How to Build a Raised Garden Bed


If you decided to build a Raised Garden bed, rather than buy one, here are the directions I used to build my bed.  You don't need to be a master craftsman to do this, and I think these instructions are for the super-beginners.  (I did it, and I can't even build a Popsicle stick bird house).  Good luck!

Step 1 Purchase Materials Needed
(1) 8 foot long 4"x4" or (1) 6 foot long 4"x4"
(6) 8 foot long 2"x6"s**
(2) 10 foot long ½" diameter PVC pipe (optional*)
(4) 12" long or (1) 4 foot long  1" diameter PVC pipe (optional*)
(32) 3 ½" wood nails
(16) ½" wood screws (optional*)
(8) 1" metal tube straps (semi-circular brackets) (optional*)
* The PVC pipe and ½" wood screws add versatility to your bed.  By mounting the PVC pipes inside your bed, you can add bird netting or shade cloth to your bed.

** If you want a bed that is 18" deep, you will need to purchase (9) 8 foot long 2"x6"s.

Step 2 Cut

For a bed that is 18" above ground:  cut the 8 foot long 4"x4" into four equal pieces.  You should end up with (4) posts that are 24" long.   

For a bed that is 12" above ground: cut the 6 foot long 4"x4" into four equal pieces. You should end up with (4) posts that are 18" long.

You will need an extra 6" at each end to anchor the bed into the ground,

Next, take (4) of the 8 foot long 2"x6"s and set them aside.  These will become the walls of the length (the 8 foot side) of the bed.  Cut the remaining (2) 8 foot long 2"x6"s in half giving you (4) 4 foot long 2"x6"s. These will form the walls of the width of your bed (4 foot side).  (If you are building an 18" raided bed, you will need to cut (1) more 2"x6" in half.)

If you bought (1) 4 foot long 1" diameter PVC pipe,  cut it into 4 equal pieces, giving you (4) 12" long pieces.

Step 3 Assembly

For easier assembly, build your bed upside down.  Set one of the 4 foot long 2"x6" boards on its side (the thin side) on a flat surface (like the pavement or your garage floor).  Place one of your 24" posts at one end.  Using a vice to tightly hold the pieces together, secure using (2) of the 3 ½" wood nails.  Repeat at the other end of the board.  Repeat the whole process with another 4 foot long 2"x6".

Using the vice, join the sides with one of the 8 foot long 2"x6" boards and again secure with  (2) of the 3 ½" wood nails.  Add the another long side.  You now have one layer finished!  Using the same techniques, add the second (and third) layer of 2"x6"s.

Step 4 Position

With help from a friend or family member, flip the bed right side up and move it to your desired location in the yard. With spray paint, or some other marker, mark where each of the four corner posts will go. Move the bed aside, and dig each post hole 6" deep. Put the bed back into place with each post in its proper hole. Fill each hole with soil to secure and anchor the bed.

If you're not adding the PVC option, your bed is finished!  Congratulations!

Step 5 Lining (Optional)

Rake the existing soil, grass, weeds, or whatever is at the bottom of the bed to level it out. If you live in an area that is prone to gophers, moles, etc., line the bed with a 4'x8' piece of hardware cloth that is resistant to rust.  Rust resistance is key.  If rust gets into your soil, your vegetables are going to taste rusty, eww.  Trim the cloth with shears to fit around the posts.

If moles and gophers aren't a problem you may choose to line the bottom of your bed with weed cloth or newspaper keep out weeds.  If you're using newspaper, be sure to use about 10 layers. 

Step 6 Attaching Pipe

To attach the PVC pipe for bird netting or row covers, attach (4) 12" pieces of PVC pipe inside the bed.  On the long sides, right next to each post, screw on (2) tube straps to secure each pipe in place.  Insert one end of the 10 foot long ½" diameter PVC pipe into one of the 1" pipes attached to the bed.  Bend the pipe and insert the other end into the 1" pipe across the bed, creating an arch.  Repeat with the other end.  If and when you decide to add bird netting or shade cloth, drape it over the arch and attach with wires.

Well, how does it look?  Feel free to send me photos!

Journal Ideas!

Now that your bed is made, here is some information you can record in your journal:
  • Your garden bed's dimensions
  • Building material used (redwood, cedar, vinyl, metal, stone)
  • How much it cost to build?
  • Include  copies of your garden plan and any drawings you made of your bed
  • Any instructions you followed
  • Photos!
All Images c/o


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