How to build: Raised garden bed

Even in areas with poor or rocky soil, you can have your very own gorgeous raised garden bed. The idea is that you build your garden above ground, where you have the ability to control soil conditions. Now, there’s no excuse for having a garden. 

Contained raised garden beds are great for vegetable and herb gardens, as well as flower gardens. You may even try your luck with fruits such as strawberries, grapes, blueberries, and raspberries.

Materials:

  • Wood
  • Concrete blocks
  • Natural stone
  • Brick

Seeing as wood is more inexpensive and popular choice, here are instructions for building your own wooden raised garden bed.

Construction Steps:

Step 1

The first step is to carefully select your building site because you want to ensure your garden is in an area that gets enough sun for the kind of plant you’ll be growing. You should also ensure it’s in a flat area, with easy access to water.

Step 2

The next step is to determine the size and shape of your garden, ensuring you can access all parts of the garden without stepping into the bed. If you keep your garden to approximately 4 ft. wide, you can easily access the middle of the bed from either side.

As for depth, 6 inches will suffice for growing most plants, flowers and vegetables, but if you can dig 10-12 inches, it would be even better.

Step 3

Once you know the size and shape of your bed, you can start preparing your garden site. To ensure that your plant's roots have plenty of room to grow, it’s a good idea to dig out the existing sod and loosen the soil with a shovel or garden fork to a depth of eight to twelve inches.

Step 4

Using rot-resistant lumber such as cedar or a newer composite lumbers, you may begin to construct your bed. Two by six lumber is perfect, as it is easy to work with and will give you six inches of depth. Cut your pieces to the desired size, then attach them together to make a simple frame. 

There is no set way to properly attach them. You can make a simple butt joint at each corner, pre-drilling and then screwing the corners together with galvanized screws. You can use a small piece of wood in the corner and attach each side to it.

Step 5

Use a level to make sure your bed is even on all sides. If not, you may run into a situation where water runs off of one part of the garden and sits in another.

Step 6

The whole point of a raised bed garden is that it gives you the opportunity to garden in perfect soil. Take this opportunity to fill your bed with a good mixture of quality topsoil, compost, and rotted manure. Once they're filled and raked level, you're ready to plant or sow seeds.

Happy gardening!

Check your provincial and municipal codes before starting any project. Follow all safety precautions. Information in this document has been furnished by the North American Retail Hardware Association (NRHA) and associated contributors. Every effort has been made to ensure accuracy and safety. Neither NRHA, any contributor nor the retailer can be held responsible for damages or injuries resulting from the use of the information in this document.

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