Raised garden beds can be used in almost any setting - commercial or residential - to accomplish offsetting areas with colour, shapes and even edibles. Regardless of your setting, raised garden beds usher in an opportunity for clustering and enlivening specific areas with flowers, trees, flowering shrubs or vegetables.
Elegant, elongated raised planter beds can be designed to fit the space available. Vegetable gardeners enjoy raised beds because they are easier to weed and maintain. Reaching into the center of the plantings and preventing pest damage can be easier when using raised beds. The Grounds Guys recently produced videos on planting onions and potatoes in raised garden beds.
At The Grounds Guys®, we know just how to use that extra yard space. Try some unique, attractive approaches for your own homemade raised garden beds. There are many benefits to this technique, and you can also learn valuable DIY tips from The Grounds Guys.
Advantages of Raised Garden Beds
Raised garden beds are great for areas with poor soil or drainage. They make it a lot easier to work in the garden since you don’t have to bend over as far. They also add a pleasant aesthetic to your garden, and the design characteristics can be incorporated into other elements like a patio, pergola or outdoor fire pit. Height and size of the bed will guide material selection. Cost is also a factor. Use rot-resistant wood.
- Old railroad ties, cedar or pressure-treated pine work well
- Material choice will also depend on if the garden beds will grow edible vegetables
- Raised beds are very helpful for poor soil and drainage
Planning Your Raised Garden Bed Location
Aesthetics for the outdoor garden, and locations for the raised beds are determined by what will be in them. Sun, access to water, potential pest problems and ease of maintenance should all be considered ahead of time.
Building the Garden Bed
Your raised bed frame can be as simple as 2x4s on top of the ground. Some use patio retaining wall blocks. The size and materials are up to you. A raised bed at least 12 inches high will provide ease of access while roots have plenty of room to grow.
Step 1: Start by measuring and marking the length of the walls and cut the boards.
Measure and cut 2x4s for corner posts to support the walls. Make them the height of the garden bed wall. Also cut posts for installing along the walls for additional strength. You can build this bed with ten 2 x 4 x 10 boards.
- Cut six, 6-foot boards
- Six, 3-foot by 9-inch boards
- 10, 10-1/2-inch support posts
Step 2: Start by clamping together the boards for each wall. Set your corner posts on top of the wall boards.
Be sure it is flush with the ends of the 6-foot walls and set back 1-1/2 inches from the ends of the shorter walls.
It is easier when you drill pilot holes first and attach the posts with screws. You can build this bed with ten 2 x 4 x 10 boards.
When you drill pilot holes and connect all the sides with screws, it forms a box. All posts should be on the inside of the bed. Loosen the earth where you are placing the bed with a spading fork first, to help your plants' roots grow deeply into the ground.
Step 3: Before setting the raised bed frame in place, staple wide-mesh hardware cloth to the bottom of the frame.
The mesh will keep weeds out, yet earthworms will still be able to enrich the soil. Consider using landscape fabric or even newspaper for blocking weed growth from below.
Step 4: Staple heavy-duty plastic along the inside walls before adding the soil if your wood isn't rot resistant and consider adding a mesh cover to keep birds and rabbits away.
You can build the frame with wood then loop over it with PVC pipe. This makes it easy to throw mesh or plastic over the whole bed giving it a greenhouse effect. You can also add a trellis next to the bed for vines and tall plants.
If you want professional assistance for your landscaping projects, contact The Grounds Guys near you!
For Further Reading
Become a Gardener and Find Your Zen
Creating a Beautiful Spring Lawn & Garden