I built these raised garden beds for two reasons, the first was to avoid the back pain that my father feels when bent over a traditional raised bed for weeding, the second was to keep the dog out of the garden. Both issues have been resolved!
I built three boxes, one for Strawberries, one for Herbs, and the last for Veggies like tomatoes and lettuce.
I did not take step by step pictures (sorry but built this before I found this great site) but the design is very simple.
As an added bonus, we have not had any rabbits or moles in the garden. If you are in deer country, and you do not have a fence, these would become an "all you can eat buffet" so take precautions.
Step 1: Materials
- This will depend on the size boxes you build
- I built two boxes 4x4 and one 3x4
Lag Bolts to secure legs
Galvanized Screws to secure Box sides
1/4 inch Mesh Hardware Screen
Box of Lath Screws to secure screen to box frame
Moisture Retaining Soil
Step 2: Construction
I cut the pressure treated lumber to size for the sides.
- 10 - 2x12x4
- 2 - 2x12x3
- 12 - 4x4x3
Next attach the legs at each corner with the lag bolts.
Now use the 1/4 inch screen to cover the bottom of the box by screwing the screen to the lower sides of the box. You may need to attach a middle board across the center of the box at the bottom if your screen is not wide enough to cover from side to side (mine was not). This is where you use the Lath Screws - I used #8 x 1 - 1/4.
On top of the of the screen, place the landscape fabric down. This will retain the soil that you are about to place on top.
Last step (prior to planting) is to add the soil and compost to your new garden.
Step 3: Helpful Hints
I have found that because the box is completely raised, water retention is a concern. I have added a small sprinkler head to each box that I connect to a hose and run on low for 30 minutes to act as a "drip irrigation" system. I run the water on very low so it bubbles out more than it "sprinkles".
I also add earth worms to the boxes every time it rains and I see them on the ground (every little bit helps).
I have also found that I can plant lettuce and cold weather veggies early on and then plant tomatoes and such in mid-May in the same box. By the time the cold weather veggies are spent, the tomatoes have a good start.
As you can see from the pictures, I like to use the plastic domes to help give the pants a jump start. They work very well.
I also like to add Marigolds as they are supposed to keep some insects away and I like the way they look and smell. This is something my Grandfather always did so I do too.