Building A Raised Garden Bed

A raised Garden Bed, A Hot House, and an Automatic Watering Sprinkler —  the perfect setup for any gardener!

What do you do when you love gardening but you just had a hip replacement  and you will never again be able to get down to soil level to get the work done?

Well you may want to do what my sister in New Brunswick did:  have someone build you a raised  garden bed ( “a raised wooden box large enough to add soil and plant a garden” built at the perfect height so that she can continue gardening without having to bend much). If you are as lucky as she is, perhaps that person can also put in place not onlya raised garden bed but also a hot house and an automatic watering system.

Click on the picture for a better side view of her hot house and raised garden bed

A <b>raised garden bed, </b> a hot house, and a watering system -- in small back yard This raised garden bed is 51 inches wide, 149 inches long, and approximately 12 inches deep.

Building The Raised garden Bed

1. When building a raised garden bed,  one should buy  red pine  or red cedar. ( Normal cedar can be used, but it will rot faster than the other two.)  Of the three, red pine is the strongest and will last the longest i.e. will not rot as fast as the other two.

In this case, Jacques (her son) chose to make this raised garden bed with “rough” red pine.  He needed some 4×4 for the pillars (legs), and some 2×6  boards.  (Again they don’t have to be fancy.  The “rough” red pine boards work well)

2. To make the box frame of the raised garden bed, he nailed together the 2×6 red pine boards standing on edge.  (Depending on how long and how wide you want this raised garden bed to be, you cut the boards to the required lenght (2 for the end and 2 for the sides, and nail them together in the form of a box.)

3. Then he cut long 4 x 4 beams into six  4×4  beams/posts/legs  —  each 22 inches long,  and nailed one of these inside each corner of the box and one at the middle of each side.  (Remember the box frame is still on the ground and the legs are sticking up in the air. No bottom to this box yet)

3. Next he  made sure he nailed strengthening “cross boards”  in place from side to side across this frame  (minimum 3 cross boards), and then he  uprighted this structure so that the “legs” of the box were now touching the ground and holding up the box frame.

NOTE: When Jacques set up his raised garden bed, he did not realize that he would need  to put blocks of cement 12 inches square and minimum 2 inches thick under each of the six 4 x 4 beams/posts/legs (whatever you want to call these).  He only realized this when during the summer, the weight of the raised garden bed was slowly causing the legs to sink into the ground.

(You may want to remember to put cement slabs in place when you build your raised garden bed. . . especially if you have heavy clay soil under the “legs” of the raised garden bed. A few heavy rain storms would change this clay soil to mud and the posts holding up your raised garden bed will begin to slowly sink into the ground.)

As a temporary fix, Jacques put reinforcement blocks at different spots  under the garden bed to stop the supporting posts from sinking into the ground. (Quite a job when the raised garden bed is full of soil and growing vegetables!!)

4. The box is now up on its legs and the box has only 3 or 4 cross boards under it. Now it’s time to build the bottom of the box with a bunch of 2 x 6 red pine boards by setting them from side by side or from end to end. Personally I think from side to side would make the structure even stronger and the center less likely to sag after a few years.

These boards are now nailed on top of this frame and arranged from end to end.  Putting these boards tightly side by side allows excess water to simply seep through the tiny gaps between the 2 x 6 boards and fall to the ground thus avoiding  overwatering  the plants. On the other hand, the boards must be set side by side tightly enough that the soil is kept in place.

If you look carefully at the next picture, you will notice this layer of boards on top of the frame.  It looks like it is meant to  separate the frame from the above  layer of  boards, but that was not Jacques intention. He just decided to save on cutting so extended long boards from end to end.

5.  The fifth step is to nail pieces of  2 x 6 red pine boards upright on the oustside of the box frame upwards. The side boards will be nailed to these 2 x 6 pieces to keep the garden’s side boards in place.

The length of these pine boards will depend how high you want the raised garden bed to be. Jacques figured that a 12 inches deep raised garden bed  should be enough even for deep rooted vegetables such as carrots; therefore to have the garden box itself be 12 inches deep and the side of the box frame  is 6 inches, so each upright piece would have to be 12 inches + 6 inches minimum = 18 inches long.

In the above picture, you can see four of these  2 x 6 boards extending upright on the outside of the raised garden bed.  If you want a box 12 inches deep, you will have to add a few inches to the length of these pieces so that they can be nailed securely to the frame.

6. The sixth step  to building a raised garden bed is to add the sides of the box itself and secure the boards in place. Once Jacques’ side boards were nailed in place,  his finished raised garden bed had enough place to put into it  12 or so inches of soil, homemade compost,   or whatever else his mom wanted to add.

As a last step, The front section of Carmel's gardenyou could add a flat layer of 2 x 4  red pine ( or other type wood)  around  the very top of the box to provide a resting area and to lock together the side boards even more securely.

You may want to put a layer of gardening cloth in the bottom of the box before adding the soil as a further precaution to keep the soil in place. However, it’s not necessary.

When all was done, my sister’s raised garden bed stood approximately 34 inches high, just the right height for her.  Click on the picture to have a better view of what the end of the raised garden looks like.

Here are my sister’s comments:

It makes it easy to weed and I really like it.”

“My hot house is made out of glass on both sides, plastic in front and back with a window in back and the top is plastiglass. I have a rain barrel with a pump that has a timer to water the garden twice a day or however often I want. Jacques (my son) bought the timer because he forgets and/or does not have time to water the garden. So if there is no one home the garden gets watered anyway.

In this last picture you will have a better view of her rain barrels and her compost bin.  Notice beside her wheel barrow the aerating tool which can be used to add air to her compost every so often.  You can read more about this tool at

Although her back yard is very small (as most backyards are), she can still make her own compost to feed her vegetables, use rainwater to water them, grow her own seedlings in her hot house, and enjoy the best vegetables in the world: organically grown lush, healthy, nutritious Vegetables!…thanks to her son Jacques…..

Now don’t you think this little raised garden bed with the automatic watering system is the best setup in the world?

for more reasons on why use raised beds, visit


Bio: A gardener since the 70’s, Marcie Snyder knows that there is no comparison to growing your own vegetables and plants organically. Therefore, to help the budding gardener, she has dedicated four blogs to explaining different aspects of organic gardening. In addition, besides the FREE ebook “The Complete Guide to Organic Vegetable Gardening” (OVG GUIDE), Marcie also offers a very comprehensive step-by-step ebook detailing 4 methods of composting. Check for more articles at

Please note: You can use my articles on your blog as long as you use it as is without changing any of the text and you include my bio with my website link.

109 Responses to “Building A Raised Garden Bed”

  1. I found this article bookmarked and I really liked what I read. will surely bookmark it as well and also go through your other posts later.

  2. Ok, good, Thank you very much for you post

  3. 1st off excellent blog. Im not sure if it has been addressed, but when using Firefox I can never get the entire post to load without refreshing several times. Could just be my connection. Appreciate your work

  4. I am very glad to see that there is actually a little excellent content left online. I have gotten tired of google delivering me garbage.

  5. Great Blog! I have a similar site, and get a lot of spam. Do you face such problems? Can you please recommend some steps I take to combat spam. Thanks.

  6. Wow! That was a really great article… Please keep writing because I love your style a lot.

  7. I know this is really boring and you are skipping to the next comment, but I just wanted to throw you a big thanks – you cleared up some things for me!

  8. You got a really useful blog I have been here reading for about an hour. I am a newbie and your success is very much an inspiration for me.

  9. Hello! I just wanted to take the time to make a comment and say I have really enjoyed reading your blog. Thanks for all your work.

  10. ipad books says:

    I think i saw a similar topicon ¡­errr¡­ somewhere. But you wrote on it much better =)

  11. Keep posting stuff like this i really like it

  12. Absolutely brilliant post guys, been following your blog for 3 days now and i should say i am starting to like your post. and now how do i subscribe to your blog?

  13. Great entry thanks, do you have a RSS feed I can use?

  14. Hello! I just wanted to take the time to make a comment and say I have really enjoyed reading your blog. Thanks for all your work.

  15. What a lovely post. I spend days on the internet reading blogs, about tons of different subjects. I have to first of all give kudos to whoever created your website and second of all to you for writing what i can only describe as an unbelievable post. I honestly believe there is a skill to writing articles that only a few posses and frankly you have it. The combination of informative and quality content is definitely extremely rare with the large amount of blogs on the internet.

  16. Hi, On every occasion I add a web-page to my Favorites in IE8, it is added in the bottom of the already established list. Allow me to sort them by name*manually. But I’d like IE8 to do that automatically. Could this be done ? Thanks

  17. My English communication isn’t so nice butprobably I realize every thing. Thank u so well for that incredible blog message. I jolly be glad reading it. I believe that you are a superb author. At this time added your blog to my favorites and will appear back yet again to ur web web site. Hold up that magic work. I house to see far more soon.

  18. Hi, seriously love the style of one’s web site. Would you mind telling me what theme you might be using? I’m new to this and I’m hoping to obtain mine searching anywhere near as cool as yours. Thanks a great deal.

  19. great. It’s everything here exactly what I need to know.

  20. I love that blog. I will certainly be peeping into it again.

  21. I like this blog. I will certainly be peeping into it frequently.

  22. I like your blog. I will certainly be peeping into it often.

  23. Admirable weblog! I’ll possibly be referencing some of this details in my next speech. I would appreciate it in the event you visited my website at

  24. Admirable website! I’ll likely be referencing some of this info in my next speech. I would appreciate it should you visited my blog at

  25. I happen to enter your blog with the help of google search. To my sheer luck I got what I was searching for. Thankx

  26. Admirable weblog! I’ll probably be referencing some of this details in my next speech. I would appreciate it when you visited my website at

  27. Excellent read. I observed your internet site from a google search, and was glad i did. The details has helped me immensely.

  28. Great post full of useful tips! My site is fairly new and I am also having a hard time getting my readers to leave comments. Analytics shows they are coming to the site but I have a feeling “nobody wants to be first”.

  29. This is a great article thanks for sharing this informative information.. I will visit your blog regularly for some latest post.

  30. Cool post thanks, sending this to my friends now.

  31. Hello, this is my first time i visit here. I found so many interesting in your blog especially on how to determine the topic. keep up the good work.

  32. This post has some really wonderful insights and interpretations in it. I wish I had your insight.

  33. I’ve bookmarked, Dugg, and I joined the RSS subscription. Thanks! .

  34. I’m still learning from you, while I’m making my way to the top as well. I certainly love reading everything that is written on your site.Keep the information coming. I enjoyed it!

  35. 6 Weidera says:

    Real journalist work and helpful summary. It’s amazing how good quality info can be found in the dark alleys of the internet ;).

  36. That was a very interesting read about Building A Raised Garden Bed at Organic Vegetable Gardening Blog

  37. This is a really nice post. thanks for sharing

  38. Very very interesting post..I like this one. gotta bookmark this one.

  39. Hi! I found your blog on Yahoo.It’s really well written and it helped me a lot.

    Continue the good work!

  40. paul says:

    Thank you for this great post. I know people that love gardening but have knee problems so a raised gardening bed would be great for them. Thanks for sharing this helpful information.

  41. I’ve been checking your blog for a while now, seems like everyday I learn something new 🙂 Thanks

  42. Nice post! You truly have a wonderful way of writing which I find captivating! I will definitely be bookmarking you and returning to your blog. In fact, your post reminded me about a strange thing that happened to me the other day. I’ll tell you about that later…

  43. I REALLY liked your post and blog! It took me a minute bit to find your site…but I bookmarked it. Would you mind if I posted a link back to your post?

  44. I would like to say “wow” what a inspiring post. This is really great. Keep doing what you’re doing!!

  45. I’ve just started off a blog, the knowledge you give on this site has aided me extremely. Thank you for all your time & work.

  46. I was just having a conversation over this I am glad I came across this it cleared some of the questions I had.

  47. Hello, this is my first time i visit here. I found so many interesting in your blog especially on how to determine the topic. keep up the good work.

  48. This post makes a lot of sense !