Build a 6 x 3 ft raised garden bed for cheap
I’ve been busy at work on my new garden area. The raised beds are in and looking fantastic. I originally wanted to build them from recycled pallets, but we decided it was too much work to pull the pallets apart. This is the design we settled on – using 6 inch x 6 foot cedar fencing planks. It was super easy and each bed cost about $12 for the materials.
There are several great reasons to grow in raised beds. They are easy to handle and clean. You can walk all the way around them for easy harvesting and you can thin plants without getting dirty. The small space keeps you from needing to walk on the soil, which means there is more room for plants and a bigger harvest.
My new beds are placed over an established grass area in the yard. Once the raised bed frame is built, you only need to do a few quick preparations to be able to start growing. It can all be done in a matter of hours. By afternoon you will have a garden ready for planting.
Materials needed to build raised garden beds:
// 6 – 6 foot by 6 inch cedar fence planks – have the hardware store cut 2 of them in half, so you have 6 – 6 feet pieces and 4 – 3 feet pieces
// 1 package (6) wooden stakes – see below
// 1 box of 1.5 inch screws
// an electric screw gun
// big pieces of cardboard
// a lawn mower or weed eater
First you need a flat surface to work on. To make one side, lay out 3 wooden stakes (end, middle, end) and place the fence picket over them, making sure the ends are square. Secure the fence picket to the posts with the screws. Make two of these 6 foot long pieces.
Now get 2 of the 3 foot pieces and attach them to each end. Again making sure your corners are square. We put the fencing tightly together so no dirt will be able to escape.
This is a finished bed (shown upside down) The stakes will help to keep the bed in place in the garden. You can omit the middle stakes, we just thought it should have more support for when it is filled with soil.
Once you have the box built, it’s easy to set it in the garden and begin growing. If you are building your boxes in a grass area like I did, you have a bit of preparations before you add soil.
First cut the grass as short as you can get it. I used a weedeater and cut it down to “nothing”. Make sure you go a bit bigger than your box area. If you don’t have access to a weedeater, a lawnmower at the lowest setting will also work.
Next set your boxes in place and use a hammer or mallet to pound the stakes into the ground – over the area you cleared.
Add a thick layer of cardboard or newspaper. This will kill the grass and turn the area under it to a wonderful mulch. Eventually your plants will grow through the lining to the soil beneath. Give the newspaper a thorough soaking and make sure it goes slightly up the sides of the boxes. Cover EVERY BIT of grass with the wet paper. Now you are ready for the soil.
These are the kind of stakes we purchased at the hardware store. They are 2 x 2 x 12 inches. They come in bundles of 6. The stakes are not necessary to the design, but they help to hold the raised bed into the chosen site. If you want to be able to move them easily, this part can be omitted.
We hope you will use these instructions to build your own raised garden bed and even create several. Be sure and check out our other gardening posts and raised bed gardening ideas on the website. We’d love to hear your comments below.
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