How To Build Raised Garden Beds

Our garden beds are finally done, and now we just have to wait for the ground to warm up a little so that we can actually put plants in them. Making them was a seriously involved process. My efforts, let me show you them:

Step One:

Decide how big a garden box you want. Then, figure out how much dirt you need to fill that box. This involves maths. I made my husband do this part, reinforcing gender stereotypes and setting woman’s rights back by at least five years MINIMUM.  You could also use this calculator online. It might help you preserve your dignity. We needed a ton and a half of dirt for our boxes.

Step Two:

Go pick up your dirt. We had to rent a truck from Home Depot, but they had reasonable hourly rates. It was $19 for the first hour and $10 per hour after that. Even with the truck rental cost, our dirt from the landscaping center was cheaper than if we had tried to fill our boxes with bags of top soil.

Step Three:

Shovel your dirt off your rental truck onto your driveway. Feel like an awesome bad-ass. (This step is optional if you own your own truck, because you could just leave your dirt in your truck until you actually need it.) Well, the shoveling part is optional. Feeling like a bad-ass is always mandatory. Step Four:

Buy your box materials. We bought 4 2″ by 8′ boards, and 8 metal support brackets. The boards we got were kind of warped, so I would recommend inspecting your wood carefully before purchase. Make sure your wood is untreated so you don’t get chemicals in your vegetables.

Step Five:

Assemble your boxes. We found this YouTube video helpful, even though the woman decides randomly to turn her garden box into a chicken coop. This YouTube video gave us the idea to use support brackets.

Use a circular saw to cut your boards to the desired length. We made one box that is 8 feet by 4 feet, one 4X4 box and one small box that is 2X2. We’re going to put tomatoes in the medium box, and basil in the small box. We used a power drill and some all-purpose wood screws to construct the box frames.

Step Six:

Move your boxes to their home.  Your assembled boxes will be heavy, so grab a happy helper. When you pick a spot for your boxes, make sure they’ll get plenty of sun (and aren’t under any walnut trees). Cover the grass with cardboard or newspaper to prevent weeds. If you use old cardboard boxes, make sure you remove any stuck on tape. I was really good at this part of the project. Long nails FTW.

Step Seven:

Fill your boxes with your dirt! You’ll need a wheelbarrow, a shovel, and your pioneer spirit.

Here are our finished boxes! I can’t wait to get our garden started. Just one presentation, and two seminar papers (and various teaching responsibilities) are in my way, and then I can putter around in my garden all summer.

About Robot Housekeeping

I'm much too manic to blog about only one topic. I write Robot Housekeeping so that I can share my love of all things vintage and domestic. Sometimes, I even leave the house.
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One Response to How To Build Raised Garden Beds

  1. Luz Valdovinos says:

    OMG, MJ! These look great. It does look like a lot of work, but you guys are going to have a great garden.

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