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How To Make A Raised Garden Bed

Raised Garden Bed


Difficulty: Beginner

Time: 1-2 Hours


Potted plants are a great entry into gardening, but when you're ready to grow more edible veggies a raised bed is an efficient use way to do so. 

The beauty of a raised bed is that you're starting essentially from scratch with the soil used. 


This means you won't have to deal with pesky weeds or difficult terrain. 


If this is your first attempt at creating a raised garden you may want to start by looking at the raised garden bed different kits available. 



Nevertheless, if you'd like to build your own its a pretty straightforward process. First, let's look at what you'll need to get started.


Equipment / Tools Needed:

  • Gardening Gloves
  • Shovel
  • 2- x 10-inch lumber cut to your desired length
  • Landscaping fabric
    • A box-cutter or similar knife to cut fabric to spec
  •  Gardening soil
    • To figure out how much soil you'll need, multiply the length, width, and height of your raised garden in inches then divide this by 12. This calculation will provide you with the minimum amount of soil you need.
  • Back-fill soil (if needing to level out a slopped area)



*Start Here If You're Not Using A Garden Bed Kit*

1. Create a four-sided structure using 2- x 10-inch lumber that has been cut to length.


2. The dimensions of your DIY raised garden bed can vary depending on your needs and available space.

3. The garden bed should be four-feet-wide or less. Anything wider than that can make it difficult to reach the center of the bed.


4. Place the shorter walls flush to the longer walls to create a rectangle.


5. Drill pilot holes and use 2-1/2-inch deck screws to fasten the short walls to the ends of the long walls.

Drill Pilot Holes


*Start Here If You're Using A Garden Bed Kit*

6. Select a relatively flat area for your bed with an appropriate amount of shade for the plants you'd like to grow. Make sure you measure out the space, in line with the width and length of the boards you cut. 

Unsure of how much light your garden needs? Better Home and Garden has a great article on this: What You Need to Know to Start Your First Vegetable Garden 


7. A shovel should be used to level out uneven ground in the area you'd like to place your bed. 

8. Once you have a location for your garden picked out and the area is prepped, you're ready to assemble your wood pieces. If you have a kit, this usually involves slotting together wooden sections provided, but simply follow the directions included. 

Assembling A Garden Bed With A Kit


9. Next, you'll want to use a landscaping liner to line the base of your raised garden to help prevent weeds from growing.

Landscape Fabric (2,000 UV hours) - 3 ft wide

Landscape Baggy's 3 FT Wide Landscape Fabric - $29.00 / 25ft 


10. Finally, fill your plot with gardening soil. Make sure it's dispersed as evenly as possible, ensuring that it's level. Now you're ready to grow!



Additional Considerations and Resources

Keeping The Critters Out

Depending on where you live rabbits, deer, and other animals may be unwelcome guests at your new garden. Here in Asheville, North Carolina, we see this all the time. 


To prevent your garden from being overrun we recommend placing wooden stakes (at least 2.5 ft high) in each corner of your garden and stapling chicken wire around the outside. 

raised garden bed with chicken wire fence cover


What Gardening Soil Should You Choose?

There are a lot of factors to consider when picking out which soil is right for you, and frankly, there are a ton of options to choose from. Some of the most common soil includes: 

  • Topsoil, Garden Soil for Vegetable Gardens
  • Garden Soil for Flowerbeds
  • Soilless Potting Mix
  • Professional Potting Mix


Gardening Know How has a great guide on this called: What Is Garden Soil – When To Use Garden Soil