How to Build a Raised Garden Bed

March 30, 2018
Categories: Grow

A raised garden bed is a great option for anyone looking to grow some fresh fruits and veggies in their own backyard. We’ve already chatted about a lot of the benefits of raised garden beds and why you might want to build one, so if you need a refresher you can check out this post from our archives.

Today, we’re going to share the quick how-to steps for actually building your bed. It’s an easy project that even a beginner can tackle, and it won’t take you more than an afternoon to start growing your delicious new veggies.

How to build a raised garden bed:

Note: These instructions are for a 4x4 bed, but you can adjust the sizing to fit your yard and your needs! 4X8 is another common raised bed size, if you have a bit more space.

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Materials & Tools:

  • (4) 2x12 planks, cut to 4” long (Always use untreated wood. The best wood to use for this project is cedar, oak, whitewood or redwood. Fir is another option, but won’t be as long-lasting.)
  • (12) 2-foot lengths of rebar
  • Hammer
  • Tape measure
  • Deck screws (optional)
  • Impact drill/driver (optional)
  • Newspaper or other non-glossy paper
  • Rake
  • Harvest Organics Raised Bed Mix

Steps:

  1. Choose and prepare an area for your garden. You should choose a spot that gets plenty of sunlight, be sure it’s free from debris or tall grass, and has level ground.

  2. Lay the boards down with inside corners touching.

  3. Prop up each edge by hammering two pieces of rebar into the ground on the outside and one piece of rebar on the inside.

  4. Hammer rebar on all sides until only 6-10 inches are exposed.

  5. For additional support (optional, but recommended), connect each corner with a few deck screws.

  6. Line the bed with one layer of newspapers or paper bags.

  7. Wet the paper thoroughly.

  8. Fill the bed with Harvest Organics Raised Bed Mix. Use this calculator to help determine how much soil you’ll need.

  9. Rake and level your soil.

  10. Get to planting!

If you want a handy printable version of these instructions to use as you work, you can click here to download a quick reference sheet with all of the information you’ll need.

Here are a few more quick tips to keep in mind as you get your raised bed started:

  • You can begin your garden with starts (plants that have already begun growing and can just be transported), seeds, or a combination of the two.

  • Be sure to research what plants do best for each season in your area - the Farmer’s Almanac Planting Calendar is a great resource with information specific to your zip code.

  • Do a bit of research for each plant variety that you choose to grow. Every vegetable or herb will have different needs and preferences, so be sure you’re familiar with what to expect and how to plant them before you get started.

  • Remember that gardens prefer a 1-2 deep and thorough soaks each week rather than a quick watering every day.

  • In general, you should choose an area that gets a minimum of 6 hours of sunlight per day as you’re planning your garden space.

Now get outside and get that garden built!

Choose a level spot with plenty of sunlight.

For maximum sturdiness, be sure to hammer in your rebar on both the outside...

...and on the inside of your boards.

Once your boards are in place, we recommend adding some screws where they connect at each edge for added stability.

Line the bottom of your bed with newspaper or paper bags.

Thoroughly wet your bottom layer.

Gather your soil - we recommend Harvest's Organics Raised Bed Mix.

Fill your raised bed with soil.

Finally, you're ready to add your plants! 

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