What You Need for This Project
What Type of Wood to Use
The wood to use for a raised bed is your decision. Here are some options:
- Cedar and redwood are naturally water-resistant but can be expensive and hard to find. Hemlock, fir, and pine are suitable materials for raised beds but aren't very long-lasting.
- Pressure-treated lumber has been a controversial topic for many years. The purpose of chemical pressure treatment is to protect wood from rot, decay, and wood-ingesting insects. Creosote-treated wood is not a good option for vegetable raised beds.
Compared to untreated wood, pressure treated lumber lasts longer and is available at a comparable cost. Some types are specifically treated for ground contact. But keep in mind that even water-based treatments such as ACQ contain the fungicide and pesticide necessary to make it effective. Here are some practices that may address concerns about using it in raised beds.
- Let the wood dry before use. It can take six months or longer for treated lumber to dry.
- You can then use as-is or paint or seal it.
- Line the interior sides of the bed with sheet plastic or pond liner.
- Plant edibles nearer the center of the bed, a few inches away from the wood.
- Use fasteners and hardware labeled for treated lumber — stainless-steel or hot-dipped, galvanized screws.
- Butt lumber tightly. Pressure treated wood shrinks as it dries.
- Drill pilot holes to prevent splitting when nailing or screwing boards.
- Use wood rated for ground contact when necessary for the project.
- Wear gloves, a dust mask and eye protection when handling or cutting wood.
- Wash your hands after working with treated wood.
- Dispose of sawdust and waste according to local regulations.
- Don't burn pressure treated wood.
- Don't use pressure treated wood as mulch.
Building Your Garden Bed
Cut Your Garden Bed Walls
Tip: For our frame, we cut six 6-ft. boards, six 3-ft.-9-in. boards, and ten 10-1/2-in. support posts. You can build this bed with ten 2-in. by 4-in. by 10-in. boards.
Attach the Posts
Connect all the Sides
Note: A large frame is heavy and unwieldy. You may need a helper when it’s time to move it.
Attach Wide-Mesh Hardware
Attach Heavy Duty Plastic to the Bottom of the Frame
Planting & Care
Set the plants in holes and lightly fill in with soil. Keep the soil loose around the plants to allow water to reach the roots.
Tip: If you
Tip: A timer on a soaker hose can make as simple task like watering even easier.
How To Terms
If you want to design your own container garden, here are some tips to get you off on the right foot. The concept is simple: thrillers, fillers, and spillers.
Follow step-by-step for the ultimate raised garden bed. From garden design to planting, we have all the best garden ideas to build your own vegetable garden.