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How to Build a Flower Bed With Landscape Timbers

By Tanya Khan ; Updated September 21, 2017

Building a raised flower bed with landscape timbers is a great addition to your garden, yard or patio. Landscape timbers are lengths of wood that are flat at the top and bottom, making it easy for gardeners to stack them on top of one another. Two courses of stacked 6-by-6 landscape timbers to form an 8-by-4-foot flower bed provides sufficient depth to contained plants and prevents you from having to bend too low. They also enhance the appeal of the spot and add interest at varying eye levels. Fill them with quality potting soil to help the contained vegetables or herbs flourish.

Measure and mark 5-and-one-half-inches on each length of 6-by-6 landscape timber and cut over it with a handsaw. Each 6-by-6 timber is actually 5-and-one-half-inches wide, so cutting the excess off ensures their corners will sit end-to-side and flush with each other during assembly. Do this to each of the four 4-foot-long 6-by-6 timbers and the 8-foot-long 6-by-6 timbers.

Arrange two long and two short timbers in a rectangle over the prepared site, ensuring their corners are flush against one another. Insert a shovel vertically into the ground around the inner and outer edges of the timbers to mark the outline.

Lift the timbers and set them aside. Remove all grass, weeds and plant debris that are within the outline of the timbers with a spade. Use a trenching shovel to dig a 6-inch deep trench within the outline. Add a 2-inch layer of gravel into the trench to assist drainage. Level it with a hoe.

Rearrange the four timbers back into the trench, ensuring the end of one meets the side of another in a clockwise fashion. Drill one-half-inch wide pilot holes every two feet into the four timbers. Lay a length of scrap lumber diagonally over the first course and place a 4-foot level over it to ensure the first course is level. Add or remove gravel as needed.

Insert an 18-inch rebar into a pilot hole in the timber and drive it 12-inches into the ground with a sledgehammer. Repeat this process and drive a rebar into each pilot hole to ensure the a secure base for the flower bed.

Lay the second course of timbers over the previous ones, but in counterclockwise fashion so the corners overlap, thus forming a secure flower bed. Also drill two timber screws at each corner, and one in the middle of each long side to join the two courses together.

Add equal amounts of quality potting soil and compost into the raised bed until the mix is a few inches from the rim. Your flower bed is now ready for seeds or seedlings.


Things You Will Need

  • Four 8-foot-long 6-by-6 landscape timber
  • Four 4-foot-long 6-by-6 landscape timber
  • Measuring tape
  • Marker
  • Handsaw
  • Shovel
  • Spade
  • Trenching shovel
  • Gravel
  • Hoe
  • Drilling machine
  • 4-foot level
  • 10 18-inch metal rebar lengths
  • Sledgehammer
  • 10 10-inch timber screws
  • Potting soil
  • Compost

About the Author


Tanya Khan is a freelance author and consultant, having written numerous articles for various online and print sources. She has a Master of Business Administration in marketing but her passion lies in writing.