Preparation of raised beds


Making and maintaining commonly used raised beds increases the sense for team work and responsibility.

Description of the activity

The preparation, for the planting of raised beds is an activity that facilitates community, language skills and builds up or extends horticultural knowledge. As there are only common beds in the garden, the involvement of the group members in this activity is of particular importance. The beds are prepared, maintained and harvested in community. Each year, new varieties are planted and tested. The herb and vegetable varieties come from all over the world. Each bed gets a self-made wooden sign, indicating the German name of the plants. This benefits the intercultural group as language and horticultural learning is combined.


The leading person/ team need to have crafting and gardening knowledge. Further language skills are required, as the activities need to be taught and there needs to be an agreement in the garden concerning the plants placed in the beds. As the leading people had no horticultural background, they received training and schooling. However, they emphasised that horticultural and practical knowledge, is a valuable resource that is present in the group and all members benefit from the exchange.

Steps for the implementation of the activity

Find agreement in the group for the varieties being planted. The group needs to find an ideal spot, which meets the requirements of the cultivar/ variety. Prepare the bed with soil and fertiliser. Set the plants into the bed.

Use tools and wooden material to create a sign, which indicates the content of the bed and the cultivation requirements. This activity is particularly beneficial to the group members as they learn German terms of the plants. They can also express themselves in a creative way.

People need to agree on a maintained routine until harvest. This serves to establish a sense of community and participation within the group.

Group members can harvest the herbs and vegetables and share a common meal.

Materials and methods

A gardening shed or a green house where tools and equipment is stored is necessary. A source of water is required to assure there is water in drought periods.

Materials and human resources:
You need to have active gardeners who team up and prepare and take care of the raised beds. The activity is suitable for several small groups and individuals who prepare the raised beds. 1- 3 people can be in charge for one bed. Materials, plants (vegetables and herbs) are needed, as well as soil and fertiliser. Tools for planting, and crafting the sign are needed (Wood, Paint, Shovel, Hoe, Saw).

The activity lasts only a few hours for the planting and creating of the sign. The maintenance needs to take place continuously each week.

Major costs involve seedlings or seeds, weather resistant wood, soil, and fertiliser. These materials can be purchased in any do it yourself store or local nursery.

Learning outcomes for the participants

The participating members have an opportunity to study the names of vegetables and herbs in German. They practice teamwork, take care of the commonly owned plants. Participation and building community are behind the activity.