Raised Garden Bed Plans

When you have decided that you want your own raised beds, you need to figure out how to build them. There are a lot of ways to do this and this post will try to give you some ideas by showing some of the very different ways people have raised their beds up above ground level in order to get all the benefits that raised beds provide:

Photo by suburbandollar.

The first one is simple and easy to build. It consists of four planks, 12 inch (30 cm) wide, that can be held together with metal angles on the inside. The planks are untreated. You can also use screws to fit the wood together, from the top of one plank into the end the next plank.

The entire bed is a classic 4 by 8 feet (1.2 by 2.4 m).

Photo by JoePhoto.

This is a smaller version of the first one. Remember to level out the whole raised bed so that the soil will be evenly distributed at all times.

Photo by davef3138.

A more solid version, but also held together by metal angles on the inside. Both round and rectangular poles can be used. The thicker the wood is, the longer it will last if untreated. Decide if you want to use pressure treated wood or not.

Photo by Robert Couse-Baker.

You can make the raised bed as high as you want it, the higher the better, until it reaches your waist. Your root vegetables will love the deep loose soil, and grow long and big.

The raised bed in the picture shows some nice details in the way the planks have been fitted together.

A plastic mesh keeps cats from digging.

Photo by djprybyl.

A nice detail on the top edge of the wooden bed makes it easy on the eyes.

Photo by JustABoy.

If you want to grow climbing plants in your beds it’s easy to add a trellis, since the sides of the bed will keep the trellis in place. This is the natural choice for runner beans.

Painting the planks will make them last much longer, but make sure you don’t get unwanted chemicals into your vegetable soil.

Photo by Editor B.

Tomatoes would love a raised bed like this. Strings for support and a roof to protect against heavy rain and hail. The plastic roof can be painted to protect against sun burn.

Photo by greengardenvienna.

Different types of trellises and protection can easily be mounted on the wooden frames, for beans, peas or tomatoes. Vulnerable plants will be safe under fleece held up by plastic hoops mounted on the frame.

Photo by david owen.

The conditions in a green house can be imitated by placing old windows in top of a raised bed, mounted on the wooden frame.

Photo by e pants.

This one of the more beautiful ways that you can build a raised bed. It’s not wooden but built from flat stones, and fits perfectly into the natural environment.

Photo by blmurch.

And last, a raised bed made from old bricks. Very beautiful, but would be more useful if the bricks were held together by cement.

The message here being – use what you got, and have fun!

6 comments on “Raised Garden Bed Plans

  1. -

    Hi Thomas,

    Glad to see that you are settling in to your new digs.

    Quite a nice collection of raised beds. We switched to raised beds a couple of years ago and would never use anything else now.

    We used untreated pine but lined it with 6 mm vapour barrier to slow the rotting of the wood. Using pressure treated wood allows minimal leaching of carcinogenic chemicals into the soil. It is not yet known whether long-term exposure to arsenic leaching from CCA-treated wood is sufficient to increase the risk of cancer or other health effects. If one is going to use PT wood, it would be a good idea to line it with vapour barrier.

  2. -

    @MikeH: Thank you for the tip and the link. I would recommend the link too. And yes – remember to collect any CCA-treated wood and dump it at the local recycling centre, instead of burning it.
    I didn’t know that you can treat with oil to minimize leaching, but I’m not sure how well oil and vegetable soil would get along.
    It seems like your solution with vapour barrier is a good choice.

  3. -

    Buenas tardes!. Interesante el contenido, agregarรฉ tu blog a mi lector de noticias RSS. Saludos!

  4. -

    @Arlean: Gracias por su visita! Vuelve pronto ๐Ÿ˜‰

  5. -

    @Jennifer: Thank you for the link – pressure treated wood doesn’t look that bad, according to that site. But then again – they’re selling it… ๐Ÿ˜‰

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