How to Build Raised Garden Beds
Scott and Lamp’l begin by discussing raised bed variables worth considering to determine if one’s right for you.
Why use raised garden beds?
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 materials are best for a raised bed build?
- Lumber. Treated is ok, but untreated lumber may be preferred for vegetable gardens because there are no chemicals on this wood.
- Any other materials you may have in your yard/at your disposal (i.e., rocks, old tubs)
Where is the best place to build a raised bed?
- On level ground
- With full sun exposure
- Near convenient access to a water supply
Raised Garden Bed DIY Instructions
Raised beds are fairly easy to build and maintain. Plus, they are a great way to grow vegetables at home. Besides build materials and the desired plants, all you’ll need to create a DIY raised garden bed is high-quality soil and ample water.
Download plans for the raised bed for vegetables featured in this video: Raised Garden Bed Plans
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)
Steps to build a 10’ x 4’ x 18” raised bed.
- Cut the wood
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.
- Level your bed location
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.
- Layer your timbers
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
- Add hardware cloth
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.
- Fill your bed with soil and plants
Several weeks after the build is complete, Doug returns to the owners’ residence to see the raised bed—full of veggies!