Simple Raised-Bed Garden Directions

Overview

A raised-bed garden requires more initial work than conventional garden beds, and it can cost a little more to fill the beds with growing medium, but the extra work pays off big dividends year after year. Raised-bed gardens require less weeding and less water, and usually result in bigger crops. They also eliminate a lot of the stooping and kneeling associated with maintaining and harvesting traditional garden beds. Plants enjoy raised beds for the warmth and better air circulation they provide.

Step 1

Select a location that receives full sun, has good drainage and is protected from strong winds.

Step 2

Till the soil in the areas where you will place the gardening bed frames. Use a rototiller, going over the area once in one direction, and again in the other direction to break up the soil and loosen it for planting. If a rototiller is not available, use a shovel to loosen the soil and turn it over, then rake the soil so it is even. It is not necessary to till the areas outside of where you plan to place the planter boxes.

Step 3

Set the frames on the ground over the area that you just tilled. Move soil either under the bottom edges or away from them to make the frames sit level. Push soil against the outer edges to keep the frames level and in place.

Step 4

Mix together gardening soil, sand and peat moss or compost in equal parts in a wheelbarrow, or in a large pile next to the raised bed frames if a wheelbarrow is not available. The easiest way to mix the soil is to add a few shovelfuls of each component, stir them together with the shovel, and then add a few more shovelfuls of each component, continuing until all the soil is mixed.

Step 5

Fill the frames to the top with the soil mixture. Do not tamp down or compact the mixture, but fill the frames loosely with the soil.

Step 6

Water the soil until it is moist all the way to the bottom of the frame. This will settle the soil, or compact it slightly in the frame so that a few inches of space is created between the top of the soil and the top of the frame. This will allow room for watering after planting without water spilling over the edges.

Step 7

Add additional soil if necessary. If the soil settles more than 3 to 4 inches below the top of the garden bed frame, add more soil.

Step 8

Plant vegetables and flowers as desired.

Tips and Warnings

  • Don't tamp down or walk on the soil in the raised bed. The loose soil provides a number of advantages, including better air circulation and ease of weeding that would be lost if it becomes compacted.

Things You'll Need

  • Bed frames
  • Tiller
  • Garden soil
  • Sand
  • Peat moss or compost

References

  • Texas A&M Agrilife Extension: Building A Raised Bed Garden
Keywords: raised bed garden, raised-bed garden directions, garden in raised-beds

About this Author

Carlye Jones is a journalist, freelance writer, photographer and novelist, with more than 15 years of experience. She enjoys sharing her expertise on home improvements, interior decorating, photography, gardening and traveling. Her work has appeared both in print and on numerous websites, such as Matador Travel. Carlye received her training at Northern Arizona University.