A raised bed is a gardener's dream come true. From weeding to harvesting, raised beds remedy a host of problems. Growing in elevated garden beds means you don't have to bend over as much, countering back pain. The soil also warms faster in spring and drains faster in wet weather. What's not to love? Here's how to make your own elevated garden bed.
Start by determining how big you want your garden bed frame to be. If you're not sure, start with a 4x4-foot square garden bed frame, a size that allows most people to reach the middle of. Rake and level the ground so that your raised bed will lie flat.
Start with four 1-foot-long 4x4s for the corner posts; eight 4-foot-long 2x6s for the side rails; and four 2-foot-long 2x2s for the center stakes.
Position your 4x4s on each corner of your square to form a garden bed frame. Then pick a wall to start with and screw your first 2x6 to connect the corners of the raised bed. Stack a second 2x6 on top of the first. The ends of the 2x6 boards should be even with the sides of the post. Use an angle-square to make sure the rails and posts are lined up at right angles.
Stand the garden bed frame sidewalls upright and opposite each other, with the posts on the outside. Screw the two side rails to the posts to form the other walls of the raised bed. Again, the ends of the rails should be even with the sides of the posts.
Measure diagonally both directions across the raised bed to make sure the garden bed frame is square. Adjust the raised bed until both diagonals are equal in length.
Take a 2x2 stake and place it at the middle point of one of the garden bed frame outside walls. Dig or pound it into the ground so the top of stake is level with the top of the side rails. Fasten the stake to the raised bed side rails with deck screws.
Repeat with each of the remaining three garden bed frame walls.
Once you've built your raised garden bed, fill the frame with topsoil. If you wish, amend the soil with lots of organic matter, such as compost or peat moss.
Water the raised bed well, and you're ready to plant!