How to make a Raised Garden Bed
Difficulty Level: Easy
Tools: untreated wood (preferably cedar–this is not, but I was just trying something.) I picked my length based on boards that were pre-cut. The width is based on the leftover wood I had.
“rust-proof” outdoor nails– I would use wood screws if I could do this over.
I made this project a couple of years ago, because I had some inspiration, no rotor tiller, and a piece of leftover lumber from something else (I can’t remember what). I went to a home improvement store, bought four additional pieces, and had them cut the pieces at the store.
I say four pieces, because in the inside of each corner is a 1″ square block of wood (cut into 8″ lengths at store. They don’t guarantee accuracy for this length. Their table saws are very big.). The square block is to attach the sides together. They do not do miter cuts in home improvement stores; you’re just going to get square ends. (Miter cuts are those cuts on an angle : think picture frame.) Without the blocks, there’s nothing to nail the boards together (without some special tools).
I sanded all the cut ends (so I didn’t get a splinter), nailed the four wood blocks on the short sides (pic 1), then nailed the long sides together (pic 2). This works best if you have a work table. I don’t, so this look a while. After I got all the sides together (pic 3), I was ready to dig out the grass where the bed would go, then get dirt to start planting! *Note: if you don’t want to weed and your plantings are more showy and permanent, put down landscape fabric and use mulch after planting. I did not put down fabric, because this is a vegetable garden.
Lessons learned: Other than wood screws, I would have also had my long sides shorter. I was thinking pre-cut, but a bed this size– 3’x8′ –requires a lot of dirt. Consult home/gardening sites for ratio of soil to bed size. You should also get compost to mix with your dirt. Total cost for an entire project (not just building the bed, but getting it ready for planting) is something you should always consider when starting a project.
If you want specific tools needed/used and exact measurements, let me know below!