Raised garden beds are fairly easy to construct and even easier to maintain. Here is advice on how to build raised garden beds for your backyard. The concept is pretty simple, and you don’t need more than simple tools and a little hard work to get it done right.
You Will Need Some Tools
Basic tools will be needed like a shovel, rake and garden hoe. Lowes has all the tools you will need. You can find my list of 12 essential tools that every homeowner should have here: Tools Every Homeowner Should Have
Gardeners know that raised beds make it easier by bringing plants to a higher level so you don’t have to bend down and work on your knees. You can plant flowers and vegetables and work the soil while sitting on the edge of the raised bed garden.
Saves wear and tear on the knees! And you can design and locate the raised garden bed where the growing conditions are best and allows you to access it easily.
Select a location for your garden with plenty of sun and access to both sides for easy upkeep. Mark the outline of the garden bed on the ground and dig up the sod without disturbing the soil underneath. Check the ground with a level to make sure the base is even.
You can have a productive garden and we’ll walk you through the basic steps on building one that you will enjoy for years to come.
Benefits of a Raised Garden
- Ideal for smaller spaces
- Produces a higher yield for the area, thanks to better drainage and deep rooting
- Allows for a longer growing season, since you can work the soil more quickly in the spring in frost-hardened regions
- Makes gardening easier and planting creates shade mulch to keep the weeds down
What do you need and how much is it going to cost?
Here are the basic materials you are going to need. Building a standard 3-ft x 5-ft garden bed with wood is typical, however, you also can use blocks, pavers or stone.
- Four 16-inch-long 4-by-4s ($15), Corner posts
- Two 4-foot-long 2-by-12s ($35), Bed ends
- Two 8-foot-long 2-by-12s ($65), Bed sides
- Twenty-four 3 1/2-inch #14 wood screws ($5)
- 20 cubic feet (10 bags) of planting soil. 10 bags of Sta Green Garden Soil, about $7 bag. Or 10 bags of Miracle Gro Garden Soil, about $9 bag.
- 16 cubic feet of compost, peat or manure (8 bags). About $2.50- $7 a bag.
Where To Buy Garden Kits
You can find kits at your local Lowes or shop Lowes online.
In most cases, cedar is the best wood to use for garden beds because cedar is naturally rot resistant. Western red cedar is commonly used, as well as white cedar, yellow cedar and Juniper.
Redwood is another excellent rot-resistant wood, but availability of redwood is limited and more expensive. You can also use pine, it is cheaper but it will not last as long.
Another fast and easy way to build a raised bed is to use concrete construction blocks or cinder blocks. You can use the holes to fill with soil mix and plant herbs or strawberries.
To build a raised garden bed with Lowes materials, you will find everything in the garden center and lumber departments.
How long the wood will last depends on the type of cedar and your local weather conditions. In most gardens, using cedar for building the beds, some of these beds have lasted 12-15 years.
In general, you should expect about 10 years from a cedar bed before needs to be replaced.
Initial Cost For Raised Garden Bed
How much is a raised garden? A raised garden bed that sits above the ground makes gardening easier and its great for small spaces.
Total cost for materials for a raised garden bed will be about $150-$200. Now, that may seem like a lot, but remember, its mostly material you buy once. Next year, all you will need is maybe a few bags of soil and then buy your seeds and plants.
Raised garden beds produce a variety of benefits. They help extend the planting season and reduce weeds if designed and planted properly. Since the you do not not walk on the raised beds, the soil is not compacted and the roots become stronger. Waist high raised beds make it easy to grow vegetables without having to bend over to tend them.
Starting a raised garden bed can be expensive. You can buy kits or build one on your own. Kits can range in price from $75 to $200. You can find ideas on the internet where people claim to build a raised bed for less than $50.
It’s a convenient way to make the most out of your garden. With the right soil, good drainage and weed control, raised bed gardens are a top choice for many people with limited space.