How to Build a Raised Bed Vegetable Garden
In previous years when we started our garden, we just partitioned part of our yard as vegetable garden areas. This year, we wanted to build a permanent above ground garden that we could maintain each year. The nice part about building your own box garden is that you can make it any size that you want. We planted the new plants that were growing in the repurposed egg carton that I constructed 2 weeks ago. They look so tiny in our massive raised garden bed, but I guarantee you that in a few months, they will take over everything.
If you are just starting out, you can do a standard 4′x4′ garden bed. Since we have a big area of our side yard that had nothing in it, and this is my third garden, so I’m ready for plenty of veggies, I wanted something bigger. It is pretty simple to build, but I do recommend planning out what you want before you start. Decide on the size of your garden bed, what you want to go, and find out how much room each plant needs because they will expand and can take over nearby plants (like my “killer cucumbers” from my first garden experience).
We used 2 x 10 x 16’ long wood beams which provided 9.5” of usable above ground garden.
Materials You Will Need:
- wood beams 2-by-10s (length depends on the size that you want to make your garden bed)
Example: If you are making a 4′x4′ bed, you’ll need (4) 4 foot 2-by-10 wood beams.
- 4 corner Brackets
- 8 wood screws
- Drill gun
- Tape measure
- Organic soil
- A watering system (this could be you!) – just make sure you know how your plants will get all the water they need
- A sunny spot for the garden
Building Your Raised Bed Garden
Leveling the ground, raking, and getting rid of grass and weeds.
1. Once you have the perfect spot for your garden, clear the area and make sure the ground is level and free of weeds. Get the kids involved in the process (oh, and hubby, too, if he is handy like mine)!
2. Build the frame using the 2-by-10 wood beams, the corner brackets, and wood screws. You could use nails – however, they won’t keep your frame as sturdy over time. Use 90-degree brackets to keep your frame secure and withstanding many years.
3. Fill your raised bed frame with good garden soil (we used a mix of organic soil and dirt from our yard) and/or your own compost.
If using the repurposed egg carton, just push plant & soil up from the bottom to plant in the garden.
4. When planting, make sure you leave enough room between your plants. If you are unsure how much space a plant (or seed) needs, read the instructions. Many need more room than the standard foot x foot gardening, so take care to plan out your plants ahead of time. You can always add more in the future.
My new raised garden bed! Isn’t it lovely!
5. Don’t forget to water – the soil will soak it up the first time, especially organic soil, and you want to make sure your baby plants are getting enough, so keep watering and make sure that soil is damp.
What We Are Planting:
- Onions (a natural pest-repellant, too!)
I will also be planting marigolds within the garden, too, because I found that they do repel pests as well. I’ll update you on that once I get them done. Also, I found a fun way to use cups in your garden to help water – but stay tuned, that post is coming next week!
Have you built a raised garden bed before? What tips do you have? Will you attempt to build one this year?