How to Build a Raised Garden System

Overview

Raised garden beds create a small garden area that is easy to plant and maintain. This garden style also provides better drainage and soil quality in areas where the soil is heavy or sandy. A 3-by-6 foot garden bed creates enough room to plant three to four tomato plants and several types of herbs. Construct beds with a 2-foot walkway between them to provide adequate room for maintenance and lawn mowing.

Step 1

Choose a raised bed location that is flat and large enough to accommodate the desired garden. Prepare the garden site by removing all weeds and debris. Mark the dimensions of the raised bed on the ground to assist with installing the wooden border.

Step 2

Dig around the dimensions of the raised bed to a depth that allows you to bury 1/2 of the height of the first timber.

Step 3

Improve drainage for marshy areas by digging 2 to 3 inches of existing soil out of the raised bed area. Level the dug out area and add a 1- to 2-inch layer of pea gravel to the bottom of the raised bed. Place a layer of weed prevention fabric over the soil or gravel layer.

Step 4

Place the first level of landscape timbers around the perimeter of the raised bed and submerge them to a minimum depth of at least 3 inches. Fasten the timbers together at the corners with nails once all four sides are in position.

Step 5

Add more layers of landscape timbers until the height of the raised bed is a minimum of 8 inches. Secure each layer with nails to prevent them from sliding or separating. Secure a metal stake into the ground at the outside center of each bed length to provide support and prevent the bed from bending when adding soil.

Step 6

Fill the raised bed with a soil mixture that is 3/4 topsoil and 1/4 organic compost. Purchase large quantities of topsoil and compost from landscape companies.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel Landscaping timbers Pea gravel Nails Topsoil Organic compost

References

  • Texas A&M University: Building a Raised Garden Bed
  • Popular Mechanics: How to Build a Raised Garden Bed
Keywords: build raised garden, make raised garden, create raised garden

About this Author

Jennifer Loucks has over 10 years of experience as a former technical writer for a software development company in Wisconsin. Her writing experience includes creating software documentation and help documents for clients and staff along with training curriculum. Loucks holds a Bachelor of Science major from the University of Wisconsin - River Falls specializing in animal science and business.