very limited

That’s hard to say. If you consider the concrete will basically outlive you. Fast setting concrete is cheap. You can use old wood for a form if you can find it. Otherwise just use the cheapest you can find. It will most likely be one use.

Rebar is very cheap. Type it in the home Depot search

Cost of concrete ;
(Check my math )
Concrete is sold by the yard ( in a truck) about $100 / yd.
1cu. Yd. =46,656 cu. in.
A concrete peice 4" x12"x10’ = 5,760 cu. in.
( approximate size of your board above)
So about 8 of these per yd.
Or ~ $12 each
This is not including delivery fee.
Minimum load is usually 3yds. And delivery fee is ~ $100 per load
Up to 10yds per load.
This Obviously varies with location
This is not including forms or labor.
If you don’t have concert experience , would not recommend by your self. Form construction must be strong!
.get someone with experience to help do this.
You can rent concrete forms for large pours.

Mixing by the pre mix bag method , is very expensive , and labor intensive.

You can have sand , gravel, and Portland cement delivered , and rent a mixer. Inexpensive , a lot of labor , but can pour small batches at a time. Move forms, pour more tomorrow .
Concrete lasts along time, make sure you know what you want.

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I’ve used fiber reinforcement before. I bought a few bags from Amazon. It seemed to work ok. I believe one bag was for 1 cubic yard. I think I weighed the bag in grams, then divided by 27 (1 cubic yard equals 27 cubic feet ) to know how much to use per cubic foot. As I recall, it wasn’t that expensive, but that was probably 6 years ago.

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I made some concrete planting rings before. If I remember correctly, I basically made two circular forms out of green fiberglass landscape edging. I made 4 quarter circle bracing forms out of 2x4s to hold the shape of the inner ring, then cut notches out of scrap pieces of composite decking to clip around both rings which held the rings’ shape when filled with concrete. I don’t exactly remember all the details, but here is a link with a picture. Looking for an inexpensive tree ring or edging material - #13 by ztom
I made several in my garage and they worked ok. Some stayed in one piece, but some broke in half, probably because I took the form off too soon. They still worked though, I just put the pieces together in the field. Eventually I made the notches a little wider in order to make the ring thicker. Also, I eventually just took the forms outside and poured in place. This worked a lot better.

or just buy concrete blocks at ~1.25$ each and easily stackable since they are totally ‘squared away’ facilitating building garden beds like lego. May not even need a mixer since you simply just apply masonry mix at the rims of the hollow blocks, so won’t need large amounts of concrete. Posted our process of building concrete garden beds here. Totally agree though that it is a lot of labor, but way more productive than having to go the gym. Pumping iron only builds muscles.

Handling, transporting, and manually mixing cement slurries and concrete not only just build muscles, but also builds long-lasting stuff :wink:

Yes concrete block is a option.
I am not advocating anything here really.
There are many ways to do things.
Just answered the question ( roughly ) of costs of concrete
I don’t have concrete garden beds, but have poured more than my share, great stuff, like liquid rock


your suggestion is actually superb for large-scale production. Actually want to buy and not just rent a mixer myself, but afraid my concrete aspirations would snowball into extravagant proportions haha