How To Build A Raised Garden Bed To Grow Flowers And Veggies

Raised garden beds are a great way to grow flowers and vegetables right in your own backyard. Offering a bevy of benefits over traditional gardening, these raised boxes keep pathway weeds from growing into the soil, prevent soil compaction, deter slugs and snails, and provide excellent drainage. 

If you’re thinking about trying your hand at raised garden bed gardening, try the simple steps below.

Tip #1: Location, Location, Location

Choose the right location for your raised garden bed. Remember, most flowers and vegetables require lots of sunlight, so pick a spot that gets at least six hours of sun each day. 

A wood deck is not a good place for your raised bed. Once the bed is filled with soil, plants, and water, it could become too heavy, compromising the structural integrity of the deck beneath it. Find a nice spot on the ground for building the bed. 

Tip #2: Deter Burrowing Pests

Since your raised garden bed will be sitting directly on the ground, line the inside of the box with hardware cloth or chicken wire to deter gophers and moles from digging in your garden. 

Tip #3: Use Untreated Lumber

When buying lumber for your raised garden bed, choose untreated wood as it contains nothing that could contaminate the edibles you plant. While untreated lumber rots faster than pressure-treated lumber, the chemicals used in the latter can leach into your vegetables and potentially make you sick. There’s a lot of controversy on the subject, but as with most things dubbed risky, it’s better to err on the side of caution when it comes to your health and safety. 

Tip #4: Get Creative

You can use just about anything to build your raised garden bed. Besides untreated wood, you can use stone, cinder blocks, bricks, or anything else that allows you to build a platform at least 12 inches high. A bed a foot high gives most plant roots plenty of room to spread and grow. The only exception to this would be potatoes whose roots grow too deep for container gardening. 

Tip #5: Consider The Width When Building

The length of your raised garden bed is completely up to you. The width, however, is a little more important for a couple of reasons. 

– You want to be able to reach into the center without stepping into the bed, and

– You should be able to plant at least two rows of plants for best results.

Raised garden beds that are at least three feet wide are good, but a four-foot wide bed gives you plenty of planting options and still allows you to reach comfortably into the middle with ease. 

Tip #6: Consider Wood’s Nature

If you’re using lumber to build your raised garden bed, consider the nature of the beast as you assemble. If your bed will be of a considerable length, place stakes along the length of the boards to prevent the wood from bowing due to the pressure of the soil inside. 

Also, turn the woodgrain of all boards inward to prevent them from bowing and pulling outward as the wood dries. Besides looking bad, this could cause the screws to pull out of the wood and compromise the structural integrity of your raised garden bed. 

If you want to plant flowers and veggies in your backyard, give raised garden beds a try. Not only do they look nice, they provide some great benefits over traditional gardening that can’t be beaten.