Building Raised Garden Beds With Wood

Overview

A raised garden bed can help a garderner overcome problems with the natural soil in an area, such as clay soil, poor nutrients or even contaminated soil, according to Texas A&M University. Raised bed gardens lift the roots of plants above the poor soil and allow them to grow in the improved soil created within the beds. One of the simplest forms of a raised bed is one made from pressure treated lumber.

Step 1

Measure and mark each 2 by 6 inch board into two sections that are 4 feet long and two sections that are 8 feet long.

Step 2

Cut your 2 by 6 inch boards where they have been marked.

Step 3

Measure and mark your 2 by 2 inch board into 3-foot sections.

Step 4

Cut your 2 by 2 inch board where you have marked it.

Step 5

Cut one end of each of your 2 by 2 board sections at a 45 degree angle to form stakes.

Step 6

Mark a 4 by 8 foot area for your raised bed by measuring the location and using a garden hose to outline the bed.

Step 7

Drive 2 by 2 stakes 1 foot into the ground to anchor the corners of your raised bed.

Step 8

Place one of the 4 foot long 2 by 6 inch boards against the stakes so that the inner surface of the board presses against the outer section of the stake. Attach the board to the stakes with galvanized wood screws. Place a second 4 foot long board on its side on top of the first board and attach it to the stake with wood screws to build this side of the raised bed up another 6 inches. Place a third and fourth board on top of these to complete the side of your 2 foot tall raised bed. Repeat this process to create the other three sides of your raised bed.

Step 9

Fill your raised bed two-thirds of the way with topsoil. Fill the remaining one-third with compost. Add 1 cup of balanced (10-10-10) fertilizer. Mix the contents of the raised bed with a small rototiller.

Things You'll Need

  • 4 pieces of pressure-treated 2 by 6 inch lumber that is 24 feet long
  • Jig saw
  • Measuring tape
  • Pencil
  • 1 2 by 2 inch board that is 12 feet long
  • Garden hose
  • Rubber mallet
  • Drill
  • Phillips head drill bit
  • Galvanized wood screws
  • Topsoil
  • Compost
  • Balanced (10-10-10) fertilizer
  • Small rototiller

References

  • Missouri University Extension: Raised-Bed Gardening
  • Washington State University: Building Materials for Raised Beds: Comparing Costs and Performance
  • Texas A&M University Extension: Building a Raised Bed Garden

Who Can Help

  • Purdue University Extension: Building a Garden Bed
  • NC State University Extension: Making Raised Beds
  • University of Florida IFAS Extension: Raise the Bed, Plant Your Garden
Keywords: building a raised bed, using wood for a raised bed, raised bed construction

About this Author

Tracy S. Morris has been a freelance writer since 2000. She has published two novels and numerous online articles. Her work has appeared in national magazines and newspapers, including "Ferrets," "CatFancy," "Lexington Herald Leader" and "The Tulsa World."