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Building a standard 6′ x 3′ raised bed

From Rourke: The following article was published over at Town-Farming.com. It can be seen n its original form HERE. Clicking on any of the pictures will take you to the other site. To return to ModernSurvivalOnline – just click the back button.

 

Building a standard 6′ x 3′ raised bed

Standard raised bed blueprintI am going to show you how to build my standard 6′ x 3′ raised beds.  I chose my beds to be 3′ wide because I positioned them against my white fence.  I felt that 4′ was too far to reach over to maintain and harvest the raised bed.  I chose to build my beds 6′ long because, well 6′ boards were all we could fit in our vehicle!  There was completely no other reason!  I would have preferred them to be 8′ but, oh well.  These beds are also 12″ deep.

I used cedar wood for all my beds.  Cedar is naturally resistant to rotting but much more expensive.  I would not use any treated lumber as it used to be manufactured with poisonous chemicals such as arsenic.  Over the last few years, the manufacturing process has changed but still I would stay away.  Here is a materials list:

  • (6) 6′ x 6″ x 1″ cedar boards
  • (1) 4′ x 4″ x 4″ cedar post
  • box of triple coated deck screws ( use coated screws to prevent rust)

 

Here is what the standard bed looks like all finished:

Standard 6' x 3' raised bed

 

Instructions:

  • Cut 2 of the 6′ x 6″ x 1″ boards in half.  These will be the sides of your bed.
  • Cut the 4′ x 4″ x 4″ post into (4) 16″ long pieces.  4″ of each these posts will be in the ground for added strength.
  • It helps to have building clamps but start to piece the front and back 6′ long sections to the 16″ long 4″ x 4″ posts with the coated deck screws.  Always drill a pilot hole into cedar first.  Never just screw the screw into cedar or else it will crack the wood.
  • Now fasten the side pieces to the front and back assembly with more screws.

 

Here is my blueprint for this style of raised bed that probably makes more sense:

Standard raised bed blueprint

 

After the raised bed is built, dig the 4 holes for your posts in the ground.  This will give the bed more support.  I also till up the ground before I set the raised bed into the ground.

 

BONUS TIP:

After the raised bed is built, Use 1′ long, 1″ diameter PVC pipes to add “future expansion”.  With these PVC anchors mounted to your raised bed, you will be able to add things like PVC greenhouse hoops or watering systems.  I used a galvanized 1″ clamp to mount the 1″ PVC pipes to each of the 4 corners of the raised bed.

Optional PVC anchors

 

There you have it, one raised bed.  My total cost was $60-$75 per raised bed.  You could save some money by using a different type of wood.  This cost also does not include the soil.

 



 

4 comments to Building a standard 6′ x 3′ raised bed

  • servantheart

    Now, that’s a thing of beauty!

    While it is obviously more expensive, I prefer concrete blocks because I don’t expect to have to replace them in my lifetime, I can plant in the “holes” and grow companion plants, more food in the same footprint, and I can move the garden, build it higher, whatever I need, with relative ease. But, yes, it’s definitely a lot more expensive to build with concrete blocks – unless you get a few free ones from the dump to ease the pain -as I did!

    This is a beautiful raised garden, and a very simple but excellent “design”. Well done!

  • JAS

    We started using the large plastic window boxes you can buy at Homedepot to make raised beds. We drill holes in the bottom and cover them with coffee filters. Then fill them with good potting soil and plant seeds. This works great and they last for years. We have them all around our back porch area. Each box cost around $20, but if you watch for sales they can be had for half that. We try to buy more each year at the end of summer. Anyway, here in Florida we can have crops pretty much year round, so we keep rotating our plantings in them all year. We plant our tomato plants in large flower pots on the back deck area and have tomatoes year round. Any large container can be used as a raised bed, as long as you make sure it has drainage. We’ve even used old totes that we have picked up at yard sales.

  • highdesertlivin

    I acquired culled lumber in 2x12x8 foot x3 for 12.00 at home depot. I assembled them the same as you, except I put a half inch hardware clothe bottom (gophers)and bent 1/2″ conduit on a jig for hoops.End result 4×8 gopher proof bed.

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