How to Build a Raised Bed Garden

So you’ve seen enough blogs with raised garden beds and have decided it would work perfectly in the space you have. Raised garden beds offer flowering plants and vegetables better irrigation, and protection from various pests.You’re probably worrying about what goes into making one, or if you’ll have the skills or tools to do it correctly, but relax, building a raised garden bed is simple and the perfect addition to your garden. I asked a friend who has a tree service in New Braunfels what the best type of wood would be to use… His answer: Cedar.

First, you need to decide how much space you have for a raised garden bed, and what you would like to grow in it. Will the plants need a lot of sunlight, or shade, in order to grow to their fullest potential? You’ll also need to see which part of your yard is more even, so some people go as far as using a level to find the perfect patch. There are a few different suggestions on what the best size for your garden bed is, but the perfect size for yours will depend mostly on your height. You want to be able to reach the center of the bed easily, from all sides, so usually it will be about six feet long, around four feet wide, and between two and three feet high.

Measure out the space of your raised garden bed, then uproot the grass from the area. You may think it won’t matter if the grass stays, but if it does, prepare for more weeds to grow. Some gardeners use landscape fabric at the bottom of their beds, though not completely necessary, it’ll save you some time weeding later. You can use almost any non-porous material for your bed, but lumber is the most popular, just make sure you don’t buy any that has been pre-treated or stained, or it may leach into the soil. Now you’ll need your basic supplies: 2 8-foot 2×12 boards, 2 4-foot 2×12 boards, galvanized screws (3 inch should do), a staple gun, and a cordless power drill. You might want to look at having these boards pre-cut at your home improvement store, or you’ll need to cut them yourself. Another consideration is support for your garden bed, which can be done with stakes against the boards on either long side, or ballasts in each corner.

Once you’ve laid out your wooden boards, check and see where you’ll be drilling the sides together, then pre drill a hole to make sure the boards don’t split. Measure your landscape fabric, adding a few inches extra on each side, then use the staple gun to attach it to the bottom of your garden bed. If you’re using stakes, drive them along each of the longer sides of the board, or into the corners if you’re using ballasts. Check the stability of your garden bed by gently rocking it, if it’s too loose, the compacted soil and weather may give you issues that need to be fixed sooner rather than later. Once you’re all set, you can start filling your garden bed.

Choosing a soil for your preferred plants is essential, otherwise your garden bed won’t be very useful. Make sure it’s free of rocks and clay, and try to find one that has added fertilizer. Once you’ve filled your garden bed you’re ready to start planting, and enjoying your raised garden bed.