Use a shovel to remove ground that prevents the frame from resting in a level position. Lay the boards on the supports to create the bottom deck. Next attach the legs at each corner with the lag bolts. Drill four pilot holes, equally spaced, near the ends of all of the 2-by-8-inch boards. See note above about bracing your beds … Level the entire bed. The beauty of this particular raised bed build is that it is cheap and easy to build. Attach one of the … In this way, beds built 12 inches deep or more have the added benefit of giving plants a longer growing season. Recycled Plastic Raised Garden Bed - 4 x 8 x 11", Composite Raised Garden Bed - 4 x 16 x 12", Deer Proof Cedar Complete Raised Garden Bed Kit - 8 x 8 x 20", Deer Proof Cedar Complete Raised Garden Bed Kit - 8 x 12, © 2021 Eartheasy.com - All Rights Reserved, 10 Resolutions for a More Sustainable Year, How to Build a Raised Garden Bed: Best Kits and DIY Plans - 6, 10 Reasons to Add Raised Garden Beds to Your Garden, Cedar vs. You may have to dig in places to get your bed to level. This is the support ledge that will hold the bottom decking. Carve out a square shape, create square-foot squares, line them up, and start planting! How to Build a Raised Garden Bed on Sloping, Uneven Ground. Four 4’ 2 x 6″ cedar boards Williams is a winner of Writer’s Digest Magazine's annual writing competition. I make mine with 6 legs, 32" tall, … 5) Stand the legs up so that they form H’s with the cross piece toward the top. 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. Raised Garden Bed Plans Use simple treated lumber or masonry blocks to make an easy enclosure for flower bed and garden patches. These brackets feature an 11.5” stake that can be hammered into the ground, making fastening your corners a breeze. Instead, look for soil labeled “triple mix” (a mix of topsoil, rotted compost, and peat moss) or garden soil. They will last for many years and weather to a soft, silver grey. Next in terms of price are kits made from a blend of hardwood fibers and post-consumer recycled plastic. For more benefits, see 10 Reasons to Add Raised Garden Beds to Your Garden. The plans make one 4 x 8’ raised garden 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. 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. For more discussion about the merits of different raised bed materials, read our article Cedar vs. DIY U-Shaped Raised Garden Bed Lay another 2-by-8-inch board just below the first board, adjust it so it is snug against the first board. If these are too expensive in your area, consider using fir or spruce, with the understanding that they will not last as long. 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! Now you’re ready to plant! The plans make one 4 x 8’ raised garden bed. Continue with remaining three sides until you have one complete row. You can also stack your lumber in tiers. Take a long side bed piece and use it to connect the legs together as shown in the picture. 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. Add bottom wood slats & top trim to DIY raised planter box on legs. (Avoid pressure treated lumber.) 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. As noted above, cedar is one of the most rot resistant woods available. 6) Continue building the sides of the bed by placing the remaining side pieces around the outside of the bed. Smooth ground around bed and fill bed with soil. Assembly consisted of screwing the sides together with the Galvanized screws to form a simple box. Stack them together in minutes without tools, fill with soil, and your garden is ready to go. Shannon Cowan It’s not necessary to cover the ground with landscaping fabric. A bed that's at least 6 inches high provides ease of access and gives roots plenty of room to grow. Raised garden boxes are known to deter rabbits, which will handily nibble in-ground crops growing at eye level. Four lengths of 4 x 4″ lumber, cut about 15” long, for corner posts Add legs to a raised bed and you can garden without kneeling, or turn an. 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). The first step of the project is to build the legs for the raised garden bed. These galvanized raised planter boxes not only look great, but they'll last a … Bending, stooping, and kneeling can all take its toll on your back and joints. Four 8’ 2 x 6″ cedar boards Place on the inside of the bed so that the stakes are less … If you build a hoop house on top of a raised bed, you can be … The technique … A raised bed should be a minimum of 6-12 inches deep, so there is enough room for your plants to develop a good, deep root system, but you can make the raised bed as deep as you would like. Repeat to build the other side of the raised bed box. Drill Use ½” aluminum flat stock cut to match the inside width of your bed. Keyhole gardens are a little fancier than other raised bed options. For beds longer than 8’, we recommend installing cross supports to prevent bowing outwards from the weight of your soil. These instructions describe building a 4-foot by 6-foot by 10-1/2-inch bed … In general, most garden vegetables need 12 – 24” of soil depth to grow, with a few others needing as much as 36” of depth. 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. These easy-to-assemble beds are made from Vermont white cedar. Wood composite is warp resistant and maintenance free. Screw them into the 4-by-4-inch posts. Smooth the edges … Drill pilot holes through the supports and insert 2 1/2″ screws into the bottom of the planter. This is a good practice for both soil and plants. 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! 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). So why should you bother assembling or building a raised bed garden? Each non-toxic color includes UV protection to minimize fading over time. Other options include black locust and redwood. Cheap Raised Garden Beds You Can DIY. The main difference is that the boards in this system are Oregon incense cedar treated with a natural silica-based stabilizer. Cut a piece of 1-by-2-inch lumber to this measurement and attach it using 2-inch galvanized deck screws spaced about 6 inches apart. But not all raised bed systems are the same. If other pests affect your area, read. The best thing about this project is that you don’t have to lean to take care of the plans … In general, beds that are no more than 4’ across are usually easiest to access. 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. Don't worry about the condition of the soil in your chosen … Measure the inside of the box, at the bottom, from post to post. 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. 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. This composite bed takes about thirty minutes to put together. 16-24 coated deck screws, size 3.5”#10, Hand saw If the ground beneath your bed has never been used for gardening, you can prepare it by turning over to a depth of about 16 inches deep. 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. Repeat for the remaining three pieces. While there is no clear winner in terms of materials, wood beds biodegrade at the end of their lifespan, meaning no waste gets left behind. I really like this idea for a raised garden bed. Yet, they make a … It’s also lighter to handle than many other woods. Raised beds can turn a garden area with poor soil into a high yielding piece of ground. 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. Raised beds … Again, let’s say you live in an … These kits are the longest lasting and share the same low maintenance features as the composite lumber beds above. And while pre-fab kits come in a variety of sizes, you can make DIY beds to fit tricky spaces and unusual depths. Instead, use a spanner board (a board that spans your bed from edge to edge) if you need to cross. The joints each have stake that needs pressing into the ground. 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. They’re also available in five colors, which means you can match them to your backyard décor for a seamless blend. To avoid this, use coated deck screws or stainless steel. Drill four pilot holes, equally spaced, near the ends of all of the 2-by-8-inch boards. There’s no question that raised beds are popular for a reason. You can buy dimensional or nominal lumber from a local mill. … When you have the time and skill to make your own, DIY raised garden beds are often the most economical choice. Attach one of the 5-feet 4-inch long boards to a 4-by-4-inch post by laying it flush with the top of the post and the end of the board flush with the side of the post. (For the needs of specific garden crops, see our table of soil depth requirements.) You can adjust the measurements to your specifications. 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. They also resemble natural grain wood in color and texture. The final type of raised garden kit on the market is made from recycled plastic. 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. Editor’s note: this article was originally published in 2019 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness. To simplify the job even further, you can purchase pre-made anchor joints for your garden box corners. Stacking brackets also exist for the upper levels of tiered beds. Here are some other tips to remember when using your beds. You can fill planters with top-quality soil for more productivity in a smaller space. 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. 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. Whatever you choose, raised gardens are a satisfying way to grow your own food without the strain and stress on your body. In case you missed part 1, here it is. Some of the least expensive kits are made from raw, natural wood or wood treated with natural wood stabilizers. This will create better conditions for plant roots that need extra depth to grow. The reason they cost a little more? 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. Recycled Plastic vs. Composite Raised Garden Beds, be sure to use a non-toxic wood treatment. Raised bed designs come in a variety of heights to make reaching your crops less stressful on your body over time. Avoid buying pressure-treated or stained wood, unless it’s specifically designed for using in and around garden beds. 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. If you’re building on a slope, see our article about How to Build a Raised Garden Bed on Sloping, Uneven Ground. Then lay those 6 board slats out on top of … Level In this case, your first consideration should be the type of materials available and how quickly and easily they go together. Measure along the length of the box in case measurements vary from end-to-end. Counter Height Garden box are easy to build and great for those of us that just can’t get … Work on a clean level … How to Keep Animal Pests Out of Your Garden, Here’s How to Grow the Best Food Imaginable in Your Raised Garden Beds, Raised Garden Beds: Soil Depth Requirements, 6 Tips for Building Soil for Your Raised Garden Beds and Planters, Preparing Your Raised Garden Beds for Spring, How to Build a Bean Trellis for Raised Garden Beds, Gardening on Concrete with Raised Beds and Patio Containers, Backyard Vegetable Garden: Getting Started. If you have 12” of usable soil beneath your bed, build up another 12-24” to accommodate the crops on your list. Galvanized Garden Beds. Building a Raised Garden Bed. This is the design our founder and his family have used in their garden for over 40 years. Keyhole Garden. Repeat all the way around the bed. Cut the slats at the right size and attach … Approved for organic growing, these kits are durable, light, long lasting, and easy to assemble. Cut six 1x6s to this size less 1/4″. 01. Add the next row of 2 x 6’ boards, screwing to the corner posts as above. Measure the inside width of your planter box. To further strengthen your bed, consider using full dimension lumber, also known as “nominal” lumber. Raising your beds also means moving crops away from dogs that may otherwise (ahem) urinate on your garden. Many screws are made from metal that will leach a dark stain onto wood when exposed to moisture. Here are some things to consider before you build your own raised beds. Recycled boards repurposed from other projects are another lower cost option, as long as they aren’t treated. The woods listed above will last a long time (10-20 years depending on your climate), but they will biodegrade eventually. Cedar is the most common wood used for raised beds because of its durability and resistance to rot. 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. Carpenter’s square Pre-drill all holes to prevent your wood from splitting. Two cedar boxed garden systems that assemble in minutes are detailed below. Add legs to a raised bed and you can garden without kneeling, or turn an apartment patio into a garden. Now use the 1/4 inch screen to cover the bottom … Mark the cut lines on the 4×4 rough cedar posts and then get the job done with a circular saw. The blog editor at Eartheasy.com, Shannon lives on six acres of land with her husband, daughters, and backyard poultry flock. (This will be in the direction that is 3 feet across.) Avoid pressure treated wood and pressure treated lumber. It’s not necessary to use landscaping fabric at the bottom of your bed. Whether you’re handy with tools or don’t know a drill press from a driver, there are kits on the market that are easy to build with little time or expense. In addition, you could drill pilot holes through the legs and insert 2 1/2″ screws into the raised bed. The end boards will be cut shorter to allow for the posts. You do not need to notch the boards. Both kits come in a variety of sizes and shapes. Starting with first corner, attach frame to corner post using two screws per side, leveling as you go. The boards do not need to be secured in place. 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. 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. See note above about bracing your beds with crossbeams. The bed frame can be as simple as 2 x 4s on top of the ground, or even patio retaining wall blocks. Raised beds filled with nutrient rich, organic soil warm faster in spring due to their elevation away from the cold ground—and their improved drainage. This raised garden bed plan uses the square foot gardening technique. They will look the same for years without interventions. Assembly involves sliding each timber into a joint and fastening with zinc-plated screws (provided with the kit). The size is up to you. This is the perfect raised garden bed if you’re on a budget. Recycled Plastic vs. Composite Raised Garden Beds. Cut decking pieces from 2-by-8-inch boards to the appropriate length. Fill your beds with the best soil possible. Just be sure your creative choices don’t expose your soil and plants to toxic chemicals from paints, stains, or other finishes. © Copyright 2020 Hearst Communications, Inc. Stepping on the soil will compress the air pockets needed for plant roots to take up water and nutrients. 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. And beware of adding anything to your beds that may contain weed seeds (unprocessed manure, unfinished compost, etc.) Measure the inside of the box from the support ledge on one side to the support ledge on the opposite side. Not only do they look stunning in a backyard garden, they also ease the workload that comes with maintaining traditional, in-ground beds. This is a simplistic design that can be used for most other examples. 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. They are easy to assemble in about 20 minutes and don’t require any tools to put together. Leaving a small gap of 1/4 to 1/2 inch will allow rain to drain so the box does not flood. My beds are roughly 6 feet long, 3 feet wide, and 12 inches high – but you could just add another board to sides to make … 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 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. High Elevated, Functional Garden Planter. Attach the 4-by-4-inch posts to the other end of the boards in the same way. Avoid buying topsoil, since it usually lacks the nutrients and structure needed for gardening. You will need boards for the frame and horizontal… Driver. Pressure-treated lumber should be only used if it is certified safe to use with edible plants. It’s also lightweight enough to handle for one person if dried thoroughly. The idea is simple. In the backyard or the front, a series of raised planters surrounded by paths looks neat and well tended all year round. 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. You can also ask your local lumberyard what they recommend. Choose a flat, sunny spot to build your raised garden bed. There are a lot of great reasons to build raised beds that contain and protect your garden soil. It should be flush with the bottom of the box. Unfortunately some raised bed systems are costly to buy and time consuming to install. Screw the boards to the post using 2 1/2-inch deck screws. Saw the 4-by-4-inch posts to 36-inch lengths, making four posts. The following instructions demonstrate how to make a simple raised bed with basic materials. Raised Bed With Legs. If bending and stooping is not for you, create a waist-high planting box or built-up garden bed. Center the stand to the raised garden bed, as shown in the free building plans. There are also do-it-yourself options if you have the time or the inclination. Concrete blocks, bathtubs, metal feed troughs and even old canoes can all work for instant raised garden beds. Raised garden beds require less tilling than traditional, in-ground beds. Make sure the top boards are flush with the top of the posts and the lower boards are snug against the top boards. To support timber beds, place wooden stakes at every corner (and every few feet for longer beds). If your bed is not 12 inches deep, you could dig out a bit of the ground before adding the dirt to make … As you can easily notice in the plans, you should use 2×6 lumber and 44 corner posts. First of all you need to build the frame of the raised garden bed. If you want to learn more about how to build a waist high raised garden bed you have to take a close look over the free plans in the article.I have designed this planter so you can grow vegetable and other plans in your own backyard or on a patio. 28 Best DIY raised bed garden ideas: easy tutorials & designs to build raised beds or vegetable & flower garden box planters with inexpensive materials! Cut off corner posts flush with top of frame. Secure the 3-feet 4-inch long boards to the ends of the box by screwing two boards to each end. They also make it easy to install copper slug ‘fencing’ and other deterrents around the perimeter. Avoid compacting your soil once it’s in place. And speaking of time, these kits come with a 50 year warranty, which is pretty hard to match. Pieces around the perimeter the next row of 2 x 6 ’ boards, screwing to the of. Top of frame line them up, and your garden soil, bathtubs, metal feed troughs and even canoes. Brackets feature an 11.5 ” stake that can be used for raised beds and easily go! Provided with the lag bolts it is snug against the first board, adjust so! Dimension lumber, also known as “ nominal ” lumber paths looks neat and well tended year... If bending and stooping is not for you, create square-foot squares line... Long side bed piece and use it to connect the legs for the posts and the lower are! The perfect raised garden beds the square foot gardening technique exposed to moisture price are kits made from raw natural... Note: this article was originally published in 2019 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness “! Beds can turn a garden beds above soil for more productivity in a variety heights! Are easy to assemble, unless it ’ s also lightweight enough to handle for one person dried... These brackets feature an 11.5 ” stake that can be used for raised beds turn. 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