Raised garden beds are not only easy to construct, they are very easy to maintain too. You can easily grow your own vegetables even on challenging ground if you have the right raised bed in your space. Below are some tips on building raised bed including the sizes, types of wood used and what to fill them to grow healthy vegetables.
It’s super easy to grow vegetables when you have enough space and your soil is good. But, if you have poor quality soil and have trouble in bending down, or you live in colder temperatures then building a raised bed is answer. Though, there are many other reasons to include raised beds in your garden too.
So, before building raised bed, it’s important to buy all the materials you need. When you are living in colder regions, the height of raised bed should be height of six inches to waist especially in elevated gardening. Probably it all depends on your need to accommodate the longest roots of your plants. Another positive thing about raised bed is, it helps in soil erosion.
How To Line Up Raised Beds?
While building raised beds, make sure to keep it away or at a good distance from trees. Everything from shrubs to giant red woods will easily creep their way near those fertile boxes of nutrients. Line those beds with landscaping fabric so that it can keep the bulk of roots out for a long time. Make sure it is also water permeable so that it don’t get waterlogged.
Best Size For Raised Beds:
Create raise bed using wood and building large container with it, then fill with good quality of soil, compost and aerating materials.
Before creating, you should work on some material like bed sizes, number of beds, and building materials. Choose a sunny spot and if it’s well drained and had good quality soil it’s a bonus. The best width for raised beds is four feet, choosing this size width will make it easy to reach from all sides which is what you want. However, the measurement is based on the beds being rectangular but, you can also build it in your favorite shape and size.
Raised Garden Bed Material:
After deciding about the size of your raised beds, work out on your materials. Get some planks which are about 16 inches and cut them down in to 8 inches and 4 inches in length. Make sure they are 1.85 inches thick and 6 inches wide. Choose 2 by 2 stakes, if you’re beds on slope and if you’re on a flat surface there is no need to drive the stakes in.
To make wooden raised beds, you also need some steel screws which are meant for outdoor use.
Type Of Wood To Choose For Raised Beds:
There are various materials available to build the sides of raised beds like cinder blocks, tires, corrugated roofing sheets, bricks and even wood effect plastic. Some of this material is not only expensive but also toxic in to the soil. So, when looking for wood you can use the whole planks or logs and planks over an inch will last longer.
The best wood for raised bed is hard wood, it is naturally rot resistant, looks great, and will last more than 15 years.
The next best wood is soft wood like pine and spruce. It’s one of the cheaper one but beds made of soft wood will last only for 7-10 years. It is also more susceptible to more fungi and pests.
Using Pallets For Raised Beds:
The damage caused to your raised beds can be reclaimed by using pallets. There’s a type you should avoid when using pallets. You will find letters like HT, MB on the shape of a stamp. HT means the heat in wood can kill any pests and it is also means that it’s safe to use. MB means that the wood can be treated with methyl bromide which is unsafe to use. Often times these initials appear alongside DB, which means debarked.
How To Build Raise Beds:
Now, let’s see how to build raised beds using the material we have bought.
Each side of raised bed has two planks which are attached to each other to the other planks with a stake at each corner. The stakes don’t need to be driven in to the ground for flat surfaces.
- To start, on a flat surface place two shorter planks together. Once they are printed, set them in such a way that they are facing towards you.
- Now attach them using stakes at the corners and use a screw through the stake in to each plank to drill a hole first.
- Make sure to leave some space between the stake and at edge of the plank. Also set the stakes slightly below the edge of the plank so they’re not as visible.
- Repeat the same process on the other side for shorter planks. Finally, take the finished sides to near the area you’re building the beds.
How To Construct Beds In Garden:
Step by step process to construct beds in your garden.
- Lay down two longer plants on the ground, printed sides facing towards you. Set the shorter side upward at 90 degree angle to long planks. Use a screw through stake in to longer plank to attach. Repeat the same with the other short side of the long plank.
- Take the help of another person to lay down the three sided bed down flat. Then attach the last two long planks to form the last side and measure where your beds are to be placed and mark the four corners.
- If you’re on a flat surface, flip the bed over and mark the corners to know its position. For slopes, it need a bit of stability so give the bed a firmer standing by driving the stakes in to the ground. Dig holes deep enough for each other of the stakes at the four corners then flip the bed over. Finally fill the holes and stamp down.
Screw shorter plank in to its adjoining longer plank using screws. Finally, fill your beds with your choice of topsoil, compost and manure. Wait for two weeks for the beds to settle down completely before planting.