How To Build A Raised Bed
How To Build A Raised Bed
Whilst they have been around for many years raised beds are the in thing this season, with many gardeners old and new now using them and I will discuss how to build one for as little money as possible. The benefits of raised beds are: –
1.) The soil heats up earlier in season and stays warmer for longer at the end of the season, thus extending the overall growing window.
2.) Raised beds can be accessed from all sides, thus eliminating the need to constantly have to avoid treading on crops or seedlings. Commonly raised beds are 6 inches high and 1.2 metres wide and 2.4 metres long. This ease of access also save our poor backs after a long day on the vegetable plot.
3.) They can also be built in high levels thus making them ideal for those gardeners with limited mobility. Higher raised beds enabling gardening from a seat or wheelchair.
What you will need to build a raised bed?
1.) Four old scaffolding planks are ideal for building raised beds, scaffolding companies often have old planks available for free if you are prepared to collect them. You want enough for 2 pieces 1.2 metres long and for 2 pieces 2.4 metres long.
2.) Enough 2 x 2 inch timber to make six 1 foot long stakes.
3.) Small tub of creosote
4.) Large paintbrush
5.) 20 decking screws.
6.) One handsaw or ideally circular saw (plus extension lead).
7.) Electric drill and 4 mm drill bit and a countersink. 8.) Saw bench or chair to rest the wood on.
9.) Tape measure.
11.) Straight edge.
12.) Large hammer.
13.) Cordless screwdriver
14.) Old Newspaper
15.) Watering Can
1.) Rest one of the scaffolding boards on your chair or saw table, measure out 1.2 metres from one end and using your straight edge and pencil mark a line out at 90 degrees to the edge of the board.
2.) Using your handsaw or circular saw (Always take care with circular saws and wear appropriate safety gear) cut across the line.
3.) Repeat steps 1 & 2 above for the second plank.
4.) Now measure out a 2.4 metre length of board and using your straight edge and pencil mark a line at 90 degrees to the edge of the board. Then repeat step 2 above.
5.) Repeat step 4 for the second 2.4 metre board
6.) Now using your electric drill and 4mm drill bit, drill two holes 4-5 cm in from the edge of the end of each 1.2 metre long planks, approximately 4 inches apart. This should leave you with four holes drilled in each plank. Do the same with the 2.4 metre long planks. But also drill 2 more holes in the centre of the 2.4 metre long planks again about 4 inches apart.
7.) Paint the planks on both sides and then ends and put your feet up and have a cup of tea whilst they dry.
8.) Take the 2 x 2 timber and cut it into six 1 ft lengths.
9.) Take 2.4 metre long planks and place one of the timbers from 8. Above and using the decking screws fasten the 2.4 metre plank to the 1 ft lengths of 2 x2 timber. Do the same with the other 2.4 metre plank.
10.) Now using the hammer tap the 2 x 2 inch timbers attached to the first 2.4 metre long plank into the ground where you want your raised bed to be. (I recommend digging the earth around where the wood is to be hammered in first to loosen it)
11.) Now measure 1.2 metres away from the plank you just hammered in and do the same with the second 2.4 metre plank, making sure it is parallel with the first one.
12.) Now take the 1.2 metre planks and using the predrilled holes and decking screws fasten them to the 2 x 2 inch stakes at the end of each 2.4 metre long plank. Your raised bed is now ready.
13.) Now take the old newspaper and put it down in overlapping sheets in the bottom of the raised bed, then using the watering can wet it all down, allow it to dry. It should dry as one big sheet protecting the bottom of your raised bed.
14.) Add layers of compost and soil alternately to the bed. Your raised bed is now ready.
Or if you would like to detailed plans on how to build a raised bed then we recommend the following guide (Rated 5 stars by us)