A raised bed is the ultimate problem solver. It offers perfect drainage, protection from pests, and easy access to crops. And it’s just the thing to turn your backyard into the farm of your dreams. Raised beds are great for gardeners who have poor soil. By building beds above your soil surface and filling them with higher quality soil, you’re giving your vegetables a better environment to thrive and produce. Creating a worm inn starts here.
Surrounded by timbers and filled with rich soil, the raised bed lets you customize your plants’ nutrients and moisture. It also brings the garden to the gardener, allowing you to easily maintain your plants without stooping. And if you build it early, you can get a head start on the planting season because the elevated soil heats up sooner than the ground. With the help of professionals from sites like www.hammerexcavations.com.au, you can make your raised garden beds as gorgeous as ever.
How To Make Raised Garden Beds?
If you plan on planting vegetables, choose a spot in your garden that receives full sun—meaning at least 6 hours of sun per day. A north-south orientation of the bed will give you even sun exposure.
2. Construction Material and Tools
You can make your raised beds out of almost anything rock, wood, natural stone, concrete and more.
If you’re in search for affordable machinery to build your home garden, companies like Boom & Bucket can be of great service.
Wooden beds are the least expensive and tend to look more organic and traditional. Cedar or redwood timbers look nice and are naturally weather-resistant. Pressure-treated wood is a less expensive, albeit less polished, alternative, and preliminary EPA tests have shown today’s treated lumber to be a safe material for use in vegetable and herb beds.
3. Bed Size
Before you build your bed, you’ll need to figure out how big you want it to be. The box itself can be made from any size lumber, the larger the pieces, the fewer you’ll need. It should rise at least a foot off the ground, this gives the plant roots room to grow and gives the gardener’s back a break. Stick with 4 feet or less for the width, so you can reach the middle of the plantings from either side. When it comes to length, the limit depends on the size of your lumber. To cover a larger area, build side-by-side beds with room to walk between them.
For building a 4 x 8 foot bed you will need:
- Four 16 inch-long 4 by 4 (as corner posts)
- Two 4 foot long 2 by 12 (for bed ends)
- Two 8 foot long 2 by 12 (for bed sides)
- Twenty four 3 1/2 inch #14 galvanized or stainless steel Shoulder Bolts
- Twenty four 1/2 inch #8 galvanized or stainless steel screws (optional)
- Six 12 inch long pieces of 1/2 inch PVC pipes (Which you can get from a plumber in Murrieta)
- Three 10 foot long pieces of 3/8 gauge rebar (optional)
- Three 3 by 5 foot rolls of 1/4 inch mesh hardware cloth to deter burrowing animals (optional)
- Twelve 1 inch galvanized tube straps (optional)
- 1 roll bird netting or floating row cover (optional)
- 16 cubic feet of planting soil
- 16 cubic feet of compost
- 5/32 inch drill bit
- Shovel or trowel
- Level (optional)
- Staple gun
- Wire cutters
4. Building the Frame
Working on a flat surface, set a 4 foot 2 by 12 board on it’s narrow side edge on the pavement, at one end of the board. Place a 16 inch 4 by 4 corner post upright and flush with the end of the board. Before securing the post to the 4 foot board, help prevent the wood from splitting by drilling three evenly spaced holes in the board with the 5/32 inch drill bit. Then secure the board to the post with three 3 1/2 inch screws. Repeat that technique to attach a corner post to the other end of the 4 foot board. Then grab the remaining 4 foot board and attach a corner post to each end.
You now have the two 4 foot ends of your raised bed and are ready to attach the bed’s longer sides. Position the first of your 8 foot 2 by 12 side boards between your two 4 foot bed ends. Make sure the 8 foot board is flush with each corner post, then drill each board end with three holes and secure it to a post with three 3 1/2 inch screws. Repeat to attach the remaining 8 foot side board to the awaiting corner posts. After that, your rectangular bed is complete.
5. Anchor the Bed
Once you’ve decided on a bed location, dig a 5 to 6 inch deep hole for each of the corner posts. Then sink each post into the ground. Make sure the bed is level on all sides, this will ensure that irrigation percolates evenly. Then backfill the corner holes with dirt to steady the posts.
6. Protect your Veggies from Birds and Frost
To give your vegetables an edge on birds and frost, consider adding hoops to hold up bird netting or a floating row cover. If you want to add these three optional hoops, attach their PVC support tubes now. On the inside of each of the long (8 foot) sides of the raised bed, evenly space three of your 12 inch pieces of 1/2 inch PVC pipe. Set those pipes upright against the bed sides, making sure that each PVC pipe has a parallel pipe mirroring it across the bed (so each pair can act as support tubes for the hoops). Secure each PVC pipe upright to the inside of the bed with two tube straps, using two 1/2 inch screws per strap.
7. Deter Burrowing Pests
You don’t want to share your vegetables with gophers and moles. If they’re a problem in your area, keep them out of your raised bed by adding a layer of hardware cloth before you pour in your planting soil. Rake existing soil at the bottom of the bed to level it, then tamp it smooth. Wearing gloves, line the bed bottom with hardware cloth, making sure that the cloth is lying flat on the bottom and curving up to touch each side of the bed. Secure the cloth by stapling it to the sides of the bed. Use wire cutters to trim excess cloth and to help the cloth fit flush around the corner posts.
8. Fill the Bed
Fill the bed with a 50/50 mixture of planting soil and compost to within 2 to 3 inches of the top of the bed. Once the bed is filled, rake the soil smooth and moisten it with a gentle spray from the hose and enjoy planting!