Tips for Building a Raised Bed Garden

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With your design in hand and a basic knowledge of raised bed materials and configuration, you’re ready to set up your raised bed garden. If you’ve purchased a raised bed kit, simply follow the instructions and you’re done! If you’re planning on building your own raised bed, it’s important to install them correctly so that they will work well and last a long time. Sometimes installing a kit will save you a lot of time and hassle, so it can be worth the additional expense.

If you’re building your own bed, the size of the bed and the weight of the soil will determine if the raised bed needs reinforcement or not. For example, with tall beds made of wood, you can use metal stakes inserted into the planks so that your bed will hold up the weight of the soil. You can also use rebar placed into the ground around the edges bed to hold the wood in place. Just make sure the stakes have about ½ of their length inserted into the ground.

Drilling holes through the layers of wood and inserting rebar directly into the wood will also work. Wood stakes are also an option, just make sure they are made of sturdy treated wood and won’t rot.

Taller beds made of bricks or concrete blocks will need mortar to help fix the structure and ensure that the soil stays in place. Shorter raised beds made from bricks or blocks that are just a couple layers tall don’t necessarily need mortar. Simply stagger the blocks so that the edges of the top blocks or bricks line up with the middle of the lower layer.

See this site from Perdue University for more information on reinforcing your raised beds.

Many wooden raised beds are built on elevated supports. This is a good option for patios and decks. Just make sure to build the supports level and fasten them securely to the bed.

Below are some build it yourself kits that make putting up a raised bed garden much easier than building one completely from scratch.

Round Raised Bed Planter Kit:
Many round raised bed planters looks like they were made with hand fitted granite blocks… but they aren’t. Actually they are made with high-density polyethylene – a durable plastic that’s lightweight and shock resistant. This material will withstand intense sunlight and is finished to give a realistic stone appearance. That’s a little bit easier than building a rock raised bed planter one rock at a time, isn’t it?

Cedar Raised Bed Planter Kit with Finials
Unlike other planters, build it yourself raised bed planter kit design includes beautiful wooden finials. These finials (or ball toppers for those of us without a masters degree in architecture) give your garden a beautiful Victorian appearance.

Recycled Plastic Raised Bed Gardening Kit
This 4 foot x 8 foot raised bed planter is made from 60 percent UV protected, recycled polyethylene and 40 percent wood fiber derived from a sustainable source. This rectangular raised bed planter measures 6 inches in height, but can be stacked to give your garden more height. Each beam is a standard 2 inch x 6 inch beam that easily attaches to six anchor joints that holds them together.

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Brian March 22, 2011 at 9:01 am

I don’t think it can emphasized enough to avoid treated wood products. For example old railroad ties are treated with creosote. This will leach into your garden and is a nasty chemical.

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