Raised Bed Garden Instructions

Overview

Raised-bed gardening is an option for yards with limited space or poor soil. A raised-bed garden also works well for gardeners with limited mobility or who have problems bending over and kneeling. A variety of materials can be used to make a raised bed. The beds can be of any shape and designed to fit the space available for gardening. This design is for a structure that is 4 feet wide by 8 feet long and 1 foot high. To use the raised bed in a patio or deck, place the raised-bed structure on a sturdy, 4- foot by 8-foot table.

Step 1

Lay two 8-foot boards on the ground, about 4 feet apart.

Step 2

Place one 4-foot by 2-inch board at each end, between the 8-foot-long boards.

Step 3

Use the power drill and drill three holes on each end on the side--about 1 inch from the top--of the 4- foot-long boards. Drill one hole near each end and one in the middle between the two end holes.

Step 4

Using three screws for each end, attach the 4-foot board to the 8-foot board.

Step 5

Using one screw for each side, attach a 1-foot by 4-inch board, diagonally at each corner. This creates a brace for your rectangle. Your structure is ready for soil.

Step 6

Lay three bags of soil side-by-side inside your structure.

Step 7

Use a utility knife to cut a large rectangle on the top of each bag. Leave the sides and about 1 inch of the top--it will resemble a window or picture frame. Another option is to pour soil directly into the structure.

Step 8

Mix a small amount of compost or fertilizer with the soil. Skip this step if the bag of soil has already been fertilized--it should be labeled on the outside of the bag.

Step 9

Using your hand-gardening tools, plant your vegetable or flower seeds or seedlings. Follow package instructions, giving ample room for each plant to reach maturity.

Step 10

Thoroughly water your garden. Remember to water daily.

Tips and Warnings

  • Keep on top of weeds, which can take over your garden if left unchecked.

Things You'll Need

  • Two 8-foot by 2-inch by 1-inch boards
  • Two 4-foot by 2-inch by 1-inch boards
  • One 4-foot by 2-inch by 4-inch board, cut into four equal lengths.
  • 24 wood screws (4 inches in diameter for full-dimension wood, or 3 inches in diameter for planed wood)
  • Soil (three 40-pound bags.)
  • Compost
  • Plants (vegetable or flower)
  • Water source
  • Power drill
  • Screwdriver (needs to match the wood screw heads)
  • Utility knife
  • Small hand-gardening tools (spade, rake)

References

  • "Starter Vegetable Gardens: 24 No-Fail Plans for Small Organic Gardens"; Barbara Pleasant; 2010
  • "Raised Bed Gardening"; Hal C. Raymond; 2009
  • "Square Foot Gardening: A New Way to Garden In Less Space With Less Work"; Mel Bartholomew; 2005

Who Can Help

  • Weed Control
Keywords: raised bed gardens, compost, flower seeds

About this Author

Carmel Perez Snyder is a freelance writer living in Florida. She attended the University of Missouri and has been a journalist for more than 12 years. Her work has appeared in the AARP Bulletin, the Oklahoma Gazette, the Amarillo Globe-News, and eHow.