Introduction: Octagonal Raised Garden Bed

About: Retired teacher from long ago and semi-retired graphic designer who loves the outdoors. American expat living in New Zealand for over 20 years.

Treated plywood
2x4s or similar
No more nails adhesive
Black plastic
Duct tape

Table saw
Screwdriver (preferably electric)
Staple gun
An extra set of hands or clamps

Step 1: Cut the Plywood

These beds are 1930mm (76") in diameter.
Cut eight pieces of plywood. I cut mine to 800mm x 300mm (about 31.5" x 11.8“). The size does not have to be exact as long as they are all the same. This picture shows wider pieces which made up the center bed of a mandala garden.

Step 2: Cut 8 Pieces of 2x4s or Decking Timber

Cut the joining pieces to 300mm or the same height as the plywood. I used left over decking timber.

Step 3: Set Up the Table Saw

The angle between each of two piece of plywood is 135 degrees. Set the table saw up to 45 degrees and cut that part off. That is waste, use the 135 degree piece to join the plywood together.

Step 4: Timber Cut on 135 Degree Angle

Step 5: Put Adhesive on the Timber

Run a squiggle of adhesive on one side of the 135 degree angle of a piece of timber.

Step 6: Screw Plywood to the Timber

Place a piece of plywood on the timber with the adhesive on it, screw together. Do this to each side of four pieces of plywood.

Step 7: Join Sections Together

After you have four sets of sides made up, follow the same steps of gluing and screwing to attach each of the other four pieces of plywood. Due to the large size and angles, there is no really easy way to do this. It helps to have a level floor such as a garage to assemble the parts on.

Step 8:

One finished bed.

Step 9:

Three in a stack.

Step 10: Wrap Plastic Around Plywood

Cut long strips of plastic and wrap around, covering both sides.

Step 11:

Using a staple gun loaded with short staples, staple the plastic to the plywood.

Step 12: Tape Edges

We taped all the edges with black duck tape which isn't waterproof. After several years the tape has started to pull off. I just wait until dry weather, dust off the dirt and squirt adhesive onto it to re-stick.

Step 13: Putting the Bed in Position

If you only have one bed, put it anywhere. We had seven and laid them out with string attached to the center bed. You can see the peg in the middle of this bed. We had to fiddle a little to make them look even and also allow enough room to walk between them.

Step 14:

Here they are in position.

Step 15: Driving in Pegs

We drove in pegs to hold them in position. Once filled with soil they weren't going anywhere anyway. Our ground is a mixture of clay and river stones of all sizes up to soccer ball size which accounts for the angle of some of the pegs.

Step 16: Edging for the Limestone Chip Path

The raised beds are finished but I wanted to show how we put in edging, laid out weed mat and filled a path around the octagonal beds with limestone chips.

Step 17: Raised Beds in Use

Here's a shot of our vegetable garden the following year. There is corn in the front bed and a runner bean teepee in the larger middle bed. The two Ts with wires in the background that look like a clothesline are supports for kiwi fruit. The fence all around is to keep out wekas, native swamp hens that love pulling up everything.

Step 18: Another Year Later ...

The corn has moved counter clockwise as the crops rotate.

Gardening Challenge

Participated in the
Gardening Challenge