If you, like me, live in an area wrought, and I mean WROUGHT, with voles and moles, this idea might interest you. I’m tired of raised beds because of the cost, and making them out of a material that won’t get eaten by termites is expensive if you want it to look attractive. For this reason I’m making below ground boxes with lightweight masonry blocks as the edging with .5 inch metal hardware cloth as the bottom.
Here are the blocks, for only $.98 each! A roll of hardware cloth will last a while making small boxes. Just remember, when you measure, add in the width of the blocks. My first one ended up smaller than I initially planned because I was tired of digging and forgot this little fact. For $9 you can have a sturdy underground box that is about 32″ by 28″ filled with your own soil or a combination of your own and bought. Aside from keeping moles out, this set up will help with trailing plants like vinca or grasses that vine.
Another nice thing about the block edging is that a little cold frame seems feasible if you desire, and it is also easy to build a chicken wire cage to set over top of the whole box (or multiple boxes) to keep your pets away and hopefully deter the voles/moles from just crawling out of the ground and into the box. I might find traps to set all around my beds inside the cover, just incase :). But not a trap a bird could get in!