First, you need to decide how big you would like your vegetable garden to be. For our purposes, we decided to build three different raised gardens. One for herbs, one for tomatoes, ground veggies like spinach, and onions. Regardless of what vegetables you decide to plant, the most important aspect is to ensure you are planting them at the right time of the year. This information can be found on the back of the seed package or easily available through an internet search.
Step 1: Purchase the materials:
Okay now that you have decided that you want a raised garden bed, it is time to gather your materials. A list of these materials can be found below, and are available at Home Depot or Lowe’s and a variety of other stores. The biggest thing to consider when building these raised gardens is to avoid any treated wood or other materials that could contaminate your delectable vegetables.
Step 2: Preparing the area:
You will need to cut the grass over the area where your garden will be placed. If it is not being placed on grass, the main idea is to pick a flat and mostly level ground. Avoiding slopes will ensure that any rain does not get overly collected on one side or the other.
Step 3: Cut the materials:
We decided to cut the two side boards (2″x10″x8′) at lengths of 5 feet. This allows 3 feet of length left on each of our two side boards, which will act as the ends and give the overall dimensions of 5 feet x 3 feet. Next I cut the awning boards (2″x2″x12′) to lengths of 6 feet, 5 feet 6 inches, 3 feet, and 5 feet 4 inches. Now we need to cut both pieces of weed barrier. One will be for the sun shade and the other for the weed barrier / ground cover. Cut each piece to ensure adequate coverage of both, but ensure there is enough hang over of material. You may want to wait until the structure is assembled before this step is done.
Step 4: Some assembly required:
Place the four side boards together forming a rectangle and merry them up with screws, with the five foot sides taking the outer edge. Now place the bed in the place you intend on it staying. The reason for this is because the structure can become quite heavy once it is fully assembled. This would also be a good time to cut the bottom piece of weed barrier fabric and put it into place.
Next is the rails and awning shade frame. The two 2″x2″x6′ boards get screwed into the back side board. I recommend at least two screws per rail and ensure they are level prior to the second screw being drilled. Also, you may want to pre-drill holes with a bit that is smaller than the screws being used.
The two shorter 5 foot 6 inch rail boards are placed in the front side. Next is the upper sun shade frame. Screw the 2″ x 2″ x 5’4″ boards at the top of the rails and into the front and back sides. Now for the 2″ x 2″ x 3′ boards, these are screwed at the top of the rails on each short side. Lastly take the weed barrier fabric that has been previously cut and secure it to the upper frame with staples.
Step 5: Bring on the dirt and plants:
The final step is to fill the gardens with dirt, I recommend filling it up to about three quarters full all around the garden. We used miracle grow vegetable and flower mix. This way it would provide more nutrients than just regular fill dirt or top soil dirt. Now dig and clear enough dirt to plant your veggies. I would recommend watering them as soon as they are planted and at least every other day.
- 1. 2″ x 10″ x 8′ boards….Quantity: 2
- 2. 2″ x 2″ x 12′ boards….Quantity: 4
- 3. Weed Barrier Fabric 4 feet wide by 12 feet long
- 4. 3″ Deck Screws…Quantity: 28 Minimum
- 5. 5/8″ Staples: 1 Box
- 6. Vegetable / Flower Soil….6 Bags (2 Cubic Feet)
- 7. Vegetables (your choice)
- 1. Circular Saw
- 2. Electric Drill with screw bits
- 3. Scissors
- 4. Staple Gun
- 5. Tape Measure
- 6. Level
- 7. Speed Square
- 8. Pencil