How To Build A Raised Garden Bed

If you are looking for a way to grow more plants, flowers, or vegetables in your small garden, then you have come to the right place. A raised garden bed is a great way of making more space in your garden that can be used to plant anything you want.

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While you can buy raised garden beds from any garden center, you can also make them yourself using these simple steps.

What Is A Raised Garden Bed?

A raised garden bed is a raised box that can be used as a gardening plot for growing plants.

Using a garden bed allows you to save space in the yard, which is why they are ideal for small gardens. Fill the garden bed with quality soil and place them where they will get a lot of sunlight to grow all kinds of plants, flowers, or vegetables.

Benefits of a Raised Garden Bed

There are many benefits to using a raised garden bed, such as:

  • Easier weeding without bending and kneeling
  • Fewer weeds to deal with than in a traditional garden
  • Better drainage for plants
  • A higher ground temperature during the growing season
  • Creates a concentrated area with more fertile soil
  • Minimal space requirements

If you are going to make your own raised garden bed for these reasons, it should be a maximum of four feet wide. This makes it easy for you to weed the center of the box without having to step into it.

In terms of depth, stick to around six inches but the deeper, the better, depending on what you are wanting to plant in the garden bed. A maximum of 24 inches in depth is recommended for a comfortable working height and healthy plant roots.

What You Need To Make A Raised Garden Bed

  • Two 2-inch x 12-inch x 8-foot longboards 
  • Two 2-inch x 12-inch x 4-foot longboards
  • 12 4-inch decking screws
  • Electric drill
  • Tape measure
  • Speed square
  • Hoe, shovel, and rake
  • Pencil
  • A compostable fabric, like newspaper or cardboard
  • One 1 1/5 cubic yards of dirt and compost mix 
  • Plants of your choice

How To Make A Raised Garden Bed

  • Prepare The Ground For The Garden Bed

The perfect location for your garden bed should offer enough light and shade, which will vary based on the kind of plants you are wanting in your garden.

If you do not know what you will be using your garden bed for, consider a spot that gets at least six hours of sunlight per day.

You can place your garden bed on concrete, but dirt or grass is better for the drainage of plants and can allow for longer roots. Whatever area you choose, make sure it is level and is big enough for your garden bed.

Using the hoe or shovel, remove the grass from your chosen area and loosen the dirt, all the while leveling the ground. Make sure that the ground allows for the garden bed to sit flush on the edges, as this will keep out weeds and vermin.

  1. Frame Garden Bed and Set Screws

To start making the frame of your garden bed, lay the longer pieces of wood parallel to each other and the shorter pieces perpendicular to the edge of each.

On the broad side of the 4-foot boards, take the tape measure to mark one inch from the end and three inches from the top for a screw. Mark a second spot three inches from this one.

Repeat this step once more and repeat it all on the other 4-foot board. 

Now you know where they need to go, use the drill to sink the screws one-third of the way into the wood. 

  • Build the Bed

Next, attach the four-foot boards with the screws to the 8-foot boards to make your frame.

Using the help of a second person, hold one of the 8-foot boards on its side, making sure the outer edge is flush with the edge of the 4-foot board, so they overlap. Use the speed square to make sure the boards meet at a 90-degree angle.

With the boards flush against each other, use the drill to finish sinking the screws in and attach them. Repeat this process on the three other corners of your frame.

To extend the life of your wood, you can also use a staple gun and a heavy-duty sheet of plastic to line the inside of the garden bed frame. Cut the plastic into 12-inch wide sheets and attach them to the inside of the bed by stapling every couple of inches.

  • Place and Fill The Raised Garden Bed

It is time to move your completed garden bed to your desired location. If there are any gaps between the garden bed and the ground, then fill them with dirt.

Line the bottom of the bed using newspaper, cardboard, or another compostable fabric to further reduce weed growth. 

Fill the bed with your dirt and compost mixture. The amount may vary based on the size of the garden bed you have made, but fill the garden bed until there is only half an inch left at the top.

If you plan to add mulch to the garden bed after planting, you will need to leave more of a gap to accommodate this. Level using the rake, so you are ready to add your plants. 

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