How to Build a Raised Vegetable Garden Bed

Overview

Raised vegetable gardens provide a solution to many of the problems gardeners face with traditional, in-ground gardens. Such problems as poor soil conditions are overcome by allowing the gardener to create an ideal mixture of soil and organic materials to provide optimum growing conditions. Because raised gardens do not require tilling of the ground's soil, they are also easier to create in rocky or clay soils. The height of raised vegetable gardens also make them attractive for those who find tending ground-level gardens difficult, because of age or other physical restrictions.

Step 1

Select the area to build the raised garden. Aim for an area with full sun, level ground and good drainage.

Step 2

Choose and buy building materials for the sides of the bed. Landscape or railroad ties work well.

Step 3

Create the outline of the raised vegetable garden. Measure out the desired length and width of the garden. Hammer the four wooden stakes into the ground, to represent the corners of the raised bed.

Step 4

Wrap the string, from stake to stake, to outline the sides of the raised bed.

Step 5

Level the ground. Using a shovel, level bumps or fill in dips in the ground along the outline of the string. This will provide a level building surface for the sides of the raised bed.

Step 6

Lay the first four ties on the ground, using the string and stakes as your guide. Check each for level and adjust the ground underneath to correct as needed. You may now remove the string and wooden stakes.

Step 7

Drive rebar or a galvanized spike into the corner of each tie, to hold it in place. Continue to build up with the ties, until you reach a height of 12 to 18 inches. Nail each new tie down to the one below it, for stability, using a galvanized spike.

Step 8

Lay down landscaping fabric. Cut pieces of landscaping fabric to fit and cover the entire bottom of the raised bed. This will prevent grass and weeds from growing up into the raised garden.

Step 9

Fill the raised bed with soil. A mixture of equal parts topsoil, peat moss and sand is ideal.

Step 10

Plant your vegetables. Your raised vegetable garden is now ready for planting.

Tips and Warnings

  • When deciding on the width of your raised garden, you must make allowances for the tending of vegetables planted in the middle of the bed. Either make the bed narrow enough to reach all areas, or allow for a walking path down the center.

Things You'll Need

  • Landscape or railroad ties
  • Measuring tape
  • Wooden stakes
  • String
  • Shovel
  • Rebar (optional)
  • Galvanized spikes
  • Landscape fabric
  • Topsoil
  • Peat moss
  • Sand

References

  • Texas A & M University Extension: Raised Garden Design

Who Can Help

  • Colorado State University: Vegetable Planting Guide
Keywords: raised vegetable garden, vegetable topsoil mixture, raised garden design

About this Author

Sophia Darby is a former professional hairstylist who has spent the last six years writing hair-related articles for both online and print publications. Her work has appeared in Celebrity Hairstyles Magazine, as well as multiple websites.