How To Build Raised Bed Gardens

Copyright (c) 2012 Jack Russell

Raised bed gardens make gardening easy. There are a number of benefits to gardening with a raised bed, and these handy garden beds are fairly simple to build.

What is a Raised Bed Garden?

This type of gardening saves the gardener from dealing with bad soil conditions. The garden is built above ground, and filled with the soil of your preference. From then on, you have complete control over the texture of the soil, and its ingredients. It can be tailored to fit any plant.

The garden should be built above the native soil, and may even include it. The garden can be built free-form, or contained without hindering plant growth. Just about anything can be planted inside the garden.


1. Less weeds.

Because these gardens are built above ground, with a barrier around the length of them, pathway weeds won’t make it in.

2. Prevents soil compaction.

The soil won’t get compacted because the garden is built with accessibility, soil, and the plants in mind.

3. Drains better.

The raised garden provides better drainage, and prevents garden soil from being washed away during storms.

4. Pest control.

The barriers help keep pests such as slugs and snails out of the mix, leaving your garden safe.

5. Easier access.

Having a raised garden will help you to avoid back pain, because you won’t have to bend down as far, or kneel to take care of you plants.

6. Open bottom.

The open bottom allows for the plants’ roots to reach as far into the ground as they need to gain access to any available nutrients.

7. Easily constructed.

They’re easy to build, and can be made with a variety of materials.


1. The right wood.

Ultimately, it’s up to you to choose the right kind of wood for your garden. However, Cedar Wood tends to be particularly good, because it’s naturally resistant to rot. Redwood is another rot resistant wood that can work nicely. These woods should last for a long time before they begin to deteriorate, depending on the weather.

2. Height

There is no real height limit for these gardens. The most common height lies around 11 inches. Any garden taller than 18 inches will require extra support, to prevent the wood from bowing out from the pressure of the soil. The plants you’re planning to include should also play a part in height. The soil-depth requirements for plants differ, and certain plants will need a higher garden bed.

3. Materials

You’ll need: lumber (Cedar Wood), fastenings, cross supports (aluminum flat stock), hand saw, screwdriver, square, mallet, hacksaw, drill, and a carpenter’s level,

4. Assemble Frame

Clear out the area where you plan to build your garden, and begin to build the frame. Saw the boards to the desired length, and use screws at the corners to hold the boards together.

5. Corner Posts

Cut the posts longer than needed, and set the first post into the bottom corner of the frame. Drive it a few inches into the ground, and then screw the posts into the frame.

6. Finish Frame, Add Soil

Add the bottom boards to the frame, and screw them into the posts. Now, you can fill the garden with soil, and begin gardening!

Jack Russell is retired and likes pottering in his herb and vegetable garden. He is building a raised bed garden  and likes container gardens, too. Jack has found helpful information at  You can also sign up for a free newsletter and free copy of an interesting 100 year old book on growing herbs.

How To Build A Raised Garden Bed If You’ve Never Done It Before

Copyright (c) 2012 Jack Russell

Gardeners are constantly remind that a raised garden bed is the best thing. But they don’t know how to build a raised garden bed. Actually, building one is simple, if not easy! It’s a job, but ultimately it will yield many dividends in the beauty and health of flowers, vegetables, herbs and other plants. Raised beds can be built on areas with poor drainage and the seeds won’t wash out during a hard rain. Also, a raised bed retains heat better than a bed that is level with the ground, because it’s more exposed to sunlight. Soil in a raised bed is also easier to irrigate and easier to weed. Harvesting is also easier from a raised bed.

The best times to build a raised bed are fall, spring and late summer. This helps crops withstand rainy periods and allows cold weather vegetables like kale, Brussels sprouts, broccoli and spinach to keep flourishing after a frost.

Some people put their raised beds in a frame. This allows the gardener to really control the quality of the soil that’s in the bed. Frames are also attractive and make convenient places for the gardener to sit, but they’re truly a task to build. They require lumber, nails and brackets. Fortunately, raised beds can also be made without frames.

The gardener should first find a place where they want to put their raised bed. They should watch for a period of time to see how much sun, wind and rain this area gets. Then, when they’ve chosen the spot, they should work the soil by hand or with a tiller down to at least six or eight inches, till the soil is loose. Then, they should use stakes and string to mark off the length and width of the bed. Some people like the beds about 15 or 16 inches wide, which would be about the width of their rake. The walkways between the beds might be about 18 to 20 inches wide.

The gardener should then stand at the top of a walkway and pull soil from the next walkway and build up the bed with the rake. They should rake up about four to six inches of soil.

They should stay in the walkway and bring up soil all the way down the row. Then, they should go to the other side of the bed and repeat. They should amend the soil with compost or fertilizer

After that, they can smooth out the top of the bed with the back of the rake till it’s level.

When the seedbed is smoothed out, the gardener is ready to plant.

The gardener can also use a tiller to make raised beds. The area should be tilled at least twice, and again, should go down from six to eight inches into the soil. A hilling attachment can be added to the tiller. The gardener should stand on one end of a walkway, aim for the stake at the other end of the garden and work the tiller straight toward it. This will keep the bed straight.

After the soil has been hilled up, the gardener can smooth the tops with the rake, then toss some fertilizer over the area.

Jack Russell is retired and likes pottering in his herb and vegetable garden. He is not an expert but is building a raised bed garden. Jack has found a lot of helpful information a t  You can also sign up for a free newsletter and a free copy of an interesting 100 year old book on growing herbs.

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Some Simple Tips On How To Build A Raised Garden Bed

Copyright (c) 2012 Jack Russell

A gardener who knows how to build a raised garden bed has an advantage over gardeners who plant or seed directly into the soil. Raised garden beds are ideal for areas with poor soil that can’t be amended without a lot of work or expense. The soil added to a raised bed can be just about perfect for the gardener’s purposes and they might end up with an abundant crop or lush and healthy blossoms. In the meantime, their neighbor might end up with a handful of scrawny tomatoes and nutrient starved flowers.

How to build a raised garden bed is fairly simple, if not particularly easy, but the work will be worth it during the growing season.

The first thing to do is to lay out the raised bed area. Many gardeners want their raised bed to be in the shape of square or a rectangle, because it’s easier. Before they even start to build they should notice how much sun the area gets so they don’t end up with a bed full of sun loving plants in a shady area.

The gardener should then break up the soil inside of the area of the bed. This will help the soil drain properly. If the soil has a lot of clay, it’s good to dig down to a depth of about six to eight inches. They should remove any vegetation in the area of the bed as well so to make it as weed free as possible. If the area has some good grass sod, the gardener should take it out with a square nosed shovel and put it somewhere else in the yard.

The next step is to build the frame. The gardener should lay one of the longer boards along the edge of the area they’ve prepared. Then, they should set one of the shorter boards so that the two meet perpendicularly to each other. They should place two metal corner braces on the inside corner of the frame and screw them in place. To make sure the boards don’t wobble, they should secure a piece of wood across the corner and keep it there until they fill the bed with soil. They should repeat until all the boards are braced together to form a box.

Another way to secure the boards is to nail them together with eight or 10 inch galvanized spikes. This should be done with a heavy duty hammer and works best if the gardener uses more than one tier of boards.

The length of the boards will depend on the dimensions the gardener wants for the bed. Many experts recommend that if the bed is going to be accessible from two sides it shouldn’t be any wider than six feet and if it’s only going to be accessible from one side it should be no wider than three or four feet. The length will depend on the scale of the yard and the house.

The gardener should make sure that the top of the frame is level. If it isn’t, they can either add or remove soil then recheck until it’s level. Then, they should drive stakes into the ground at the centers of the longer boards to keep them steady. At the end, they can fill the bed with good, loamy soil and smooth it out with a rake.

Jack Russell is retired and likes pottering in his herb and vegetable garden. He is not an expert but is building a raised bed garden. Jack has found a lot of helpful information at  You can also sign up for a free newsletter and a free copy of an interesting 100 year old book on growing herbs.

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Learn How To Build A Raised Garden Bed

Copyright (c) 2012 Jack Russell

There are many reasons to learn how to build a raised garden bed. Raised garden beds allow gardeners to simply bypass many of the common challenges they face with traditional garden beds. A raised garden bed holds the perfect soil for the plant that is growing in it. The raised beds soak up sunshine and help to retain the warmth, which allows for a much longer growing season than in traditional garden beds.

Another benefit of a raised garden bed is the use of retaining walls to control erosion. The raised beds are also built to provide the perfect amount of drainage for the crops that are growing in them. Raised garden beds allow plants to be grown much more closely together than in standard garden beds, which both increases yield and decreases the chances of weeds gaining a foothold.

Also, raising the beds up makes many of the tasks that gardeners need to do with the crops much easier. Decreasing the bending necessary to plant, weed and harvest is great for gardeners’ backs and joints. With all of the amazing benefits that a raised garden bed offers, it is imperative that gardeners build raised beds in their gardens. It is surprisingly easy and can be done by gardeners of all skill levels, including gardening novices, in just a few simple steps.

Dimensions of Raised Garden Beds

A raised garden bed can be built with many different dimensions. The length of the bed is a matter of personal preference, and is really only limited by the space available in the garden. However, the depth and width of a raised garden bed need to be within certain dimensions in order to be manageable. The depth should be somewhere between 1-2 feet, depending on how much soil is available. Any higher than that and the amount of soil needed gets to be a little excessive. The width of the raised bed should be three feet. This is the best width to make it easy to work on the plants in the beds. Beds should also have two feet of space between each other in order to move between them.

Build a Wall

After the dimensions of the beds are plotted out, the walls need to be constructed. This can be built with any material that will not rot. Stone, brick and non-rotting lumber like cedar are popular choices for wall materials.

Fill the Walls

Once the walls are constructed, they need to be filled with the proper soil. Make a mix tailored to the best conditions for the plant that will be growing in the bed. Always remember to add some compost to the soil. Gravel, lava rock or something similar should be added to the mix to promote drainage. Try and level off the soil as evenly as possible after the bed is filled.

Take Care of the Beds

Be sure to till the soil and to add nutrients to raised garden beds between growing seasons. Compost will help to keep the soil rich and full of nutrients. Earthworms are another nice idea. The important thing is to add nutrients to keep the soil healthy and rich. Also be sure to always provide ample water to raised garden beds, because the added warmth of the heat-retaining properties makes them dry out quickly.

Jack Russell is retired and likes pottering in his herb and vegetable garden. He is not an expert but is building a raised bed garden. Jack has found a lot of helpful information a t  You can also sign up for a free newsletter and a free copy of an interesting 100 year old book on growing herbs.

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