Building a Raised Planter


According to "This Old House," a raised bed is just a very large container garden. The raised bed is typically set above the soil line, and filled with topsoil or container soil. Raised beds may be constructed to raise the level of soil and make cultivating and weeding easier. A raised bed may have better drainage than soil in the ground. Raised beds also make attractive additions for landscaping and planting. Constructing a raised bed can be labor intensive, but if you can construct a box, you can build a raised bed.

Step 1

Mark the bed's location by laying out landscaping timbers in the correct area.

Step 2

Mark the ground by cutting the sod with a spade on the inside and outside of the timbers.

Step 3

Remove all sod and dig a trench around the area where the landscaping timbers will rest.

Step 4

Drill ½-inch holes into the base timbers every 2 feet.

Step 5

Place the 4 timbers in the ground with the drilled holes facing upward.

Step 6

Check that timbers are level from corner-to corner by laying a spare timber from corner to corner and measuring with a carpenter's level.

Step 7

Pound rebar into the drill holes and 1 foot into the ground with a sledgehammer.

Step 8

Saw the tops of the rebar level with the boards using a hacksaw.

Step 9

Arrange the next level of timbers counterclockwise over the first course so that the corners overlap.

Step 10

Drill timber screws through this row of timbers and into the bottom course.

Step 11

Drill drainage holes in the second course of boards every 4 feet.

Step 12

Slip copper pipe into drainage holes to protect the wood from rotting.

Step 13

Repeat steps 9 and 10 for as many courses of timber as you require for your planter.

Step 14

Cut the board ends at a 45-degree angle with a miter saw.

Step 15

Line each board up along the inside top of the planter and attach to raised bed wall with decking screws every 1 foot.

Step 16

Glue at corners with carpenter's glue.

Step 17

Cover the bottom of the raised bed with gravel to a depth of 3 inches for drainage.

Step 18

Fill the raised bed with topsoil up to 3 inches from the lip of the raised bed.

Things You'll Need

  • 16 landscaping timbers
  • Spade
  • Shovel
  • Drill
  • ½-inch drill bit
  • Carpenter's level
  • Sledgehammer
  • Rebar
  • Hacksaw
  • ½-inch copper pipe
  • Timber screws
  • 4 2X8 inch boards
  • Miter saw
  • Carpenter's glue
  • 3-inch decking screws
  • Gravel
  • Topsoil
  • Wheel barrow


  • How to Build A Raised Planting Bed
  • How to Build a Raised Bed for an Organic Vegetable Garden (Part One)
  • Raised Planters and Elevated Flower Boxes Benefit Your Garden Planters

Who Can Help

  • How To Build A Raised Garden Bed -- Cheap
  • Making Raised Planting Beds
Keywords: home improvement, construction, raised bed

About this Author

After 10 years experience in writing, Tracy S. Morris has countless articles and two novels to her credit. Her work has appeared in national magazines and newspapers, including "Ferrets" and "CatFancy," as well as the "Lexington Herald Leader" and "The Tulsa World," and several websites.