A bed that's at least 6 inches high provides ease of access and gives roots plenty of room to grow. How to Build Garden Container Beds From Composite Lumber, Addicted 2 Decorating: How to Build an Elevated Garden, University of Florida IFAS Extension: How to Build an Elevated Square Foot Garden, How to Make a Deck to Elevate a Back Row in a Movie Room, How to Build a Planter Box From Fence Boards. This is a good practice for both soil and plants. And speaking of time, these kits come with a 50 year warranty, which is pretty hard to match. Two cedar boxed garden systems that assemble in minutes are detailed below. If you have 12” of usable soil beneath your bed, build up another 12-24” to accommodate the crops on your list. Shannon Cowan Measure the inside of the box from the support ledge on one side to the support ledge on the opposite side. If you use conventional lumber, line the bottom of the raised bed box with 6-mil black plastic to extend the life of the bed. 16-24 coated deck screws, size 3.5”#10, Hand saw Assembly consisted of screwing the sides together with the Galvanized screws to form a simple box. The list of reasons for switching to raised vegetable garden beds is long, but these are the main advantages: Tending raised plants is a lot easier on the back and knees. Raised Bed With Legs. But not all raised bed systems are the same. (For the needs of specific garden crops, see our table of soil depth requirements.) If you build a hoop house on top of a raised bed, you can be … 28 Best DIY raised bed garden ideas: easy tutorials & designs to build raised beds or vegetable & flower garden box planters with inexpensive materials! The first step of the project is to build the legs for the raised garden bed. The main difference is that the boards in this system are Oregon incense cedar treated with a natural silica-based stabilizer. Measure along the length of the box in case measurements vary from end-to-end. © Copyright 2020 Hearst Communications, Inc. These brackets feature an 11.5” stake that can be hammered into the ground, making fastening your corners a breeze. If other pests affect your area, read. Avoid compacting your soil once it’s in place. And while pre-fab kits come in a variety of sizes, you can make DIY beds to fit tricky spaces and unusual depths. Raised bed designs come in a variety of heights to make reaching your crops less stressful on your body over time. The technique … This is the perfect raised garden bed if you’re on a budget. Carve out a square shape, create square-foot squares, line them up, and start planting! There are also do-it-yourself options if you have the time or the inclination. To support timber beds, place wooden stakes at every corner (and every few feet for longer beds). Stepping on the soil will compress the air pockets needed for plant roots to take up water and nutrients. This is the support ledge that will hold the bottom decking. They will last for many years and weather to a soft, silver grey. Lay the boards on the supports to create the bottom deck. Attach one of the … The size is up to you. Cheap Raised Garden Beds You Can DIY. It’s also lighter to handle than many other woods. If you have weed problems, you can install a weed barrier beneath your bed’s soil at installation time to ensure invasive weeds or tree roots don’t invade the bed. The joints each have stake that needs pressing into the ground. Square up the ends of the 2-by-8-inch boards so they are even and flush with the post using the carpenter’s square. Repeat all the way around the bed. If you need your bed to go together quickly, if you don’t have the tools or space to make your own, or if you need a long-lasting plastic or composite system that’s easy to clean and move, a pre-fab kit is the better choice for your situation. Next in terms of price are kits made from a blend of hardwood fibers and post-consumer recycled plastic. Then lay those 6 board slats out on top of … Recycled boards repurposed from other projects are another lower cost option, as long as they aren’t treated. Unfortunately some raised bed systems are costly to buy and time consuming to install. Drill If you live in an area where burrowing pests are a problem, add a layer of hardware cloth (or another fine metal mesh) across the bottom of your garden bed and about 3” up the insides. That biodegradable capacity means they won’t last as long as synthetic materials, however, so if durability is your goal, a composite or recycled plastic bed is a good alternative option. Fill your beds with the best soil possible. Avoid buying pressure-treated or stained wood, unless it’s specifically designed for using in and around garden beds. Choose a flat, sunny spot to build your raised garden bed. Recycled Plastic vs. Composite Raised Garden Beds. A raised garden bed also tends to be warmer than the ground, so you can plant a couple weeks earlier than you could just planting in the ground. Cedar is the most common wood used for raised beds because of its durability and resistance to rot. Now use the 1/4 inch screen to cover the bottom … Here are some things to consider before you build your own raised beds. It’s also lightweight enough to handle for one person if dried thoroughly. Avoid buying topsoil, since it usually lacks the nutrients and structure needed for gardening. To simplify the job even further, you can purchase pre-made anchor joints for your garden box corners. Instead of digging up a compacted bed year after year, many gardeners add compost and other soil amendments to the top of their elevated beds in fall, then let nature do the rest over the dormant season. 01. To avoid this, use coated deck screws or stainless steel. Again, let’s say you live in an … Smooth the edges … High Elevated, Functional Garden Planter. As noted above, cedar is one of the most rot resistant woods available. Bending, stooping, and kneeling can all take its toll on your back and joints. If your bed is not 12 inches deep, you could dig out a bit of the ground before adding the dirt to make … Drill four pilot holes, equally spaced, near the ends of all of the 2-by-8-inch boards. Now you’re ready to plant! Use ½” aluminum flat stock cut to match the inside width of your bed. Williams is a winner of Writer’s Digest Magazine's annual writing competition. Saw the 2-by-8-inch boards, making four boards in lengths of 5 feet 4 inches for the sides of the raised bed, and four boards in lengths 3 feet 4 inches for the ends of the raised bed. Place on the inside of the bed so that the stakes are less … Raised garden boxes are known to deter rabbits, which will handily nibble in-ground crops growing at eye level. See note above about bracing your beds … First of all you need to build the frame of the raised garden bed. They are easy to assemble in about 20 minutes and don’t require any tools to put together. To prolong the life of your bed, construct it from redwood or cedar, or another weather-resistant material that is safe to use around vegetables. Instead, look for soil labeled “triple mix” (a mix of topsoil, rotted compost, and peat moss) or garden soil. Galvanized Garden Beds. Make sure the top boards are flush with the top of the posts and the lower boards are snug against the top boards. Diana K. Williams is a certified Master Gardener, has more than a decade of experience as an environmental scientist, and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in biology and environmental studies from the Ohio Northern University. I make mine with 6 legs, 32" tall, … If your garden soil is normally wet into springtime, elevated beds solve this problem by lifting the soil above ground level and giving your plant roots room to breathe. Raised beds … You can extend the length to fit your space, but if your bed is going to be longer than 8’, you’ll need to add extra posts mid-span to prevent bowing and to provide a place to secure cross supports. There are a lot of great reasons to build raised beds that contain and protect your garden soil. The boards do not need to be secured in place. Here are more than 20 easy DIY ideas for raised garden beds with free plans, ranging from Cinder block garden bed to wood garden bed and garden tower! Instead, use a spanner board (a board that spans your bed from edge to edge) if you need to cross. This is the design our founder and his family have used in their garden for over 40 years. See note above about bracing your beds with crossbeams. Measure the inside of the box, at the bottom, from post to post. Editor’s note: this article was originally published in 2019 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness. In case you missed part 1, here it is. Stack them together in minutes without tools, fill with soil, and your garden is ready to go. This will create better conditions for plant roots that need extra depth to grow. Level the entire bed. You will need boards for the frame and horizontal… Just be sure your creative choices don’t expose your soil and plants to toxic chemicals from paints, stains, or other finishes. Repeat for the remaining three pieces. This composite bed takes about thirty minutes to put together. You can fill planters with top-quality soil for more productivity in a smaller space. Starting with first corner, attach frame to corner post using two screws per side, leveling as you go. Leaving a small gap of 1/4 to 1/2 inch will allow rain to drain so the box does not flood. Take a long side bed piece and use it to connect the legs together as shown in the picture. It should be flush with the bottom of the box. The plans make one 4 x 8’ raised garden bed. You can adjust the measurements to your specifications. … Cut 4-inch long pieces of 1-by-2-inch boards and screw them onto the posts at the same height as the supports on the bottom of the box. Like the kit above, these beds are made from natural cedar and assemble in minutes without tools (unless you opt for the version that includes trim). They also make it easy to install copper slug ‘fencing’ and other deterrents around the perimeter. I really like this idea for a raised garden bed. Counter Height Garden box are easy to build and great for those of us that just can’t get … Work on a clean level … This is a simplistic design that can be used for most other examples. In general, most garden vegetables need 12 – 24” of soil depth to grow, with a few others needing as much as 36” of depth. Add bottom wood slats & top trim to DIY raised planter box on legs. It covers the important basics of building a productive raised bed, such as planning, material selections, designs and tips on how to fill your raised beds! In this way, beds built 12 inches deep or more have the added benefit of giving plants a longer growing season. The bed frame can be as simple as 2 x 4s on top of the ground, or even patio retaining wall blocks. Carpenter’s square These galvanized raised planter boxes not only look great, but they'll last a … Raised beds give you more flexibility to control the growing conditions in your garden and make it harder for animals to get at your vegetables. In the backyard or the front, a series of raised planters surrounded by paths looks neat and well tended all year round. Don't worry about the condition of the soil in your chosen … Level After leveling and clearing the area where your bed will be located, lay out the bottom tier of your beds using two 4’ 2 x 6s, two 8’ 2 x 6s, and your four corner posts. In general, beds that are no more than 4’ across are usually easiest to access. Both kits come in a variety of sizes and shapes. It’s not necessary to cover the ground with landscaping fabric. These kits are the longest lasting and share the same low maintenance features as the composite lumber beds above. Repeat to build the other side of the raised bed box. There are many ways to build raised beds from elaborate and tall sides to simple and easy – I went with the most inexpensive version I could do while still using wood that would hold up outside. Four 4’ 2 x 6″ cedar boards Other options include black locust and redwood. Mark the cut lines on the 4×4 rough cedar posts and then get the job done with a circular saw. In addition, you could drill pilot holes through the legs and insert 2 1/2″ screws into the raised bed. Drill four pilot holes, equally spaced, near the ends of all of the 2-by-8-inch boards. The following instructions demonstrate how to make a simple raised bed with basic materials. If you don’t have the time or resources to muster the raw materials for building a raised garden bed from scratch, you can purchase one of the easy-to-assemble kits on the market. Some of the least expensive kits are made from raw, natural wood or wood treated with natural wood stabilizers. 6) Continue building the sides of the bed by placing the remaining side pieces around the outside of the bed. Yet, they make a … These beds are made from 100% HDPE (high density polyethylene) plastic, the same material that you find in high quality garden furniture and public picnic tables. Next attach the legs at each corner with the lag bolts. You can also stack your lumber in tiers. You can extend the length to fit your space, but if your bed is going to be longer than 8’, you’ll need to add extra posts mid-span to prevent bowing and to provide a place to secure cross supports. You may have to dig in places to get your bed to level. The woods listed above will last a long time (10-20 years depending on your climate), but they will biodegrade eventually. It’s not necessary to use landscaping fabric at the bottom of your bed. They’re also available in five colors, which means you can match them to your backyard décor for a seamless blend. So why should you bother assembling or building a raised bed garden? (Avoid pressure treated lumber.) Use standard sizes, starting with 2 x 6 for the most basic bed with good soil underneath, all the way up to 2 x 12 if you need a taller bed for plants with deeper roots. Center the stand to the raised garden bed, as shown in the free building plans. Concrete blocks, bathtubs, metal feed troughs and even old canoes can all work for instant raised garden beds. Cut off corner posts flush with top of frame. Raised Garden Bed Plans Use simple treated lumber or masonry blocks to make an easy enclosure for flower bed and garden patches. Keyhole Garden. And beware of adding anything to your beds that may contain weed seeds (unprocessed manure, unfinished compost, etc.) Raised beds can turn a garden area with poor soil into a high yielding piece of ground. In this case, your first consideration should be the type of materials available and how quickly and easily they go together. Building your own elevated garden boxes is a straightforward project for anyone with access to materials, along with the space and skill to fashion the parts. Measure the inside width of your planter box. 5) Stand the legs up so that they form H’s with the cross piece toward the top. You can buy dimensional or nominal lumber from a local mill. They also resemble natural grain wood in color and texture. Raised garden beds require less tilling than traditional, in-ground beds. DIY U-Shaped Raised Garden Bed Keyhole gardens are a little fancier than other raised bed options. You do not need to notch the boards. I have made 8 of these beds (6 for our local elementary school garden and 2 as gifts) that are 8' x 4' and they are holding up very well, even out here at the coast. Add legs to a raised bed and you can garden without kneeling, or turn an apartment patio into a garden. This is lumber cut to the full two inches thick and (in this case) six inches wide, instead of the standard cut you will get if you purchase from a commercial supplier (which will be slightly smaller due to shrinkage and planing). Cut decking pieces from 2-by-8-inch boards to the appropriate length. To further strengthen your bed, consider using full dimension lumber, also known as “nominal” lumber. There’s no question that raised beds are popular for a reason. Cut the slats at the right size and attach … Here are some other tips to remember when using your beds. Driver. Whatever you choose, raised gardens are a satisfying way to grow your own food without the strain and stress on your body. If these are too expensive in your area, consider using fir or spruce, with the understanding that they will not last as long. Secure the 3-feet 4-inch long boards to the ends of the box by screwing two boards to each end. Saw the 4-by-4-inch posts to 36-inch lengths, making four posts. Approved for organic growing, these kits are durable, light, long lasting, and easy to assemble. To slow this process, you can treat your boards before building your beds, but be sure to use a non-toxic wood treatment that won’t leach harmful chemicals into your soil—and potentially your plants. 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