Raised Garden Bed

Can we all just take a minute to do a little clap for my hubby. He took time out of his busy day to write the detailed description below.

Thanks, babe!

3’x6’ Raised Garden Bed

What You’ll Need:

  • 2 – 4”x4”x8’ posts
  • 4 – swivel caster wheels w/ screw holes (minimum 200 lb load rating; can be w/ or w/o brakes)
  • 2 – 2”x12”x8’ boards
  • 21’ (linear) of 2”x2” boards
  • 8 – steel corner braces (minimum 4” wings to attach corners)
  • 1 – 3’x15’ roll galvanized chicken wire mesh (1”)
  • 1 – large box 2 ½” construction screws
  • 1 – small box 1 ¼” construction screws
  • 1 – box 8mm staples
  • 1 – 5/16” drill bit
  • Tape measure
  • Marking utensil
  • Power drill
  • Circular saw
  • Staple gun
  • Light duty wire cutters

 Disclaimer:

It is important to decide the type of wood you will use to construct your raised garden bed. There are 3 options:

  1. Untreated pine – This option is the least durable and least expensive of the three. It will also be the most susceptible to swelling and shrinking, water damage, and mold and mildew. However, the greatest benefit of untreated lumber is that it is relatively free of the many chemicals that are involved in the pressure treating process. This option is viable for those wanting to take a more organic approach to their garden bed, although it is least durable for outdoor use.
  2. Pressure-treated lumber – This option more durable and has a mid-price range. Pressure-treated lumber is most commonly used in outdoor construction, and is known for its resistance to weathering and rotting. It has a greater lifespan than untreated lumber, however, it may contain leftover chemicals from the pressure-treating process. It is recommended that a moisture-proof barrier be used to line the inside of the garden bed if using this material, so as to prevent chemicals from leaching into the soil.
  3. Cedar – This option is more durable and is the most expensive of the three. Cedar wood is naturally resistant to pests and weathers better than most other natural woods. This is the most expensive option, but is also great for an organic garden bed, as it is more durable and doesn’t contain any harsh chemicals.

 Assembly Instructions:

It is a great idea to get your lumber cut at Home Depot or Lowe’s after you purchase it. It will make transporting your materials from the store easier and will save you time. Some places charge a service fee for cutting lumber, but in our case, we felt that having our lumber cut for us was worth our time. If you don’t have it cut, make sure you have the proper tools at home to cut the lumber yourself.

 

Corners

  1. Cut your 4”x4”x8’ posts to get four 32” sections(you will have about 2/3 of one post left over). These will be your garden bed legs.
  2. Cuteachof your 2”x12”x8’ boards into 65” and29”, respectively (Each of your two 2”x12” boards should yield one 65” piece and one 29” piece, with about 2” left over from each). These four boards will be your garden bed side boards.
  3. Cut your 2”x2” boards into 3’ lengths. Create a total of seven3’ boards.
  4. Attach one swivel caster wheel onto the bottom of each of your four corner posts using a power drill and the 2 ½”construction screws.
  5. With the wheels turned up in the air, set each of the four corner posts on a level surface.

 

Sides

  1. Line up one of the side boards flush against one of the corner posts. Place a steel corner brace over the corner post (towards the top of the side board) and attach the side board and corner post together with the steel brace and 1 ¼”construction screws. (Measure where you attached the corner brace to the boards. Use that same measurement on all of the other corners so the braces appear at the same level on all sides.)
  2. Repeat Step 5, lining up the side boards with the corners and attaching them at the top of the side boards using the corner braces and 1 ¼” Attach all corners and sides until you’ve built a 3’x6’ box. The 65” boards form the sides and the 29” boards form the ends.

 

Bottom Braces

  1. Once you’ve built your box, lay a 2”x2” board across the box, up against the corners, making the ends flush with the side boards. These will form the bottom braces. Predrill two holes, one on each end of the board, and attach the board to the bottom using the 2 ½”
  2. Equally space the 2”x2” boards across the bottom (about 10”-12” apart on center), until you have seven braces equally spaced along the bottom. Put the last brace up against the other two corners like the first brace. Attach the rest of the braces along the bottom, predrilling the holes and spacing them evenly.

 

Top Corners

  1. With someone’s help, carefully flip over the garden bed and set it on its wheels. Pay careful attention not to twist or torque the box too much while flipping it over.
  2. Secure the top four corners of the box by attaching the other four corner braces to the corner posts using 1 ¼” This will make the box more rigid and stable. You should have two steel corner braces on each corner.

 

Wire Mesh

  1. Using the wire cutters, cut a piece of chicken wire to cover the bottom of the box. Make sure that there’s enough chicken wire to come up a little bit on all sides. Lay the wire in the box and staple it into place, placing staples along the bottom braces and sides.

Now, it's my lovely wife's turn to share further details...

Once you staple chicken wire mesh down, cover with weed film (see video), then add pebbles. This helps with water irrigation. Cover pebbles with your choice of soil, manure, and compost. For my bed, I used:

  • 3 bags of All Purpose Miracle Gro
  • 2 bags of Raised Bed & Potting Mix
  • 2 bags of Super Soil 
  • 2 bags of Earthgro Topsoil
  • 1 bag of Top Soil 

Mix these together really well prior to adding in your seedling, etc.

There are a lot of different options when choosing dirt. I spoke to some local gardeners, my local greenhouse/nursery, and decided to go with what I did. So far, so good! If you are from a different gardening zone, ask around and see what's best. If you have good native soil, you can add some of that in too. 

I decided to plant tomatoes, peppers, and some kale in one bed. When it comes to planting veggies together, it is important you pay attention to companion gardening. Look it up on Google for more information. It can play a big role in how much your plants yield. 

& on that note, I will stop. Because if I continue, this may become a book rather than a post. 

Hugs, 

Chelsea Henderson

 P.S. If you have any questions, ask in the comment area below.