How to Build an Elevated Garden Bed

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elevated raised bed

how to build a raised garden bed

Getting down on the ground or bending down for gardening, can prohibit people from growing a garden.  But having an elevated raised garden bed can easily make it so everyone (who wants), can have a garden.  We’ve built a couple elevated raised beds and have our materials and instructions below to help you build your own garden.

Our instructions are for having a 36″ high elevated raised bed.  You may want to modify this to what you prefer.  We wanted to have it so there was no bending and at waist level.

This bed is also 4′ x 4′.  If you don’t want it that large, you will want to modify these instructions.  Our supply list is based on the 4’x4′ material.

garden boards

Materials needed:

2 – 8 foot 2″ x 12″ boards
2 – 8 foot 4×4
1 – 8 foot 2×4
3 – 8 foot – 5/4 x 6″ deck board
chicken wire
landscape fabric
staples & screws (exterior screws (treated like deck screws) 3″, 2″ 2 1/2″)

tools need:
router (optional)
electric drill
wire cutters
table saw
jig saw

notched garden boards
Each 2×12 will have a male and female end.

notched boards for garden

building raised beds

You will want to cut the 2×12 boards in half so you have four 4 foot boards.  These are the sides to your raised bed.

You will want to cut a 4 1/2″ notch out of one side of each board.  The other side you will want to mark for a 4 1/2 notch and cut the opposite out so that you create a finger joint for the ends.

If you desire, you can router these cuts so that they fit together.

Assemble the 2×12 4 foot sections together on the ground and screw together.  Put the screws in all 4 sides.

how do you attach the raised bed legs?

It’s time to add the legs to the raised bed.

Cut the 4x4s to 36″ (this is where you can increase or decrease the height to your preference).

You are assembling the legs like the bed is upside down.

Attach the legs to the inside of the corners. with screws.

Use 6 long screws in each leg to secure to the side.

At this point you can flip the base upright onto it’s legs.

how to build a strawberry container garden

2x2 board
Note the 2×2 board is secured at the bottom of the 2×12 board between the 4×4 boards.

building the bed area

Take the 8 foot 2×4 and cut it in half so you have 4 foot sections.

Ripe one half of it so it becomes a 2×2.

You will want to measure this and cut so that it fits between the 2 4x4s.  Place it on the inside edge of the 4×4 posts, and flush to the bottom of the 2×12 boards.  Secure with screws.

Repeat on the opposite end of the bed (these will be used to secure the 5/4 x 6″ deck boards too).

Take the 4 foot 2×4 and secure it into the middle of the base parallel with the 2×2 boards.  This will support the 5/4 x 6″ deck boards in the middle.  Secure with screws on the ends.

Measure the 5/4 x 6″ deck board boards and cut so you have 6 boards to fit  inside the box.  Leave space in between the boards to give even spacing between them. Secure with screws.

5/4 x 6" deck boards raised bed

chicken wire raised bed

how do you keep dirt from leaving the raised bed?

We use 2 ways to secure the dirt in the raised bed.  Chicken wire and landscape fabric.  The chicken wire is used to help carry the weight of the soil.

Lay a layer of chicken wire on the bottom and secure with staples.  We left a little to come up on the sides.

Lay a layer of landscape fabric on the bed as well and staple it in place to secure.

BEFORE you fill this up with dirt, you need to move it to where you want it to be used.

You should level the dirt under each leg and place a block under each leg (or just leave it in the dirt).

Paint the outside of the raised bed with exterior paint.  You do not need to paint the boards on the inside.

We used garden soil mixed with 1 bag of dried compost manure mixed  in with 10 bags of top soil in for our beds.  This gave enough soil to be within 2-3 inches to the top of the box.

When planting your seeds, you can make seed strips for newspaper for easy planting..

pavers under boards

raised bed garden

Do you want to garden, but not get on the ground? Consider making an elevated garden bed. This is inexpensive to make and not terribly hard to build.

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