How to Make Raised Beds for Vegetables


Raised beds solve many gardening dilemmas. Fill them with potting mix from a landscape supply company and you've got great soil even if the soil in your yard is less than ideal. Raised beds have fewer weeds and warm up earlier in the spring. They require less bending over and keep your garden neat and tidy. Raised beds made from cedar or redwood resist rot, but are more expensive than beds made from pine or spruce. Consider your budget and goals when selecting materials.

Step 1

Measure and cut the 4-by-4 board into four 16-inch corner posts with your measuring tape and table saw. Measure and cut two of the 2-by-6 boards in half, so you have four 4-foot-long lengths.

Step 2

Assemble the raised bed upside down on a flat surface such as a sidewalk or driveway. Lay a 4-foot long 2-by-6 on its thin side. Position a corner post at one end of the 2-by-6.

Step 3

Screw two 3 1/2-inch screws into the boards with your drill, securing the two boards. Place the screws 2 inches apart so you have a screw at the top and the bottom of the 2-by-6.

Step 4

Secure a corner post at the other end of the 2-by-6 as previously directed. Repeat the process with another corner post and 2-by-6 board. Secure two 8-foot-long boards to the end pieces in the same manner so you have a rectangular box.

Step 5

Secure a second layer of boards above the first layer, using the same approach. When you are finished, you'll have a 12-inch-high box. The corner posts extend 4 inches above the box.

Step 6

Lift and turn the raised bed over, with the help of a friend. Lay the raised bed where you want it in the garden. Press the corner posts into the ground slightly to make an indentation. Move the bed over slightly and dig 4-inch-deep holes for the corner posts with a trowel. Place the corner posts in the holes to secure your raised bed in place.

Step 7

Fill the raised bed with planting mix.

Tips and Warnings

  • Wear safety goggles and work on a stable surface when using a table saw.

Things You'll Need

  • Table saw
  • Drill
  • Measuring tape
  • Pencil
  • 6-foot-long 4-by-4 board
  • 6 8-foot-long 2-by-6 boards
  • 32 3 1/2-inch No. 14 wood screws
  • Trowel
  • Planting mix, 32 cubic feet


  • Sunset: How to Build the Perfect Raised Bed

Who Can Help

  • OMRI: Organic Seeds Database
  • Cornell University Department of Horticulture: Vegetable Growing Guides
Keywords: making raised beds, raised garden beds, building raised beds

About this Author

Julie Christensen has been writing professionally since 2001. She is a full-time freelance writer and former teacher with writing credits from several regional and national publications, such as Colorado Parent and LDS Living. She specializes in parenting, education and gardening topics. Christensen studied early childhood education at Ricks College, and spent 20 years as a teacher and director in university and public school settings.