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Make a simple raised garden bed

Raised beds are the solution to many gardening problems and you can modify the design for various situations in any garden, whether to rectify a garden that has poor soil, or to create areas that are easy to care for or planted up with assorted vegetables. In this feature we show you a quick and easy way to build a raised bed.

 

The raised bed featured in this project is fine for bedding plants or vegetables, but if you plan to grow root vegetables such as carrots, or plant larger ornamental shrubs, increase the height of the bed to allow for deeper growth. A higher raised bed is also easier to maintain. You can fill the edges on the inside of the bed with vegetables or plants that will hang over the sides.

Treated pine planks or PAR pine and wood preservative
Soil mixed with organic compost
Wooden stakes, sharpened
Rebar
8 steel corner braces and screws
TOOLS:
Spade
Tape measure and pencil
Drill / Driver + assorted bits
Hammer
Hose pipe

Everything you need for this project can be found at your local Builders Warehouse.

 

Preparation

Before you start building your raised bed, take the time to select a suitable site. This will need to be cleared and levelled in advance.

If not already treated, use a suitable wood preservative on the wood to protect from the elements.

Build raised beds to a size that is manageable and where you can easily reach the middle of the bed, with a width of no more than about 1.2 metres.

1. Lay out

Place the planks to the size that you want for your raised bed. To check for square measure the diagonals (corner-to-corner). Place rebar at each corner.

2. Cut out

Put the boards to one side and join the stakes with a length of string. Using the string as a guide, cut lines in the grass with a spade - about 10cm over each side of the string. Slide the spade under the turf to cut pieces about 5cm thick.

3. Assemble the frame

Lay the planks upright and join at each corner with one or two steel angle brackets and screws, depending on the size of the bed. If you are increasing the height of the bed, stack completed frames on top of each other and use battens mounted on the inside to join the frames together.

4. Add soil

After combining soil with organic compost, transfer this to your raised bed. Tread down to compact and then level out with a rake.

5. Secure the frame

Hammer in sharpened stakes to hold the planks in place. Leave the strip of bare earth on the outside to make mowing easier.

You can fill with pea gravel or bark mulch for an attractive finish.

Now you are ready to plant up your raised bed.