Vegetable Garden Raised Bed Tutorial
If you want to have a vegetable garden this year without the trouble of tilling, why not try out this Vegetable Garden Raised Bed project? Using a raised bed garden means you have control of the soil quality, you’re able to reach the plants easily from all sides, and you can better protect your little garden from pests. You can simply purchase one online or at a local hardware store – or you can build your own in just a few easy steps.
My amazing mom has always done a big backyard garden so we could have fresh veggies all summer long. (She has the greenest thumb I’ve ever seen!)
The last few years she’s switched to planting a raised bed garden, so I asked her to show me (and all of you, too!) how to get started building one. Here’s her Vegetable Garden Raised Bed tutorial – if you have any questions please just leave a comment and I’ll have her respond.
What you’ll need:
To get started with your raised bed vegetable garden, you’ll first need to make a trip for lumber. I build my raised garden beds as 4′ x 4′ boxes – using 2″ x 6″ lumber and stacking them two high, so the finished height is about 10-12 inches. This size makes it easy to reach all plants from either side without stepping inside (to keep from compacting the soil.)
Using cedar or redwood, a naturally rot resistant lumber, should make your beds last several years. Do not use pressure treated wood! Do use galvanized or stainless steel screws and bolts. The screws should be about 3″ long.
Building your Raised Bed Boxes:
To build your boxes, screw the ends of wood together using two to three screws, staggered, on each side of the corners. It helps to have a 2″ x 2″ wooden stake inside of the corners to give it more support. After building two boxes place one on top of the other and brace them together with a support in the middle of each side.
I also attach PVC pipe on the inside of the boards to help hold them together and so I can make an arch of hoops in which to attach plastic or netting if needed to protect the plants – giving it a sort of greenhouse effect in the cooler weather.
To do this: Mount two 1″ diameter pieces of PVC pipe on two opposite sides of the box for added support. Then using a smaller 3/4″ PVC pipe (about 5-6′ length) create an arch across your raised bed.
Fill your raised bed:
Find a place in your yard that is level and prepare it with a weed fabric to keep the weeds out and the soil in. (Newspapers work pretty well too if you layer them thickly.)
Use a mixture of compost, peat moss, and coarse vermiculite (if you can find it). I try to put in several different varieties to give my gardens a good soil mixture which is loose and easy to pull out any weeds. Each year I add some new compost to the existing soil. Happy gardening 🙂
Here’s a picture of my cute momma standing next to her homemade composter – aka: an old dog cage. She’s pretty smart, right?
Check out more Gardening Tips here!