How to Build Boxed Raised Garden Beds


Whether you are an experienced or beginning gardener, raised garden beds are worth the extra time and effort. The soil does not get compacted because you are not stepping in the growing area, which allows plants to grow better. The water drains through the soil better than in traditional garden beds. Most plants prefer a moist soil, but not soggy with standing water. The nutrients in the amended soil of your raised garden bed does not dissipate as readily. All of these considerations create healthier, more productive plants. You can create your own boxed raised garden beds with nominal carpentry skills and the right tools.

Step 1

Dig up the soil and turn it with your shovel in spot where you will place the boxed raised garden bed. Take out any stones, twigs, weeds or other debris. Chop up and break all dirt clods.

Step 2

Ask the home improvement center or lumber yard to cut your boards for you. This is usually done at no extra cost. Start by choosing the lumber that is the width you prefer the height of your bed to be--10, 12 or 14 inches. Have two pieces cut, the same length, for the length you'd like your raised bed. Have two smaller pieces cut, the same length, for the width of your raised bed. The dimensions are entirely up to you, as long as you can reach the center of the bed from either side, comfortably. This will probably be 3 feet, maximum.

Step 3

Put your cut boards in a box, or frame, shape. The longer boards are set parallel to each other, with the shorter boards (set crosswise) inside of them at the ends.

Step 4

Attach the boards together to create the box. Use three to four screws at each end of the longer boards, screwing through them and into the sides of the shorter boards.

Step 5

Put the wood box (frame) on top of the worked, outdoor soil area. Using your hammer, pound a wooden stake (found at the lumber yard or home improvement center) into one of the inside corners of the wood box. Repeat this process at each inside corner. This will keep your wooden box in place.

Step 6

Blend nursery garden soil with compost. First, pour the garden soil into the raised garden box. Then, layer about 2 inches of compost over the top. Use your shovel to work the two mediums together.

Step 7

Rake the soil mixture even. Leave clear a space of 2 or more inches from the top of the soil to the top of the wooden box. You are ready to plant.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Boards
  • Screws
  • Drill
  • Drill attachments
  • Wood stakes
  • Hammer
  • Garden soil
  • Compost
  • Rake


  • The Gardener's Helper: How to Build and Maintain Raised Planting Beds
  • Texas A&M University: Building a Raised Bed Garden
Keywords: raised bed box, raised bed garden, garden frame

About this Author

Karen Ellis has been a full-time writer since 2006. She is an expert crafter, with more than 30 years of experience in knitting, chrocheting, quilting, sewing, scrapbooking and other arts. She is an expert gardener, with lifelong experience. Ellis has taken many classes in these subjects and taught classes, as well.