Raised beds warm up quicker than the surrounding ground-level soil. They also offer optimum drainage for plants. Peppers cannot tolerate cold soil and even a light frost will kill them. Planting them in a raised bed makes it possible to put them in the ground sooner than you otherwise could. Building your own beds requires only basic tools and minimal knowledge of building. Construct the beds to a length that fits your garden space, but stick to a 4-foot maximum width to keep the bed easy to work.
Purchase eight pieces of 2-by-6 and one length of 4-by-4 pressure-treated but not chemically treated lumber, such as cedar. Cut four pieces of 2-by-6 lumber to 4 feet for the ends of the rectangle and the four pieces to the size desired for the long side of your bed using a saw. Cut the 4-by-4 into four 18-inch-long pieces.
Measure your garden bed and place a marker stake at each corner. Drive a 4-by-4 into the ground at each marker using a mallet or use a post hole digger to make a hole to set the post into. Place approximately 4 inches of the each post in the ground.
Lay down a 4-foot end piece of lumber on either side of the bedding area. Set a side piece between the two end pieces on either side and butt the wood up against each other to form a box.
Hammer in two nails per corner--equally spaced apart--securing the bed sides to the 4-by-4 stake at each corner. Stack the second pieces of lumber on top the first tier and hammer these into the corner pieces.
Cut a sheet of plastic weed barrier to fit inside your garden bed. Lay the sheet inside the bed.
Fill the garden bed with 1 part compost, 1 part peat moss and 1 part of your existing soil. Remove all weeds and roots from your existing soil before mixing in.
Plant peppers seedlings in the raised bed once night time temperatures are above 55 degrees Fahrenheit and the soil temperature is over 65 degrees. Space seedlings 18 inches apart on all sides--in a 4 foot wide bed this allows two rows of plants.