A raised garden bed makes it easier to garden. Filling it directly with a proper soil mix for the plants you are planting encourages the best growing and picture-perfect vegetables and flowers. You’ll find that raised garden beds provide better drainage that not using a raised garden bed. And by using rot-resistant wood it is beautiful in it’s natural state. That means no harmful chemicals.
Remember to look at the amount of sunshine your location will be getting if you are going to plant vegetables. Veggies need a lot of natural light to produce mouth-watering and healthy edible crops. It’s best for the location of your raised garden bed to receive at least 8 hours of direct sunlight daily. You’ll want to ensure it’s close to a water source to make it easier on you when watering and close to your kitchen to easily pick dinner.
From Sunset Magazine‘s website:
A raised bed makes gardening easy. Filled with soil mix, they provide the excellent drainage needed to grow picture-perfect vegetables and flowers.
You can build the basic raised bed pictured here in a few hours, then add versatility by mounting PVC pipes inside to hold hoops that elevate bird netting or row covers over your crops. Orient your bed north-south for maximum sun exposure.
Use redwood or cedar – both are beautiful and rot-resistant. You’ll need a table or power saw to cut the wood. An electric drill is helpful, though not required.
Our total cost: $172
DESIGN: David C. Becker
Most home improvement stores will charge a small fee to cut wood for you if you don’t have the tools or access to tools. The design below will create a raised bed about 8 feet long and 4 feet wide. Get started this weekend just in time for summer vegetables, herbs and flowers.
Raised Garden Bed Materials Needed:
- One 6-foot-long 4-by-4 ($15)
- Six 8-foot-long 2-by-6s ($75)
- One 10-foot-long 1-inch PVC pipe ($3)
- Two 10-foot-long ½-inch PVC pipes ($6)
- 32 3½-inch #14 wood screws and 16 ½-inch #8 wood screws ($29)
- One 4- by 10-foot roll of ¼-inch-mesh hardware cloth ($15)
- Eight 1-inch galvanized tube straps (semicircular brackets; $3.60)
- 32 cubic feet (1 1/5 cu. yd.) planting mix ($25 in bulk or $100 in bags)
1. Assemble Your Bed Materials Upside Down
Set a 4-foot 2-by-6 on its thin edge on pavement, and place a 16-inch post at one end. Secure the post with two 3 1/2 inch screws. Repeat at other end of board. Repeat with other short board. Join the short sides with an 8-foot board; and secure with two screws. Add other long side. Add second layer of 2-by-6s.
2. Flip the Bed Right Side Up and Position it In Your Garden
You might need the assistance of a friend to flip the bed right side up. Move it into position into your garden and marking with a trowel each corner post’s location. Move the bed aside; dig a 5 to 6-inch-deep hole for each post. Put the bed into place, with posts in holes; fill around posts with soil.
3. Keep Gophers and Moles Out By Installing a Lining
Rake the existing soil at the bottom of the bed to level it, then tamp it smooth. Line the bed with hardware cloth to keep out gophers and moles; trim the cloth with shears to fit around corner posts.
4. Attach Pipe to Hold the Loops
To hold hoops for bird netting or row covers, attach four 12-inch pieces of 1-inch PVC pipe inside the bed: On the long sides, space pipes 4 feet apart, 2 feet from each end; screw on two tube straps to secure each pipe. Fill the bed with planting mix; rake it smooth, and moisten with a gentle spray from the garden hose.
5. Insert the Hoops
To cover newly planted seedlings with bird netting or season-extending row covers, simply bend two 6-foot pieces of 1/2-inch PVC pipe to form semi-circles, and slip their ends into the 1-inch pipes inside the bed. Then drape the bird netting or row covers over them.
For a quicker raised planter project, try this neat idea: Take an old bed frame and paint it a bright color for a pop of freshness in your garden. This blue bed frame certainly adds life to this garden bed in a whimsical way.