Hochbeet richtig befüllen: Tipps und Tricks

Filling raised beds correctly: tips and tricks

Why is filling the raised bed correctly important? Learn step by step how to fill your raised bed correctly.

Filling raised beds correctly: tips and tricks

A raised bed will filled in layers . The natural rotting processes inside the raised bed provide the plants with nutrients and sufficient heat - even during the cold season. Follow our tips for your raised bed and start the gardening season prepared.

Our raised beds

Let's not miss this opportunity to use our raised beds to introduce. With the right filling, the ideal microclimate is created in our raised bed - so that your vegetables and herbs thrive even when outside temperatures are below freezing.

Why is correct filling so important?

Soil temperature and nutrient content inside the raised bed directly depend on that the composition of the soil corresponds to the natural conditions for rotting plant parts. The correct filling plays an important role in effectively using the full potential of a raised bed . That means:

  • Increased nutrient content
  • Usability up to 10 months
  • Previous harvests

The rotting of the organic material inside the raised bed makes sufficient natural nutrients available that can be optimally absorbed by the plants. The natural rotting process produces not only high-quality, nutrient-rich compost but also heat . This warmth makes it possible to cultivate the raised bed for up to 10 months a year because there is no frost in the raised bed. With the right filling and a raised bed cover, it can also be used like a cold frame. The longer usability also means that you can start planting the plants earlier. This means that the first harvest of the year can be harvested earlier than with ground-level beds.

What preparations are necessary before filling?

A successful gardening season begins with the proper preparation of the raised bed. Before you start properly filling the raised bed, there are four important steps to consider.

  1. Location: Selecting the ideal location for your raised bed plays a crucial role. Choose a sunny location with good drainage to create optimal conditions for your plants.
  2. Remove weeds: Don't forget to thoroughly remove all weeds and grasses . This will help you start with a clean bed and minimize annoying weed growth in the future. Don't forget to remove roots and stones too.
  3. Material: Choosing the right material makes the difference. A raised bed made of metal is characterized by its many strengths. For example, it offers durability and stability . Compared to other materials, the metal maintains its shape and structure over the years and despite bad weather conditions. It also offers protection against pests like rodents and retains heat , which promotes healthy plant growth.
  4. Protection from animals: It is very important to consider how best to use the raised bed protect from animals can. To protect your plants, you should cover the raised bed with a reliable  Grid or net to back up. This will prevent animals from getting into the bed and causing damage.

After this preparatory work has been completed, you can optimally fill and prepare the raised bed.

Step by step: Fill the raised bed

Recommended filling

Recommended filling

Step 1

Before you start filling, we recommend attaching a vole screen to the bottom of the raised bed. The first layer of filling is then placed directly on the vole grid : tree cuttings, shrub cuttings and/or hedge cuttings – the so-called “ wood core layer ”. This loose layer creates a loose structure, keeping the raised bed accessible to beneficial soil creatures. The combination with the mouse protection grille is ideal for keeping unwanted visitors away at the same time. At the end of the first layer, turn over sod about 5cm thick for use.

step 2

The bottom layer is followed by a second layer, about 20 cm thick, made of lightweight Compost, leaf clippings and lawn clippings . When making compost from your own garden, it is advisable to ensure that you only use vegetable waste for composting and not leftover meat or fish in order not to attract vermin and avoid a strong smell. With a quick composter you can produce the highest quality compost in your garden, which is ideal for use anywhere in the garden.

step 3

The top layer of a properly filled raised bed is a layer  high quality soil . Either you take soil from your garden (e.g. the soil that you removed so that you could set up the raised bed) or you get organic black soil, for example . There is no need to add extra compost to the soil layer. The plants are then inserted into this top layer of soil . If you follow this procedure when filling your raised bed, you can expect bountiful, high-quality harvests for around 5 years.

What to fill the raised bed with?

Filling with garden waste

When filling the raised bed, ambitious gardeners follow the philosophy that their own garden already offers almost all the nutrients needed by subsequent generations of plants. But even for less experienced gardeners, composting and soil improvement is very easy to do. In principle, you can use most natural garden waste in large quantities for filling. Only stubborn weed roots, such as those of dandelions or field bindweed, should not be mixed in. By recycling garden waste, you need less or no fertilizer and still have high yields. Garden waste that can be used well is:

  • Tree and hedge trimmings
  • shredded material
  • Lawn clippings
  • Plant care waste
  • Cleaning up the beds after the harvest
  • leaves

Filling with wood chips and compost

If you do not have enough garden waste available or would like to purchase the individual components of the raised bed filling, then there is another option to fill the raised bed in 3 layers .

  1. Use various wood chips as the bottom layer . Fill a third of the raised bed with it.
  2. The second layer should ideally be made of naturally composted material consist. Alternatively, horse or cow dung can also be used.
  3. The third layer is to fill the raised bed with high-quality soil.


Due to the lack of protection at the bottom, the risk of voles and other pests entering the raised bed increases significantly

The material used is not of the same high quality as organic material from your own garden.

Filling with straw bales or similar filling material

Part of the filling can also be replaced with straw bales or similar filling material.

  1. Begin again to create the bottom layer of wood chips .
  2. Now place a layer of straw or straw bales on top of the first layer
  3. The penultimate layer is - as in alternative 1 - Cow dung or horse manure are used.
  4. Finally, close with one Layer soil into which the plants are then placed.


Since the straw rots comparatively quickly, with this filling method it will probably be necessary to refill the raised bed every year.

Filling with composted material

This method is a long-term and therefore requires a lot more time than previously mentioned alternatives. If you are in a hurry, you should opt for one of the above approaches.

  1. In this variant, the bottom layer of wood chips is created first.
  2. The raised bed will now be used as a composter for a year . Finally, before plants or seeds are planted, a layer of topsoil and a layer of potting soil should be added on top of the composting material.


This variant takes a relatively long time and is therefore not suitable for spontaneous filling.

Refill the raised bed

As the fill material sinks and compacts over time, it will eventually become necessary raised bed to refill. The most important reasons for a refill are: 
  • New material for the natural rotting processes
  • Fresh supply of nutrients
  • Re-layer as the layers will mix over time
  • Use of the entire space in the raised bed

To refill the raised bed, the top layer of one half is usually pushed aside with a rake enough. Then you can easily top up with lawn clippings, compost or animal manure . The earth is then pulled back onto its side and the same is done with the other side. This means that the filling is back to full height in spring, new nutrients become available and the new material from the lower part of the raised bed brings new heat for decomposition, which stimulates growth even better next year. So you can continue to look forward to a rich harvest.