Why Design a Raised Bed Garden?
Raised bed gardens are an ideal option for gardeners looking to help preserve space and keep their property tidy. A raised bed garden also helps to create the best possible mix of soil as you will be adding every element into your soil mix by hand. What most gardeners tend to like most about having the bed raised is that this aids in avoiding excessive amounts of weeds.
What kind of wood to use
Any pressure treated wood will do the trick but consider more expensive wood such as cedar which contains natural oils which help to prevent the wood from rotting. You can also use bricks or concrete blocks, however, this article will focus on how to build a wooden raised bed garden.
How to prepare a raised garden bed
Consider building a garden which is 4 feet wide and however long you prefer, this will allow you to access the garden by hand without stepping into it. The depth of the bed is up to you, but it must be at least six inches deep. However, we suggest your bed being 12 inches deep for ideal growing conditions.
Where to put raised garden beds
Remember to build your garden on level ground, and in a spot which will receive a considerable amount of sunlight (especially important when growing vegetables).
Preparing your plot
After you have chosen a suitable location, remove all grass and weeds with a shovel and then break up and loosen the soil as much as possible.
What type of boards to use
Standard 2x4s are easy to find at any local lumber store. Don’t forget that you can also have the boards cut to your desired lengths while at the store. You can use these 2x4s as both the stakes and the boards which you will stack on top of each other. If the land has been prepped, and you have all of your supplies, you’re now ready to build your bed.
Building the Raised Garden Bed
- For support, place wooden stakes (cut to your desired height) at every corner. Place on the inside of the bed so that the stakes are less of an eyesore.
- Place the stakes about 2 feet (or 60%) into the ground and leave the rest of the stakes exposed above ground.
- Make sure that the stakes are level so that they’re embedded into the ground at the same height, otherwise, you’ll have uneven beds.
- Set the lowest boards a couple inches below ground level and check that they are level.
- Use nails or screws to fix the boards to the stakes.
- Then add any additional rows of boards, fixing them to the stakes as well.
Your ideal soil mix
Fill your bed with a mix of topsoil, compost, organic matter such as manure (or anything else your local gardening store suggests). One thing to remember is that raised bed gardens dry out quickly, but you won’t notice this until mid-summer when it’s really cooking outside. For this reason, you may want to consider adding straw or mulch on top of the soil to preserve moisture.
Good Luck and Happy Gardening!
Need some new gardening tools for your new raised bed garden? We recommend this home gardening tool set.