Gardening is a great hobby for those who love the outdoors and want to enjoy the fruits of their labor. Raised garden beds are an excellent way to start gardening because they are easier to maintain, provide better drainage, and make it easier to control the soil quality. In this beginner’s guide, we will show you how to build a raised garden bed from scratch, including the materials and tools you need, designing your dream garden bed, building your raised garden bed, and planting and maintaining your garden. So let’s get started!
Getting Started: Materials and Tools
The first step in building a raised garden bed is to gather all the materials and tools you will need. Here’s a list of everything you’ll need:
- Wooden boards (cedar, pine, or redwood) or cinder blocks
- Landscape fabric or cardboard
- Measuring tape
Designing Your Dream Garden Bed
The next step in building a raised garden bed is to design your dream garden bed. Here are some things to consider:
Choose a location that receives at least 6-8 hours of sunlight per day. Avoid areas with low-lying spots that may collect water.
Consider the amount of space you have available and the amount of food you want to grow. A good size for a beginner’s raised garden bed is 4×8 feet.
The height of your raised garden bed will depend on the type of plants you want to grow. For vegetables, a height of 12-18 inches is ideal.
The shape of your raised garden bed can be rectangular, square, or even circular. Consider the space you have available and the aesthetics you want to achieve.
Building Your Raised Garden Bed
Once you’ve designed your dream garden bed, it’s time to start building. Here’s how:
Step 1: Mark the location
Use a measuring tape to mark the location of your raised garden bed. Use stakes and string to create a rectangle or square.
Step 2: Level the ground
Use a shovel to level the ground where your raised garden bed will be placed. Make sure the ground is level by using a level.
Step 3: Build the frame
If you’re using wooden boards, cut them to size and screw them together to create a rectangle or square. If you’re using cinder blocks, stack them up to create a rectangle or square.
Step 4: Add landscape fabric or cardboard
Lay landscape fabric or cardboard on the bottom of your raised garden bed. This will prevent weeds from growing and help with drainage.
Step 5: Add soil and compost
Fill your raised garden bed with soil and compost. Mix them together for better soil quality.
Step 6: Add mulch
Add a layer of mulch on top of the soil. This will help retain moisture and prevent weed growth.
Planting and Maintaining Your Garden
Now that your raised garden bed is built, it’s time to start planting and maintaining your garden. Here are some tips:
Step 1: Plan your garden
Consider the types of plants you want to grow and plan accordingly. Make sure to leave enough space between plants for proper growth.
Step 2: Water your garden
Water your garden regularly, especially during hot and dry weather. Make sure to water the base of the plants, not the leaves.
Step 3: Fertilize your garden
Fertilize your garden with organic fertilizer to promote healthy plant growth.
Step 4: Weed your garden
Weed your garden regularly to prevent weed growth and ensure healthy plant growth.
Step 5: Harvest your crops
Harvest your crops when they are ripe and ready. This will encourage more growth and ensure the best flavor.
Step 6: Rotate your crops
Rotate your crops every season to prevent soil depletion and ensure healthy plant growth.
Heres how to build a raised bed using a no dig method Mow the grass or weeds as close to the ground as possible Then cover the area with cardboard which will smother the grassweeds and eventually rot down into the soil as well Make sure you pick off any tape and staples which wont decomposeMeasure 44 corner pieces Just as how 26 boards are not truly 2 inches wide they are also not really 6 inches tall Their actual dimensions are closer to 5 12 inches So three 26 boards stacked on top of each other it actually creates a 165inch raised bed NOT an 18inch tall bedHow Do You Prepare The Soil For A Raised Garden Bed Before filling in your raised bed with soil use a garden fork or shovel to break up and loosen the dirt underneath Try to loosen the soil six to eight inches deep down Doing this
improves drainage and moisture retention You should also remove any rocks or large clumps of compacted soilFill the bed with a mix of nutrientrich soil and compost Use our Mulch and Soil Calculator to estimate the amount you need and see our article on soil and soil amendments and learn how to improve your soil Step 2 Plant Your Garden Watering The best time to water is morning when less water evaporates in the sunCreate a foursided structure using 2 x 10inch lumber that has been cut to length The dimensions of your DIY raised garden bed can vary depending on your needs and available space Most vegetables need about 10 inches of soil to thrive The garden bed should be fourfeetwide or lessFill It Pour a mixture of topsoil and compost into your box ask an expert or consult your county39s
cooperative exchange for advice on the right ratio leaving about 1 inch of space below the top of the frame A bed that is 6 feet by 4 feet and 13 inches deep for instance will need approximately 1 cubic yard of soil for a handy calculator In addition to preventing soil compaction raised beds can solve problems like drainage and weeds as well as serve as a barrier to pests 5 Understand how much sunlight your plants needPlace screen wire or a tightgrid 14 inch hardware cloth on top of the paper or cardboard The screen keeps animals from digging into the bottom of the garden Dump the planters mix on top of the screen and smooth it out If the raised bed is not enclosed slope the sides of the soil slightly outward which adds strength to the edges
Building a raised garden bed is a great way to start gardening. It’s easy to maintain, provides better drainage, and makes it easier to control the soil quality. By following this beginner’s guide, you’ll be able to build a raised garden bed from scratch, design your dream garden bed, plant and maintain your garden, and enjoy the fruits of your labor. Happy gardening!