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Build a Raised-Bed Garden in 10 Easy Steps

Raised-Bed Garden

With the right tools and instructions, you can build your own raised garden bed. Here's how to build a single raised-bed garden that is 4 ft. wide and 10 ft. long. By keeping the bed no wider than 4 ft., you can easily reach the plants from either side without walking in the bed. By building a bed that is 10 ft. long, you can do more in less space, because you won't have to build two separate beds, wasting space between them. This is a good starter-sized raised-bed garden for a family. Once you get started, you can easily add more raised beds to increase your growing space.

build a raised garden bed in 10 easy steps image 1

Pick Your Site
For the biggest harvests from your vegetable plants, choose a location that gets at least six hours, and preferably eight hours, of sunlight per day.

Materials Checklist

  •          Tape measure
  •          Hammer
  •          Circular saw
  •          Drill and countersink bit and 3⁄16 in. twist bit
  •          Handsaw
  •          Level
  •          Pencil
  •          One 8 ft. 2 x 10 board
  •          Two 10 ft. 2 x 10 boards
  •          One 8 ft. 4 x 4 board
  •          One 8 ft. 2 x 4 board
  •          3½ in. deck screws and 1¼ in. deck screws

Cut the 8 ft. 2 x 10 board into two 45 in. pieces. (You will have a little bit of wood left.) These are the two short ends of the raised bed.

Trim the ends of the two 10 ft. 2 x 10 boards so they are square (so they will fit flush with the short ends) and measure 120 in. each. These are the sides.

build a raised garden bed in 10 easy steps image 2

Build the frame on your selected site. Set the boards out into a rectangle with the short side boards on the inside of the long sides. Use the drill to drill pilot holes through the ends and secure the boards together with the 3½ in. deck screws.

Check to make sure the bed frame is square by measuring the diagonals. The length should be the same for both diagonals.

Saw the corner posts that will keep the bed in place. Cut the 8 ft. 4 x 4 piece into four 2 ft. pieces. Create a point on one end by removing some of the wood with a handsaw.

build a raised garden bed in 10 easy steps image 3

Drive one of the 2 ft. long posts into each corner to secure the bed into place.

Cut two 2 ft. lengths from the 2 x 4 board. These are your stakes. (You need to make your own because smaller surveyor's stakes aren't strong enough.)

build a raised garden bed in 10 easy steps image 4

Hammer a 2 x 4 stake on the outside of the two long pieces. This will keep the long side pieces from bowing out over time.

Line the bottom of the raised bed with cardboard boxes to keep the grass from growing up through the bed.

Fill the raised bed with a compost and topsoil blend, and plant with your favorite vegetables or flowers.