I wanted a raised bed planter, but the best location in my yard is not close to a spigot for watering. I live in a hot climate and I wanted to find a way to avoid dragging out a long length of garden hose 3-4 times a week to water my garden. I finally settled on building "wicking" raised garden bed. While I still need to pull out the hose once in a while, the number of times is much less. This bed waters from the bottom up, which has many benefits but here are a few key:
- Less evaporation during watering
- Plants are encouraged to grow deeper roots
- Lower water usage because garden draws up water only when needed
This guide will show you the key steps to building your own backyard raised bed garden which needs less frequent watering and encourages deep-rooted healthy plants. The key to this garden is the "wicking" water system built into the bed.
Materials needed for 4'x6' garden.
- Wood for raised bed walls (adjust to fit your garden dimensions)
- 2 2x6x10'
- 2 2x10x10'
- 2 1x4x8' for corners (optional - mostly decorative)
- Galvanixed screws
- 1" PVC for fill pipe and holders for cover supports
- Weed barrier
- Poly liner
- 4" corrugated drainage pipe
- 2 end caps for 4" drain pipe
- drainage rock
- organic garden soil
I purchased everything at my local "big box" hardware store
Step 1: Build raised box container
Begin by constructing your raised container. There are many options for this container, I chose a simple wooden box which is approximately 4' x 6' in size. You can choose to let the wood age naturally, but I decided to put a grey stain on the outside and along the top of the inside. There are many techniques and sites which will show you how to construct the box, and you can probably figure out my approach just from this picture.
Once you have your box located and leveled, dig out some of the soil to form a depression which is below the level of the box approximately 4 inches. (The deeper you dig, the more water it will hold.)
Note: Do not use pressure treated lumber if you will be growing vegetables.