Sunday, February 28, 2010

How to Build a Raised Garden Bed




It's EASY!

First, pick a nice sunny spot with at least 6-8 hrs of sun or, preferably, 8-12 hours and clear out anything that may be in the way. Fruiting veggies such as tomatoes, peppers, zucchinis, eggplants, cucumbers and squash need the most hours of sun. Root vegetables such as beets, radishes & carrots can get by with less, and leafy veggies such as swiss chard, spinach and lettuce and traditional winter vegetables like turnips and cauliflower will tolerate the most shade - even as little as 4 hours a day. Then you'll need to come up with a design. You can get all fancy with geometric designs or stack in a pyramid effect or you can just go simple like I did with a 8' x 4' rectangle. Maybe down the road I'll take this to a new level, but for now we're keeping it simple.

Once you've figured out the size and shape and maybe come up with a neat little drawing, figure out your dimensions and head down to your local lumber store. You'll also need some basic supplies and tools. You're comfortable with a drill, right? Sure you are! Here's a general list but alter as needed for your design:
  • Tape Measure
  • Pencil
  • Level
  • carpenters square
  • mallet
  • drill
  • 7/64 #8 counter sink bit
  • #1 3-3 1/2 & #1 2-2 1/2 exterior screws (make sure they're exterior screws so the won't rust)
  • a bundle of 18" or 24" wooden stakes
  • 4 2x6 boards cut 8' in either UNTREATED cedar or redwood
  • 4 2x6 boards cut 4' in either UNTREATED cedar or redwood
Okay, once you've got all that, drill them all together and you're done! Go take a nap!

Just kidding.


First, you'll want to pre-drill the holes for the screws. Make sure you pre-drill the holes instead of just drilling the screws straight in because that could split the wood which would make you sad.

Make sure you've got all your boards where you need them and a balloon couldn't hurt either.

Make sure your measurements are correct.

Find some wiggle worms... just in case.

Make sure everything is level.

Then go take a nap and wake up to find that your husband has
miraculously built you a raised veggie bed!

If you're still perplexed on what to plant and how, here's a nifty little link to get you started with a beginners veggie garden recipe.

Now get to it!

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