As part of my learning to garden I decided to make some raised beds out of cedar lumber. I did this for several reasons. First, our soil is quite sandy (we practically live on a sand dune!) Second, I wanted to be able to easily cover the gardens. Finally, I like the look of raised garden beds.
For the design I settled on simple 4′ x 4′ cedar beds. I used 2″ x 6″ cedar boards stacked two boards high with 4″ x 4″ cedar posts in the corners.
Building the Raised Garden Beds
The process I used to build the raised garden beds was as follows:
- Saw 2″ x 6″ cedar boards to 4′ long (8 boards per garden bed)
- Saw 4″ x 4″ cedar boards to 1′ 8″ lengths (4 posts per garden bed)
- Saw lengths of 1″ diameter PVC for hoop holders (4 holders per garden bed)
- Attach 2″ x 6″ boards to 4″ x 4″ posts to form a square. I used deck screws so I could easily take these apart or replace boards as needed.
- Attach 1″ diameter PVC to posts using 2 U-shaped PVC straps (8 per garden bed)
Setting the Raised Garden Beds in Place
I wanted the garden beds to be protected from both weeds and animals who might be digging from underneath the beds. Here is how I installed the beds into my yard.
- Remove grass from 4′ x 4′ area for each bed and dig holes deep enough for posts (call diggers hotline before digging!)
- Lay down landscape cloth over area cutting a slit to accommodate posts and leave a bit extra on each side (optional)
- Lay down hardware cloth over area in the same manner as the landscape cloth making sure to leave extra (optional)
- Drop raised bed posts into holes and level the garden bed if needed
Filling Raised Garden Beds and Finishing
To fill the garden beds I chose a mixture of peat moss, vermiculite, and compost very similar to the Mel’s Mix made popular in the square foot gardening method. I used a bit less vermiculite myself. I made up the mixture as I went making sure it was nice and wet. Once the beds were filled I bent the hardware cloth up around the edges. I then cut off the excess landscape fabric to tidy things up. For some of the beds I made vertical trellis out of electrical conduit. I also experimented with some cages made of 1″ x 2″ and chicken wire.
Here are the materials I used for each raised garden bed.
- 2″ x 6″ cedar boards – 32′ total
- 4″ x 4″ cedar posts – 8′ total
- 1″ diameter PVC – about 4′
- 3/4″ diameter PVC for hoops – 2 10′ pipes
- 1″ PVC straps – 8
- Landscape fabric
- Hardware cloth
- 3″ deck screws – for attaching lumber
- 1″ deck screws – for attaching PVC straps
- About 16 cubic feet of soil mixture