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Build practical raised beds yourself and save yourself the backache in the garden: DIY instructions and tips

If you decide to garden in the spring, there are practical methods by which you can build raised beds themselves. There is no question that such solutions are popular for good reason. Not only do they look great in a backyard garden, but they also ease the workload that comes with tending traditional in-ground garden beds. With that said, you may be wondering which system is best for you. Should you go with a prefabricated kit or start from scratch? Here’s some useful information that can help you realize such a DIY project.

Before you build your own raised beds yourself after simple steps

build your own raised garden beds choose wood in suitable shapes

Not every garden has the perfect soil for growing a vegetable garden . Whether your garden soil is loamy or stony, at some point you were curious about how you can alternatively build cheap raised beds yourself. The good news is that it’s not that difficult and can be made from a variety of materials, including rot-resistant cedar. As mentioned earlier, building a raised bed can be a great spring project. Accordingly, the step-by-step instructions will help you build simple systems from scratch. In addition, there are kits on the market that are easy to build with little time and cost. This does not necessarily require special DIY skills. It is best to first figure out what type of wood or material you want to use and how large your raised beds should be.

Benefits and supplies needed for a raised bed made of wood.

garden maintenance and creation of raised bed with planting

So why should you consider raised beds made from inexpensive wood materials such as pallets or boards, also known as planter boxes or garden boxes? Such materials offer a number of benefits to help your plants thrive. Aside from keeping pests at bay in your garden , your soil will warm up much earlier in the spring season. This means that your crops will also have a chance to grow earlier. Also, vegetables, fruits and ornamental plants will send their roots deeper in search of water, so they will likely be healthier as a result.

build your own raised garden bed with tools step by step guide

If you want to save money building raised beds yourself, the beauty of a raised bed made of wood is that it is cheap and easy to build. The wood and reinforcement are affordable if you use untreated boards of pine, for example. You can also complete the entire construction of a DIY raised bed in less than an hour, which is of course time-saving. The untreated pine may only last five to ten years, but because of the nature of this construction, each board is easily replaceable without taking apart the entire raised bed. For a 1.20 x 2.40 foot raised bed, you will need the following materials:

  • Two 2 x 12 boards, each 2.40 feet long
  • Two 2 x 12 boards, each 1.2 meters long
  • 12 pieces as reinforcement, each 60 cm long
  • A rubber mallet and drill (if needed)
  • Newspaper or cardboard
  • Soil to fill the finished frame

Wooden raised beds build yourself instructions step by step.

raised bed diy instructions to build yourself in the garden

  1. First, determine the correct position for your boards.
  2. Then, position the boards on a flat section of ground so that their inner corners touch.
  3. First, place a long board on its side and use a rubber mallet to hammer two rebars into the ground a few inches from each corner.
  4. Then prop up the short sides.
  5. In the middle, use one piece of rebar at a time as a temporary support.
  6. Next, support the second long side and adjust the orientation of your frame as needed.
  7. Then drive the rebar a few inches deep, about 30 inches from each corner of the second long side.
  8. Then reinforce the frame by adding more support.
  9. Drive the reinforcement a few centimeters deep, about 30 cm from each corner of the short sides, and remove the temporary supports.
  10. Add two pieces as reinforcement along each long side, 60 cm apart. These will reinforce the frame when it is filled with soil.
  11. Then pound in the reinforcement until they are exposed between 15 and 25 cm above the ground.
  12. Line the bottom of your frame with newspaper or cardboard and wet it thoroughly.
  13. Finally, fill your raised bed with soil to within a few inches below the top.

Use alternative building materials

grow and care for tomato plant in garden bed

The options for building materials are endless. For example, you can buy prefabricated kits if you want to do this kind of DIY project. In addition, a prefabricated kit available at home improvement stores and garden supply stores might be right for you. You can find versions made of composite material to resist rot and insects . They also fade better over time than natural wood.

garden bed weaving from branches and recycle old materials

Furthermore, you can weave a frame with long, flexible sticks. Your kids will definitely have fun gathering the branches for your raised bed, with the results usually Pinterest-worthy.

build your own raised garden beds in spring use stone as edge

Furthermore, tree trunks are also a practical option. If you have recently cut down a tree, logs can be a cost-effective material. However, choose the pieces that are straight and have a diameter of at least 30 cm. Another alternative, if you want to build and plant raised beds yourself, are concrete blocks or stone.

use concrete blocks as building material for garden bed with lettuce

Placing the blocks with open ends to the top will provide additional growing space. In doing so, you can choose herbs or decorative flowers for the voids as suitable plants. A waist-high garden bed would also be more accessible to people with physical limitations.

Tips for planting after you build your raised garden beds yourself

build your own practical raised garden beds and grow your own vegetables

Place your garden beds in a location that receives at least five to six hours of sunlight daily. Orient them from north to south to prevent plants from shading each other. The width should also still be at least 30 cm, but no more than 120 cm, to make weeding and harvesting manageable. A length of 180 to 240 cm is typical and cost-effective. 25 to 40 cm is an ideal height to accommodate strong roots.

build your own protection against pests in the form of netting for raised beds

Leave at least 60 or 80 cm between raised beds for walking and wheelbarrow access. If your garden bed is low to the ground, watch out for creatures. To keep them out, consider installing a wire fence to ensure rabbits and other small intruders stay away. If there are deer in your area, plastic netting (at least 6 feet high) is a good solution.

soil and compost in combination with irrigation in the garden bed create

Fill your beds with a mixture of 50 to 60% good topsoil and 40 to 50% well-aged compost. Test your soil for pH and nutrient levels before each new growing season. You can find the supplies you need at most hardware stores. If your test shows a need for additional nutrients such as nitrogen and potassium, increase levels by incorporating amendments such as bone meal and kelp. Dress your raised beds with a supplemental compost later in the growing season to increase organic matter and improve soil health.

Watering plants in raised beds

water the plants in the garden bed as needed

If you build your raised beds in mid-summer, it’s not too late to plant fall crops. Sow seeds like carrots and lettuce directly into the ground or buy mid-season transplants for crops like kale and broccoli. If you prefer to wait until next year to plant, cover the soil in your new raised beds with a mixture of grass clippings and shredded leaves in the fall. The material will compost before you can start in the spring.

choose watering system for garden beds with timer

Raised beds have fantastic drainage, which is great for plant health, but they dry out quickly. Water your plants in the early evening, but check them more often on hot summer afternoons. If the soil is dry, it’s hot outside, or you live in a dry climate, water the plants in the bed repeatedly. A programmable drip irrigation system is usually inexpensive and convenient, too. It delivers consistent moisture directly to the plant roots. However, also invest in a timer as a component to save money and water.