Late spring/early summer is the perfect time to get outside and start tending to your garden. Growing vegetables is fun, relaxing, and of course- nutritious. The best way to do this is by sectioning off your varieties of veggies into elevated beds, keeping the peas separated from the tomatoes and so on. Creating a raised bed for your garden a great DIY project that may be just what you need to reawaken your love for gardening! It may sound like too much at first, but building your own elevated plot doesn’t have to be difficult.
The following four options are built from a variety of materials, described below. Each of these beds measures about 4 feet by 8 feet. Try filling beds with a rich mixture of about two parts soil and one part compost.
Cut long, straight lengths of tree or shrub branches (“wattle”), up to a 1/2 inch in diameter. Hammer two-foot lengths of rebar into the ground around the perimeter of the bed, spacing them about 16 inches apart and leaving 10 inches of the rebar exposed above ground. Weave the wattle through the vertical rebar, basket style; trim the ends at the bed corners as needed. Once the bed sides have reached the top of the rebar, bend 2-foot sticks in half and poke them into the ground over the woven wattle, holding the sticks in place. Pin the sides in this manner every few feet. Line the sides of the bed with burlap to keep soil from sifting through the wattle.
You can find logs at a home improvement store, or by exploring a nearby forest. Choose straight logs about a foot in diameter to create the bed edges. Logs of smaller diameter can be stacked. To avoid having to move massive logs, line up shorter firewood-length sections.
Using the long, slender bags of sand that are sold as traction sand, outline a bed. Stack the bags two high all the way around the bed. To build a 4-foot by 8-foot bed, you’ll need about 20 sandbags.
Place concrete blocks, also known as cinder blocks, with open ends facing up to outline the raised bed. To make the most use of the blocks, the openings can be filled with soil and used as planting pockets for small herbs or edible flowers. To build a 4-foot by 8-foot bed, you’ll need 16 blocks, each measuring 8-by-8-by-16 inches.
Raised garden beds are easier to keep free of encroaching grass than ground-level beds, drain more quickly after a rain, and keep your veggies from accidentally being stepped on. Also, they offer easier access for planting, thinning, weeding, and harvest for planters who have a hard time bending all the way over to the ground. Get out there and build a raised bed for your garden today!