Topics covered in this article:
- Taking Measurement of Lumbers
- Screw Raised Garden Bed Pieces Together
- Good Thing About The Basic Garden Bed Design
- Bracing The Corners
- Should You Use Treated Wood
- Height of The Bed
How To Make A Garden Bed
Raised Garden Bed gardening is my elected method for vegetable gardening, which is easy to put together and not very costly for anyone. If you are gonna start the first of your raised bed for your garden. So, be with us till the end of the article as I will let you know how I make raised beds.
Making gardening beds is about that much easy, as much it gets. All you are going to do is make a four-sided box. You need some lumbers first that you can purchase by clicking here and you could easily use recycled lumber.
One of the great things that makes it so easy, if you buy it from one of the big-box stores is, they will cut it for you, if you just ask and so the basic design comes down to three boards. Two of those boards you will have to leave for the length and then you will need to cut the third board in half to become the sides and it’s simple. One cut will give you a box with the sides half as long as the length.
Q: What does that mean in actual measurements?
I am taking an example of using 8-foot-long boards. if you take that third board and cut it in half, now you would have two 4-foot boards. When you put those pieces together then you will have a raised bed that is 4-feet in width and 8-feet in the length. That’s a perfect-sized raised bed and you might have seen many gardeners recommending a 4-foot-wide bed because that gives you the opportunity to lean into the bed from both sides and easily work it.
If you have a 10-foot board, well, you could do the same thing and cut it in half and make a bed that’s 5 feet wide by 10 feet long but according to me that 5-feet is a little bit too far to be reaching in unless you can access it from both sides.
So, 8-foot boards are the ideal length and what you will need to do now is measure one of those boards, find a halfway point and then cut it. Then, you will have the four sides to your box to begin your raised bed and the next thing you will need to do is to screw the pieces together.
No 01: Screw Raised Garden Bed Pieces Together
For the easiest and the simplest box, you are simply going to screw those boards together at the corners. You can use an exterior grade screw, that is about 3-inch long or as per your need. So, by using a 3-inch screw, the first inch and a half is in the board and the second inch and a half is actually what grabs into that second board to hold it all together.
An exterior grade screw at 3-inches is likely to hold together for a long time. You can screw these together with any way you choose but according to me, it’s slightly important in deciding how you place the boards, which one is on the outside that you actually screw through.
Now, if you think about this raised bed, which you are gonna make, being complete and soil in it, particularly as you stack the lumbers and have a higher raised bed, there will be a lot of weight pressing down and pushing out and then it is going to push out on the long side more than other short side and I have seen beds that begin to bow in the middle and because of the long section is really the weakest part that tends to bow.
That means, the corner joint of the long side will have a tendency to pull out and the screw over time, when the boards start drying, can actually pull out of that board that you have grabbed into.
To help overcome that tendency, it is important to screw from the side piece into the long piece, so that you are not pulling the screw out. You are actually using the strength of the screw laterally to hold the bed in position. So, with the boards lined up the way you want them, trying to keep the tops level, now start placing screws at the edge of the board going in about halfway and I like to place two screws. You can also do three, lining up the bottoms.
Once you are done with all four corners screwed together, the bed is ready to go and you can stop here and this is strong enough to fill with soil and start growing plants in your garden.
Good Thing About The Basic Garden Bed Design:
One of the nice things about the basic design is that, as I alluded to earlier, they are stackable. You can make these raised beds as high as you want them to be. If you have rabbits as I have, so most of your raised beds need to be high enough to try to keep the rabbits out. The next step when you’re building higher with multiple layers is to start thinking about the bracing at the corners to hold the boxes together.
No 02: Bracing The Corners
To brace the corners together, I recommend you to use the 4 by 4 Lumbers that you are to cut to fit in the corner. If the height of your lumber that you screwed together earlier is 13-inches, so you have to cut the bracing to 12-inches. You don’t really need it to go all the way to the top and all the way to the bottom. So, you will have an extra half an inch at the top and now you need to screw through both boards into the 4 by 4 to give it superior strength.
On that part of the box that would have the two or more screws holding the basic box together, you’re going to add a third screw to bite into the 4 by 4 and then to the other side where there will not be any screws holding the basic box together, you need to screw two in each level into the 4 by 4.
Now, the box would be about as strong as it gets. and you need to repeat this process on the other three corners as well.
The construction of the bed is complete and it would definitely be sturdy. Two people can carry it anywhere for placement and it’s really easy to set up an assembly line process if you have got more than one person. Someone could cut, someone can screw, a couple of others can carry them into position if you’re making multiple beds. If you have done this as I told you, so these corners are not going to come apart any time soon. You can expect a bed like this to last four years.
Q1: Should You Use Treated Wood?
There is lots of discussion and lots of argument about whether you should use treated wood in your garden setting. Well, they are not using arsenic in the chemicals anymore and I have read says, the treated wood tends to be pretty safe and really does not affect the plants. Most of the plants I grow in these types of beds have pretty shallow roots. So, the roots are not going to extend down to the depth.
I like the treated wood because it’s less likely to decay. It’s less likely to have that water damage. So, by being on the bottom it’s going to last longer than any other wood.
Now, you can use redwood, which will last much longer than the basic fir, but it’s definitely more expensive. In some cases, almost three times more expensive than a basic fir. There is another viable option if you’ve got access to Cedar Lumber. It is also not going to rot as quickly and can handle the exposure to the wet conditions better.
Q2: What Should Be The Beds Height?
As far as how high these beds are, there is really a very little limitation. As long as you have got that strong corner, you can continue stacking these beds. You can use 2 by 8 or could easily use 2 by 12 stacked two high, or stacked three high.
A lot of it depends on how you garden, or who’s doing the gardening. For students in wheelchairs, the beds should be about 2 to 2 and a half feet high, so they could reach them easily. For senior citizens beds should be 3 feet, 3 and a half feet high, so that they could garden without having to get down on their knees and that could easily reach into the beds.
But for kids, there should a single layer because they might like to get down on their knees and work in the bed. It depends on you and the last thing is the cost of the bed, It comes down to what type of wood you choose. If you get a new bed, it might be less than $50.
Hope so guys you liked reading this article. I tried my best as much as possible ways to make you understand everything clearly so hopefully, this article is gonna be helpful for you in how to make a garden bed. Keep visiting us to learn many more things. Have a nice day!