How to Start New Raised Garden Beds


Raised garden beds are a benefit in many ways. If you have poor growing soil, you can change that by adding nutrient-rich dirt to the inside of the raised frames. If you are elderly or disabled, it is more than just a convenience to have your garden bed higher than ground level. This may be the only way you can manage a garden. The dirt in raised garden beds warm earlier in the season than ground soil. This allows you to plant earlier. With step-by-step instructions, you'll find this project easier than you thought.

Step 1

Work the soil that will be under your raised garden beds, in a sunny location, 4 or 5 inches deep. Do this with a pick or shovel, loosening and turning the soil. Make sure your garden location is fairly level, so water will not drain out the bottom of the frame.

Step 2

Figure and purchase framing materials. If you are a new gardener, you may want to start with just 1 or 2 beds the first year. Purchase enough cedar, 1 inch thick and 6 inches wide, for 6 foot long and 2 foot wide raised beds.

Step 3

Cut the lumber, or have it cut at a home improvement or lumber store. Use galvanized screws to attach the frame together.

Step 4

Place your raised garden frame over the worked soil. Fill the frame with topsoil and compost from your local garden center. Mix them together with your pick or shovel. Rake over the soil to level it.

Step 5

Leave the raised garden bed for a week, to settle. Add more topsoil, if needed.

Step 6

Plant your seeds directly into the soil of the raised bed. Sow the seeds at the depth and spacing recommended by the manufacturer's directions on the back of the seed packet. Every seed's requirements are different. There is no need to create rows with motes, as you would with a ground-level garden.

Step 7

Use a sprinkler nozzle on the end of your hose for watering. You may also create a drip system. You may find you will need to water more often than with a ground-level garden, as the soil will dry out sooner. Check the dirt often, for moister, by putting your finger at a depth of 2 inches. If it is dry, it needs watering.

Things You'll Need

  • Cedar lumber
  • Galvanized screws
  • Pick
  • Shovel
  • Rake
  • Compost
  • Top soil
  • Sprinkler hose attachment


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Keywords: raised garden beds, raised garden bed instructions, step by step garden beds

About this Author

Karen Ellis has been a full-time writer since 2006. She is an expert crafter, with more than 30 years of experience in knitting, chrocheting, quilting, sewing, scrapbooking and other arts. She is an expert gardener, with lifelong experience. Ellis has taken many classes in these subjects and taught classes, as well.