MAKE IT YOURSELF // How to Build Raised Vegetable Beds

W H A T     Y O U ‘ L L     N E E D    (for one bed)

A lot of the raised beds are made from cedar but I used Douglas Fir as it was a lot less expensive and just as good. Do not use pressure treated lumber as the chemicals can leak into your garden.

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When I decided I wanted to build a few raised vegetable beds I knew the best location was on the long concrete driveway in our back yard. The driveway has never been used and the building in the back is our Carriage House. My art studio is in there and we will NEVER pull a car in there. I can promise you that.

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The first thing you need to do is decide on a location for your raised vegetable beds. Consider a location that’s level and has the right amount of sunlight. Most vegetable gardens need at least four hours of sunlight per day.

In terms of bed size, 4 feet is a common width. Lumber is often cut in 4-foot increments, and you also want to be able to access the garden without stepping into the bed. Length isn’t as important. Plots are often 4 feet wide by 8 feet long or 4 feet wide by 12 feet long. My beds measured eight feet by four feet.

The depth of the bed can vary. Six inches is a minimum. Plants need at least a 6- to 12-inch rooting zone, so 12 inches is ideal. Mine are 24” tall. I am so tall that I didn’t want to have to bend down too far to do my gardening!

S T E P    B Y    S T E P: 

STEP  #1 

Once you have selected your area, if it’s on loose dirt, break up and loosen the soil with a garden fork so that it’s not compacted. Go about 6 to 8 inches deep. For improved rooting, some gardeners like to remove the top layer (about a spade’s depth), dig down another layer, and then return the top layer and mix the soil layers together.

 STEP  #2

Cut all of your boards for the desired size of your vegetable bed. Pre-drill the holes for the deck screws in the center of each board.

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STEP  #3

Attach the 2” x 12’ boards to the end pieces first and then attach the sides together.

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STEP  #4

Once assembled attach metal reinforcement brackets on the inside of the beds. Line the bottom with landscape fabric and attach with a staple gun. Fill the bed with 3″ of loose rock to ensure proper drainage.

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STEP  #5

Fill the beds with a mix of topsoil, compost, and other organic material, such as manure, to give your plants a nutrient-rich environment.




STEP  #6

Plant your vegetable beds with your favorite vegetables. Almost any crop can be grown in a raised bed. Vegetables are most common, but fruit and even shrubs and trees can be planted, too.




And that’s it! Your final result may look something like this…

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Since this is more of an intense MIY, please don’t hesitate to ask any clarifying questions below! Oh- and by the way… this was not necessarily a “make it yourself” as I definitely had help!! Grab your husband (if he’s handy), older children or a handyman!

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  1. Saving this for later (probably next year). We have so many bunnies that love to chomp on our veggies and flowers ????

  2. Do you have step-by-step instructions for the tomato trellis? They are amazing and I think my level of handinesscould try to build them! I never seem to have much luck growing veggies in raised beds, so I’m curious to see how you do this year. I would much prefer raised beds in our backyard. I too have a big old fluffy squirrel who hides treasures in my flower pots or sometimes my tulips end up in the neighbors’ yard.

  3. I too, would like directions for the tomato trellises. They are lovely as well as useful. The wire ones aren’t attractive, sturdy, and don’t seem to hold up more than a couple of seasons. Thank you. Today is my first time to visit your blog.????

  4. Love the tomato trellis! Working on our garden currently and would love to have instruction for them. So much better looking than the awful wire ones!

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