How to Build a Raised Bed Planter


A raised bed planter, created in varying sizes, can be used for vegetables, flowers or shrubs. If you need a part of your landscaping elevated for interest or aesthetic value, a wood raised bed is the easiest way to accomplish the task. An additional benefit, especially in vegetable gardens, is the physical assistance of not having to bend all the way to the ground. Because the soil and plants are higher off the ground, you can sit on a bench or stool to do your weeding and other ground work.

Step 1

Use your shovel to dig up the soil a foot below the surface. Your raised bed planter will sit on top of this soil, allowing roots to grow beyond ground level. Turn the soil, as you dig, smashing any clods of dirt. Remove any debris, such as rocks, twigs, weeds or litter.

Step 2

Write down the measurements for your raised bed planter. You may need to go outdoors and measure the area. The height of the bed will be according to the lumber width you choose, 8, 10 or 12 inches. The width should be between one and three feet, or no wider than you can reach to the center easily, from both sides.

Step 3

Cut four boards. Use your saw to cut two boards the same length for the front and back of the raised bed planter. Cut two boards of the same size for the sides of your bed.

Step 4

Place the smaller boards across and one longer board in front, the other in the back. This will create a frame shape, with the smaller boards hidden at the inside ends of the longer boards.

Step 5

Use galvanized screws, your drill and screwdriver attachment to attach the four boards together. Use four or more screws, drilling from the outside of the longer boards, into the ends of the smaller, end boards. Do this on all four ends.

Step 6

Put the raised garden planter atop the worked garden soil, outdoors. Secure it by driving small stakes from your lumber shop or home improvement store into the ground with your hammer, at each inside corner of the planter.

Step 7

Pour a mixture of compost and garden or top soil from the nursery or home improvement center into the raised garden planter. Rake the soil until it is even. Let it set for a few days to settle. At the end of that time, add more soil to fill the planter within one to two inches of the top, if needed. Your planter is ready for vegetables, flowers or shrubs.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Pencil
  • Paper
  • Tape measure
  • Wood
  • Saw
  • Drill
  • Screwdriver attachment
  • Hammer
  • Stakes
  • Rake


  • The Gardener's Helper: How to Build and Maintain Raised Bed Gardens
  • Horticulture Education: Building a Raised Bed Garden
  • Raised Bed Gardening Tips
Keywords: raised bed planter, raised bed garden, vegetable gardening

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.