April 13, 2012
Easy DIY Raised Garden Beds
Two years ago, I was enlisted as the Project Coordinator for a new school yard garden project. It was the first of its kind on school property and was started on a shoestring budget. One way that we kept cost down was to build our own raised beds. After scouring various gardening magazines and internet sites, I combined much of what I saw to form simple and easy gardening beds. This project requires beginning woodworking skills. Alone, it took me a just a morning to complete, including the time spent at Home Depot purchasing the supplies.
Here is what you need to create THREE 3'x6' beds.
A good cordless screwdriver
1 box~3" decking screws
6~ 2"x10"x12' non-pressure treated boards (sometimes the boards do not equal 12' exactly. This is what happened at my local store.)
2~4"x4"x8' non-pressure treated posts
Did you know that Home Depot will do all the cutting for you? Ask them to do the following:
1. Cut 3 of the 2"x10"x12' non-pressure treated boards in half creating SIX, 6 foot boards
2. Cut 3 of the 2"x10"x12' non-pressure treated boards into 3 foot boards.
You need a total of SIX three foot boards. There will be leftover.
3. From the 4"x4"x8' non-pressure treated posts cut TWELVE 9 inch post sections. There will be leftover.
Now that you have all of your pieces you can head home and start building.
On a flat level surface, gather the pieces you need to create one bed. I found a nice place in the backyard.
~2 Three foot boards
~2 Six foot boards
~4 Nine inch post sections.
~12 decking screws
Place a six foot board on the ground. Underneath on the ends, line up your nine inch section to the edge of the each side of the board. Be sure the bottom of the section is flush with the bottom of the board. There will be space a bit smaller than 1/2 inch at the top. Screw each section into the board in three evenly spaced places. Repeat these steps on the other six foot section.
Stand up your six foot sections. Be sure the little gap is at the top. The posts should face inside the box at one another.
Line up one three foot board on each end and use three evenly spaced screws to secure them into the sections of post. Repeat this on the other end.
One bed is complete. Repeat the above steps with the rest of your bed supplies to create two more. Here is how all three of my beds turned out.
Before you fill the beds, move them around the yard and be sure that they receive plenty of sunshine, especially if you are going to be growing vegetables in them like me. The wood that I used is non-pressure treated fir. Sure, it will rot at some point but that will be years. Even though arsenic is no longer used to pressure treat wood and prevent rotting, I still do not want any of the currently used chemicals to leech into the soil and into the plants. In a few years time, it is easy to replace a rotting board or two on one of these beds.
I felt so accomplished that I had only done this in one morning. Once I determine a good sunny location, I will fill the beds with soil, compost and peat. Stay tuned and I will share that with you in the weeks to come. I hope you enjoyed this little tutorial and I hope that you will try to make some raised garden beds for you and your family to enjoy. Would make a great weekend project for the family.
Photo Credits: Tilly' Nest
This post is linked up to Deborah Jean's Dandelion House Friday Farm Girl Blog Hop.