Get a Jump on Spring Gardens: Build Raised Garden Beds

A raised bed garden.
What You'll Need
treated lumber 4 x 4 posts
treated lumber boards
tape measure
landscape fabric
PVC pipes

Raised garden beds are an ideal choice for growing plants if you live in an area with little outdoor space or your soil is not ideal for cultivating plants. These beds allow you to produce flowers and vegetables with less effort than typical gardens because of the contained soil. And as a bonus, because they're above the ground you won't need to bend down as much to care for your plants. This makes them ideal for the elderly or anyone who may have physical difficulty working close to the ground.

Determine the Size and Location

Your raised garden bed should have a maximum width of 4 feet and a minimum height of 2 feet. This will allow you to get to the center plants easily without having to climb into the bed. Choose a place in your yard where the sun shines for about 8 hours.

Build Your Frame

Step 1 - Select the exact dimensions you want to use for your bed.

Step 2 - Your 4 x 4 posts will become the corners for your bed. Measure and cut them so that they are twice the height that you want.

Step 3 - Use dry chalk to draw out the location of the bed in your yard.

Step 4 - Use your shovel to dig out the corner spots for your posts.

Step 5 - Place the bottom half of your first post into one of the holes you have dug. Fill the surrounding areas to ensure that the post is securely anchored.

Step 6 - Continue with the remaining 3 corner posts. Make sure that your posts are level so that the water in your bed will not run off.

Step 7 - Measure and cut the boards for the longest sides of your frame. Use your nails to attach the ends of the first board to the 2 corner posts on one of the long sides.

Step 8 - Do the same for the other long side. Continue the process for the short sides of your frame.

Create Your Bed

Step 1 - Lay your landscape fabric inside the frame you have created. This cloth will prevent weeds from growing in your garden and taking over your plants. Ensure that there are no spaces between the frame and the fabric.

Step 2 - Place a layer of small stones over the fabric to create drainage for your bed.

Step 4 - Place your soil into a wheelbarrow. Add compost to the soil and use a shovel to combine the materials.

Step 5 - Use your shovel to lay the soil and compost mixture over your stones. Completely fill the frame with the soil mixture.

Add Your Plants

Raised beds are an excellent place to grow vegetables including salad greens, carrots, onions, radishes, beets and other root crops. You can also grow flowers in your raised garden beds, whether they are perennials or annuals. Whatever you plant, makes sure that you allow enough space between each vegetable or flower for things to grow. Once all of your flowers and vegetables are planted, liberally water the entire bed. As new seedlings, your plants will require a lot of water to grow. Continue watering your raised bed on a daily basis to ensure that your plants grow well.

Protect Your Plants

You can build a greenhouse cover for your bed using PVC pipes. You will need enough pipes to create an arch across the width of your frame at 4-foot intervals. Cut the pipes to the necessary length. Attach one end of the first pipe to the frame of your bed. Bend the pipe into an arch over the bed and secure it to the frame on the other side. Continue the process until there are arches at 4-foot intervals secured along the length of your bed. Attach netting between each section of pipes.