Build Your Own Raised Bed Garden

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raised bed garden kit

How to Build Your Own Raised Bed Garden

If you’re handy, it’s pretty easy to build your own raised bed garden. People build them out of wood, cinderblocks, stones and almost anything else you can imagine.

Looking for plans to build your own raised bed because you don’t want to reinvent the wheel? These links will get you started.

Most of these pages include very specific raised bed garden plans, along with a list of materials, and clear instructions. I’ve picked out the best of the best!

Popular Mechanics published this article about how to build and install raised garden beds.

Sunset Magazine also has a very thorough article, with photos. They even include an estimate of what the parts will cost.

Home Depot also offers instructions on building your own raised bed garden. I’m guessing they probably recommend buying all your materials at their stores….

Lowes evidently wanted to one-up Home Depot, and created a very nice video that’s on YouTube.

The DIY Network offers a very well designed series of pages that go through all the steps of making a raised bed garden yourself.

This Old House has a very elegant looking design for a DIY raised bed garden, and step by step instructions.

The Pioneer Woman blog has really nice, very clear instructions on a basic garden bed garden.

Texas A&M University has a PDF worksheet that shows you how to build one.

You want video? Garden Girl TV offers one on YouTube.

Here’s another great YouTube video that shows how to build a very tall raised bed garden.

Want to make a raised bed garden with no frame at all? This guy shows you how on YouTube.

Are there any other excellent instructions for building raised bed gardens that I’ve missed?

If so, leave a comment. I’ll check it out and add it if I like it.

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Pat Sawyer March 16, 2010 at 1:58 pm

When you are starting a raised garden on the lawn, Do you remove the grass first and go from there. I have the beds , just wnat to know what to do with the grass under. Pat

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lars March 16, 2010 at 2:55 pm

@Pat,

The best thing to do is remove the grass. You can use a tiller if you have one, or you can try and remove it with a shovel.

When I put in my raised bed garden over a grassy area, I also put down weed barrier after taking out the grass, to prevent anything else from coming back up.

Good luck!

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Nick March 19, 2010 at 2:29 pm

Hi! Great site! I’ve built a shed with a flat, slightly pitched roof in the hopes of planting a garden on top of it. Do you think that a raised bed strategy is similar to my goals? The roof can more than hold the weight and it is currently covered with a heavy duty waterproof tarp which will be the bottom of the garden. Can you foresee any problems?

Thanks!

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lars March 19, 2010 at 4:43 pm

@Nick,

1. You’re really sure that the roof can support the weight of the soil, any water that it will absorb, and all of the plants, along with the structure that holds it? That’s what I would worry about.

2. How do you water it and take care of it? With a ladder?

3. If the roof is sloped, how is it going to work with both watering, and with the soil? Deeper at one end and shallower at the other, so it’s level? I’m wondering if the soil would tend to slide down with gravity toward the bottom. And I’m afraid that the water will run down so that things will always be drier at the top, shallow end.

But hey, what do I know? It might just work. Plants can grow anywhere there’s soil, sun and water.

Please come back and send me some photos during the season, and I’ll see about writing a blog post about it!

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Kelly April 8, 2010 at 10:26 am

We have really bad soil, as our neighbors have lots of walnut trees. Every year our plants die. We have been advised to try raised bed gardening to block out the poisons. Our question is, do we put plastic on the bottom of the bed between the ground and the new dirt? If so, should we put some rocks down there for drainage?
Thanks!!!

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lars April 8, 2010 at 10:49 am

@Kelly,

Don’t use plastic!

Use a professional landscaping type of weed barrier. You can get it at any nursery or garden center or hardware store. Weed barriers are designed so that water can drain through.

http://www.backyardstyle.com/landscapefabric.php

You can make your own biodegradable weed barrier out of thick layers of wet cardboard or lots and lots of wet newspaper layers. It will last for quite a while, and you can just keep adding more compost to the top of the raised bed over the years as the soil settles.

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Kelly April 8, 2010 at 11:06 am

@lars, will that allow the poison from the walnut trees to leach in?

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lars April 8, 2010 at 11:14 am

@Kelly,

I think it’s mostly only going to be a danger if the live roots are growing up into the soil, which will be prevented by the landscaping barrier.

Here is a good resource for you:
http://www.wvu.edu/~agexten/hortcult/fruits/blkwalnt.htm

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