How to Build an Organic Raised Vegetable Garden

You can easily grow delicious organic crops in a raised bed. image by Margaret Telsch-Williams

Overview

There's no debating the benefits of using a raised bed for organic vegetable gardening. Not only is a raised bed easier to work in and tends to be less prone to weeds, but also a bed can sometimes extend the growing season because the soil warms faster in the spring than the ground soil. Luckily, rather than spending a lot of money on manufactured composite boards and plastic stakes, you can build an organic raised vegetable garden in just a few hours and be ready to start your garden.

Step 1

Stand the four boards on their 2-inch edge. Form a square with the four boards and align the ends to be flush.

Step 2

Drill two screws, 2 inches apart, at one corner going through the side of one board and into the end of the adjacent board. Repeat securing the other three corners in the same manner.

Step 3

Select the 4-by-4-foot area for your raised bed. Use a pickax to create a 2-inch-deep, 2-inch-wide trench around the perimeter of the bed area.

Step 4

Place the raised bed frame over the area and nestle the boards into the trench, double-checking that the bed is level. Press the loose dirt into the trench to help level and anchor the frame.

Step 5

Layer the bottom of the bed with straw or mulch about 2 inches deep. Fill the bed up to 1 inch from the top with an equal mix of compost and garden soil.

Step 6

Plant organic seeds or seedlings as desired, taking into consideration the amount of space different vegetable plants need to thrive and produce. Water the garden regularly and add more soil as needed while the soil settles.

Tips and Warnings

  • Raised beds tend to lose water more rapidly because the soil is warmer, so make watering your raised bed a regular routine to keep your plants thriving.

Things You'll Need

  • Four 2-by-10-inch untreated cedar boards, 4 feet long
  • 4-inch galvanized screws
  • Drill
  • Pickax
  • Level
  • Organic straw or mulch
  • Compost
  • Organic garden soil
  • Organic seeds or seedlings

References

  • Vegetable Gardening: Your Ultimate Guide; Robert J. Dolezal; 2000
  • New Complete Guide to Landscaping; Better Homes and Gardens; 2002
Keywords: raised beds, raised gardens, raised vegetable gardens

About this Author

Writing from Virginia, Margaret Telsch-Williams specializes in personal finance, money management, gardening, crafts and sewing, cooking, DIY projects and travel. When not writing instructional articles online, she works for the website Widescreen Warrior as a contributor and podcast co-host discussing all things film and entertainment. She holds a Bachelor of Science in biology and a master's degree in writing.

Photo by: Margaret Telsch-Williams