How to Build a Raised Bed Step-by-Step

Reader Contribution by Benedict Vanheems
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If you’re planning on building a small raised bed in your garden, this short video will show you how to quickly and easily make one.

We’re building a square bed 4ft long on each side. This size makes it easy to reach all the way into the center from each side, avoiding the risk of compacting the soil by stepping on it.

Use Cardboard to Suppress Weeds

Lay cardboard first to help to suppress any grass or weeds. Remove any non-biodegradable material such as tape and staples first, then lay the cardboard all over the growing area, including any paths. Overlap the sheets of cardboard generously to prevent weeds forcing their way up between them.

Build a Raised Bed

We’re using two planks 8ft long and sawing them in half to make four equal sized walls for our raised bed.

Drill two pilot holes in one end of each plank using a drill bit that’s slightly little thinner than your screws. Each plank will overlap and screw into the end of the next.

Screw your raised bed’s walls together using long screws for a tight, snug fit.

Filling Your Raised Bed

For a rich and moisture-retentive growing medium, fill your raised bed with garden compost. You may wish to mix it with enriched topsoil formulated for vegetable gardening so you can start sowing and planting immediately, or use well-rotted, fine-textured garden compost for the top layer.

Cover the cardboard between beds with bark chippings to make paths, or cut away excess cardboard from around the raised bed if you prefer.

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Need crop-specific growing information? Browse our Crops at a Glance Guide for advice on planting and caring for dozens of garden crops.

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