Introduction: How to Make a Raised Bed Garden

Picture of How to Make a Raised Bed Garden

 I  first got this idea from a older couple i know. I just wanted it bigger. My ground has a lot of clay in it so i built up my first garden about 10 inches off the ground.My parents are getting older so i thought i would make them a smaller one so they wouldn't have to bend over a lot . It sure is nice for weeding not having to bend over.Also you don't have to worry about getting a lot of rain at once because it will drain out the bottom rather than flooding your plants.

Step 1: Cad Drawing

Picture of Cad Drawing

 This is a cad drawing of  the garden i am making.

Step 2: Legs and Outside Frame

Picture of Legs and Outside Frame

I used (2) 2x8x12 
(2) 2x8x8
(4) 3 inch lags screws for each leg and made  the 8x12 frame.

Step 3: Installing the Joists

Picture of Installing the Joists

I screwed and nailed (8) 2x8x8   16inch on center joists.

Step 4: Finished 4x4 Legs

Picture of Finished 4x4 Legs

I cut 10  4x4 legs 36 inches long. Here i finished installing the rest of the support legs.

Step 5: Bed Frame

Picture of Bed Frame

 I screwed 14  1x6 deck boards  to make the floor of the garden.

Step 6: Bed Preparation.

Picture of Bed Preparation.

I then installed (2) 2x6x8 and (2) 2x8x12 to the inside of the 4x4 s for the above ground outside frame. Since i used pressure treated for the floor and sides i needed a barrier to separate the soil with the treated wood . So i double up 2 layers of 8mm plastic sheeting as my barrier between the soil and wood.

Step 7: Drainage Holes

Picture of Drainage Holes

I purposely left a 3/4 of a inch gap between each deck board for drainage. I drilled 1/4 holes through the plastic every 4 inches.

Step 8: Filler Up!

Picture of Filler Up!

I bought (50) 1 cubic foot bags of topsoil to fill the box.

Step 9: All Finished

Picture of All Finished


leapslc (author)2013-05-17

Nice raised bed. We made four raised beds last year. Are you finding that this one is too wide to reach the middle plants easily? We decided on 20 foot long by four foot wide beds, but at waist height. That way, no bending at all. As they start directly on the ground, we used a lot of stumps and large branches we had laying around the yard to fill the bottom and we only needed to add a little more soil to top them back up this spring. I was trying to convince my husband to do what you did and truly raise them off the ground, but he thought that the dirt would be way to heavy for the depth of the soil he wanted!

coolbeansbaby68 (author)leapslc2013-05-17

I can reach over 4 foot on each side to get to all the plants . As far as being to heavy i used 2 x 8s for the sides .And i dont have a problem with the weight. But i do understand what your husband was thinking . But no it handles it very well. My next one im using 2x10 sides.I would like to see pictures of your beds . Thank you Jim

leapslc (author)coolbeansbaby682013-05-20

THe back part of the yard where the beds are, are really wet in the spring - and we are debating putting in our sandstone pavers between the beds. That way we don't have to try to mow it down when if finally dries! I take it the bottom of the beds have stood up well, you certainly have put in lots of support! I can see the 2X10 sides working well, gives you that extra depth! As you can see, there is no problem with depth in our boxes!

coolbeansbaby68 (author)leapslc2013-05-21

Very very nice. Thats some serious depth

scottinnh (author)2011-09-10

I'm surprised no one commented on this, but it's commonly advised not to use pressure treated wood for gardening. The pressure treatment chemicals (arsenic?) will leech into the soil and wick into the plant roots.

That said, it is nicely done. With a raised bed, I would guess there are a lot fewer slugs. My raised bed sits on the ground, and I still get a few (but not so many as when planting directly in the soil.

FYI even though your soil is clay, you can remedy that for about (or less) than what you spent. You would need to maintain a compost pile but it looks like you have room out back. We all throw away so much food scrap, cuttings, egg shells, coffee etc that you can get a really good pile going in one season. layer in some small branches for carbon between the soft stuff. After a year, turn this into your soil. Growing beans will also help break up clay and the roots help mix in nitrogen. Then you could do the next one without a bottom, directly on the earth.

stonelinton (author)scottinnh2012-03-09

Shouldn't be a problem these days.

cobourgdave (author)2012-02-02

I like this plan very much, and the instructable was excellent. I am going to try a version of it it during the summer. Just like everyone else, I will make some small changes, picking up ideas from the comments, but I think you did a great job. Thanks

Thank you very much. I am going to make a few changes myself this spring.

tevers94 (author)2012-01-07

I am a senior at Neshaminy High School in Langhorne Pennsylvania. I am currently working on a project for my school, in which I will have a sustainable vegetable garden built. I have been looking for different designs for raised garden beds, I believe I have found that here. We will not begin construction until spring, but I will keep you posted.


coolbeansbaby68 (author)tevers942012-01-09

Thats awesome keep me informed

wagonmaster (author)2011-06-11

Hey cool idea! I appreciate that you raised the bed for your parent ease of use.

Depending how stable they are can the climb things well. once your garden is in and you have lots of plants growing. I think you will find that the plants in the middle are going to be hard to reach?

If you reach search most grow beds ( raised ) can be reached by an arms lenght from each side. At this point i would leave a space in the center to walk so they can pick the veggies.

I'm also concerned that your 1/8 inch holes will plugg up quickly. In most grow pots the wholes about an inch or so and then generally i put layer of gravel so the compacted earth doesn't plug the wholes.

good luck and thanks for thinking of us older people!

Hey check out the web for hoop house! this would adapt quickly to a green house and you could easily get the garden started a month or two early every year.

vmeadors (author)wagonmaster2011-07-28

Agree: .just place wood raisers around the side to tack clear plastic too and it's a greenhouse. You can get started early each year. Great project!

coolbeansbaby68 (author)vmeadors2011-07-31

Thats a good idea. I was going to add to it next year . Thanks for the comment

I am keeping a close eye on the drainage . I might have to make the holes bigger in time ..

vmeadors (author)2011-07-28

To cut down on the growth of weeds; use mulch between all plants. The mulch will also keep moisture in the soil.

skiedra (author)2011-06-28

A fine instructable indeed. Lots of wood used though. What was the final price?

coolbeansbaby68 (author)skiedra2011-06-28

Around $300.00 total

tinker234 (author)2011-06-19

wow i might make one hey could add briick to outside for decor

porcupinemamma (author)2011-06-13

Grooooooooooovy idea! I have arthritis in my knees. Your invention would be a Godsend to people who can not kneel. you are so clever!

Aw thanks for the compliment . I so enjoy when people like my projects ....

fozzy13 (author)2011-06-10

Cool idea. It will be interesting to see how the plants do with limited space to grow and set down roots. Nice simple build also. I like the idea of allowing rain to drain off.

coolbeansbaby68 (author)fozzy132011-06-10

Thanks for the compliment , 10 inches is plenty of room for the roots . It sure is allot easier to control the water this way also.

bertssat (author)coolbeansbaby682011-06-11

I couldnt agree more, My raised beds are built on a concrete floor, We even grow carrots with no problem, Although we start with 2X12's, the soil settles a few inches, and still the depth is no problem, You can plant considerably closer as well. but with intensive growing keep your plants well fed and watered.

jdege (author)2011-06-11

I'd have built this as a series of parallel beds - narrow enough that you can reach across - with paths in between where you walk.

Plants grow better, and more densely, in uncompacted soil. You really don't want to be walking on your planting areas. And nothing much is going to grow in your foot paths. So why bother hauling all that soil for the areas you're not going to be planting?

SeamusDubh (author)2011-06-10

Did you place anything under the pylons to prevent them from rotting or sinking like a concrete footing or paver?

I haven't yet but i think i may have too depending how much it sags.

eblisster (author)2011-06-10

Looking at the beginning steps of this, I wonder if you could modify an old bed frame to achieve this final result.

Thats a good idea. A lot cheaper too..

claudiordgz (author)2011-06-09

This instructable is

About This Instructable




Bio: Just a normal guy trying to make it in life .Good paying job but mindless sometimes .I enjoy making things in my garage to keep ... More »
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