I 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:
- 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:
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.
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.
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.