Raised garden beds have many advantages. They make tending the garden easier as the gardener is able to reach all areas without struggling. The gardener is able to control poor soil conditions by filling the bed with a rich soil medium, and most importantly, raised beds raise plants out of soggy conditions. There are many plans for creating raised garden beds with the main factor being personal preference. Most home improvement stores and garden centers have prefabricated raised beds that simply snap together. If you decide to make one yourself, the steps are relatively basic.
Use two 2-by-4-foot pieces of untreated wood for the end pieces of your raised garden bed. Use two 2-by-10-foot pieces of untreated wood for the sides of your raised bed. You need eight metal clamps to hold all the boards together. Usually you can purchase the metal clamps in packages with the screws included.
Hold one 2-by-4-foot section butted up against a 2-by-10-foot section, with the help of another person. Place one metal clamp approximately 3 inches from the top edge and 3 inches from the bottom edge, and mark the screw holes on the boards with a pencil. Repeat this step for all the pieces of wood.
Pre-drill the screw holes before inserting the screws into the boards. Pre-drilling the screw holes will ensure your boards do not split.
Line the boards up again, using the help of another person; place the metal clamps in place; and insert a screw into the pre-drilled hole and drill in place. Continue until all the metal clamps are in place and you end up with a rectangular box frame.
Select an area in your landscape situated in full to partial sun. Most vegetables and ornamentals require a minimum amount of sunlight throughout the day for proper growth, flowering and fruit production.
Mark off the area in your landscape that will house the raised garden bed box. Ensure the area is level. Pre-treat the area one to two weeks before planting with a non-selective herbicide to kill the grass or any other vegetation growing in the area, if you desire. Select an herbicide that does not have long-term effects to the soil and water the area well after the vegetation is dead to wash the herbicide from the area. You can leave the vegetation in place to disintegrate into the soil or dig it from the planting site.
Place the raised garden bed box in place over the site. This step will be simpler with the help of another person.
Fill the raised garden bed box with equal portions of top soil, compost and peat. You can also use a well-draining potting mix rich in organic matter, though it can be pricey. Water the area, completely saturating the soil before planting your ornamentals or vegetables. Plant as usual.