DIAW Extreme: How to Build Raised Garden Beds, ep. 1
Interested in learning how to build raised garden beds? If so, watch gardening expert Joe Lamp’l and Done-In-A-Weekend (DIAW) Extreme host Doug Scott demonstrate how it’s done. For full raised bed build plans, check out this PDF download.
Fairly easy to build and maintain, raised beds are great for growing food right from home. Besides build materials and the desired plants, all you’ll need is high-quality soil and ample water.
Scott and Lamp’l begin by discussing raised bed variables worth considering to determine if one’s right for you.
Why build a raised garden bed?
Raised beds are:
- A way to facilitate ideal soil
- Easy to work in and maintain
- An aesthetically beautiful hardscape feature
What is the ideal size for raised beds?
- 3’ to 4’ wide is always best
- Length is usually personal preference, or whatever fits in your overall design
- At least 6” high; 12” is common, and anything higher is a bonus
What are the common materials used to create raised beds?
- Treated lumber
- Untreated lumber (preferred by many since it contains no chemicals)
- Any other materials you may have in your yard/at your disposal (i.e., rocks)
Where is the best place to build a raised bed?
- On level ground
- With full sun exposure
- Near convenient access to a water supply
What you need for a DIY raised garden bed
Materials needed to build a 10’ x 4’ x 18” raised bed.
- (9) 6” x 6” x 12’ cedar timbers
- Tape measure, t-square and pencil
- Saw and extension cord
- (1) box of 10” heavy-duty, exterior-grade wood screws
- (10) 24” x ½” rebar stakes
- (20) 10” galvanized timber spikes
- Impact drill and long drill bit
- Hardware cloth, wire cutters and fence staples
- Work gloves, safety glasses and ear plugs
- Wheelbarrow (to transport soil)
How to build a 10’ x 4’ x 18” raised bed.
- Begin by cutting (6) 6 x 6 timbers—each measuring 10-feet, 6-inches in length—and (6) 6 X 6 timbers, each measuring 4-feet, 6-inches in length. Then, drill the appropriate rebar holes in each timber, as outlined in our build schematic.
- Once the first layer of timbers has been placed, leveled, and squared in your desired bed location, fasten the corners using 10-inch wood screws. Secure the entire layer to the ground with 10 pieces of rebar.
- Next, place the second layer of timbers—staggering the corners and fastening them with wood screws. When that is done, secure the entire layer to the first with (10) 8-inch galvanized spikes.
- After hardware cloth has been installed, place the third and final layer of timbers. Again, stagger the corners and secure them to one another with wood screws. Secure this layer to the second with galvanized spikes.
- Now comes the last—and fun—part: filling the raised bed!
Several weeks after the build is complete, Doug returns to the owners’ residence to see the raised bed—full of veggies!