How To: Raised Garden Bed Series

As I have mentioned over and over again, Cliff and I just recently moved into a new house. We previously lived in a small townhouse with no backyard and a small balcony. As soon as we moved we decided that we NEEDED to plant a garden. We decided the way to go was to build a raised garden bed. I plan to do a series this spring/summer on the progress of our garden. It might be a huge success, it might be a huge failure. We will see. We aren’t farmers after all!

We must have been feeling extra ambitious the day we went to the home improvement store to buy wood because we decided to build an 18 foot long bed. It didn’t seem that big until we    had everything assembled. Then it was like, omg, this thing is huge!

Here is what you’ll need (our bed is 18 feet long by 3 feet wide by 2 feet deep):

  • Cedar boards
  • Deck Screws; many, many, deck screws
  • 1 x 1 cedar posts, 2×2 would work well too
  • Drill
  • Jigsaw
  • Measuring Tape
  • Pencil
  • Patience, and lots of it

1. Start with the corner pieces. Drill three screws into the wood to connect the two pieces.

2. Add the post and drill 3 more on each side

3. We stacked our boards 2 high, so we did the same thing again

4. We connected our boards every 6 feet with another post

Here it is from the other side:

Hopefully by the end of the summer we will have some yummy veggies!

Neither Cliff nor I are carpenters but this project really did not take very long. We started it at about 5pm on a Sunday night; we were excited!! We worked until about 9:30, taking a break to eat some pizza. Then we spent about 2 more hours the next night. So, all in all about 6 hours.  And even more impressive we did not fight once and there were no tears involved.

The total cost for materials was $225.00. We read that you should use untreated cedar because it will not rot. Hopefully, this bed will last us about 5 years. Also, untreated cedar is not treated with chemicals.

Start by measuring out all your pieces. Remember measure twice (or 3 times), cut once. Then cut each piece. One thing we did learn is that just because the label on the board says 12 inches does not mean the board is 12 inches. Ours were about 11 ½ inches. I do not know why. Start by drilling together the corner pieces into the posts. Then do the same with the long boards. We made our bed 24 inches high so we stacked the boards two high.

Next step: filling it with dirt, selecting plants, and planting.