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For the sides – The hardware store sold pressure-treated 2x12s in 16-foot and 12-foot lengths.
If there are weeds or grass under the bed, cover it with non-glossy cardboard and a couple of layers of newspaper to kill the vegetation. The wood for 3 raised garden boxes cost about $150, and the 4 cubic yards of top soil they required to fill cost another $150. On the other hand, these will last a long, long time, and they will improve the quality of our Joe’s garden bounty dramatically. If your soil is decent (ours isn’t), you could use something less than 12-inch-wide planks. That newspaper and cardboard sounds like a good idea and economical instead of landscaping plastic, I am getting ready to start a raised garden, myself. We just made raised beds for your yard, too!They are not as elaborate as yours.My hubby has the same hobby as yours, LOL!
You really shouldn't used pressure treated wood as it is treated with chemicals that can leach into the soil. Just curious as the why you used pressure treated wood and what kind of pressure treated wood you used? NEVER use any wood near food that has been pressure-treated or even clear-coated or painted. But, this is all a moot point because arsenic has not been used to treat lumber for residential use (with the exception of some woods for marine purposes) since December 31 2003. So the admittedly small risk, associated with using treated wood before that date to construct raised vegetable garden beds and frames have been further removed with the elimination of arsenic in the treating process.
However if youa€™re still worried then dona€™t used treated wood to frame your raised vegetable gardens, ita€™s that simple. I am passionate about creating fun, meaningful, and educational experiences for my two young daughters as I inspire them to be lifelong learners who live fully (and frugally). One day last Spring, my husband I were looking at the backyard and considering what projects we needed to do, versus what projects we wanted to do. While surveying the land (not really, but it does sound good, doesn’t it?), my husband suggested moving these cedar beds to another part of the yard that gets full sun.
Since the wood was no longer usable, and we didn’t want to repeat this process again with possible termites if we continued to use cedar wood, we decided to build the new beds out of cobbled paver stones. This patio retaining wall faces the raised garden bed, and the stones of each match pretty well. In order to know how much stone to purchase, we measured out the area for the raised bed, and then my husband did the math. You want to cut enough landscape fabric so that one end can be tucked underneath the bottom layer of stones, and the rest of it will be flush against the bottom and middle stone layers on the inside of the bed.
Once the first layer was down, and my husband did one more check to make sure the entire first layer was completely level, it was time to get out the glue! Installing the middle layer is a bit easier. For this layer, choose the stones and rest them in place, so you have the entire second layer ready to be secured.
You don’t need to apply glue onto the sides of the top layer of stones, but if you do, make sure you keep the glue in the middle of the sides and toward the bottom, so that no glue shows. The two yellow arrows (above) show the firepit area (on the left) and our Dapple Willow shrubs. We grew several different varieties of tomatoes, as well as eggplants, cucumbers, green peppers, chile peppers, string beans, and some herbs. The tomato plants (far end, below) are almost as tall as the Leyland Cypress trees along the fence! What started out as a simple idea to move the existing cedar beds resulted in us having a very pretty – and useful – raised garden bed for vegetables! Part of the reason we also chose to go bigger is simply the amount of vegetables we can grow is increased. I was definitely a big fan of our cedar beds, and I think if the wood hadn’t been eaten by the termites, we would have kept the cedar planks but reconfigured them into the same sized bed we have now. Pet Scribbles is where I share my craft tutorials, home and garden projects, and occasional stories about my cats. Whether you are building your first garden, adding on to an existing plot or just want a new look for your garden, raised boxes are just the thing. The raised boxes make planning your garden easy and will certainly help with crop rotation season after season.
When planning you garden, one important thing to remember is that the pathways between your boxes should be wide enough to accommodate whatever equipment you may be running through there. A raised bed garden is built right on top of your lawn, sometimes incorporating native soil, sometimes not.
I could go on and on about the joys of raised beds, and every year I discover something new.
Contained raised beds are the most popular type, and they’re great for vegetable and herb gardens, as well as flower gardens.
If you are planning to construct your beds out of wood, use something durable like cedar or redwood.


Gardeners have used pressure-treated wood for decades in raised beds and as posts, but on December 31, 2003, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) banned the sale of lumber treated with chromated copper arsenate (CCA) for residential use.
Lastly, raised beds require very little maintenance and time spent weeding is greatly reduced. We are a husband and wife DIY team who documents our journey of homeownership one tutorial at a time. The space he’s always used for a garden has fairly poor soil and lacks the bright sunlight to really produce. Joe asked them to cut the 16-foot planks in half, and the 12-foot planks into three 4-foot sections.
For each of the 17-inch sections of 2×4, use the square and the circular saw to mark and cut a 45-degree angle on one end. In order to prevent the wood splitting during construction, pre-drill holes into the sides and anchors. Once you have the long pieces attached to the short piece, pre-drill 2 more holes from the long piece into the vertical anchors to add more support to the whole thing.
Next, Joe stood the whole thing up with the 8-foot 2×12 on the ground and the short pieces sticking up in the air. Joe wanted ours at the highest in our yard so that it would get full sun almost all of the day. Most (not all) pressure treated wood has chemicals in it and I would not want the chemicals leaching into the food that we eat!
There was a time when pressure treated lumber contained arsenic (CCA) and was not considered safe for use in raised vegetable gardens because the arsenic leached out into the soil.
Or line the inside with heavy plastic (but then Ia€™m sure some will worry about the plastic a€?leachinga€? stuff into the soil) or line the sides with rock or some other material. And I don’t have the exact math to share with you, but I can tell you that the bed is about 20 feet long and approximately 6 feet wide.
The sides of each stone on the bottom layer were glued together as he worked his way around the bed.
Place a stone on top of it, hold it there, and add some glue onto the side where you’ll be placing the next stone. The landscape fabric needs to be tucked underneath this top layer, so that it will remain hidden. Hopefully this provides a bit more perspective of where things are in our yard. Click on either link in the previous sentence to read my posts about each project.
We plan on getting rid of the grass and making gravel paths and more garden beds, so we aren’t at all concerned about maintaining the grass while we slowly transform the yard. We decided on one big garden because the space allowed for it, and we felt we could fit more in the same amount of space we previously used, minus the walkways in between. I can never have enough pretty craft paints to work with, and I love to make things look time-worn with distressing and aging.
The gardens themselves may be small or large, elaborate or simple and may hold any number of growing items. They usually sit several inches off the ground and are often simple and inexpensive to create. Because the beds are above ground, they will thaw much quicker and allow you to get a head start on the planting season. Become your own landscape architect by laying out your boxes in any pattern you like and filling the pathways between them with the material of your choosing.
These gardens can be contained, such as when you build a wood or stone structure to keep the bed intact, or they can be more free form, with soil and amendments merely piled several inches high. As a matter of fact, the older I get, the more I like NOT having to bend down so far to get to the soil. Fruits, such as strawberries, grapes, blueberries, and raspberries, also do very well in a this type of bed. Concerns have focused on the leaching of arsenic from pressure-treated wood into the soil, contaminating plants and people. Select a location that gets at least eight hours of sun per day, especially for crops like tomatoes and melons. Using rot-resistant lumber such as cedar or one of the newer composite lumbers mentioned above, construct your bed.
To avoid water running down and pooling in a low spot in the bed, take the time to make sure your bed is level. The great advantage of raised bed gardening is that it gives you the chance to work with perfect soil. These will be attached to the corners of the raised bed, and they will anchor the bed into the ground. Pre-drill two holes from the 8-foot segment into the end of the 4-foot segment, roughly two inches from the top and bottom of the board. He used 2x12s because he wanted to add a full foot of good soil on top of our not-so-great clay. Yes, this would be a bit more of a permanent structure in the backyard, and that dream pool idea of mine was fading fast, but we liked the idea of creating something that would match our patio nearby.


This means that as you build the wall, any errors you make in the bottom layer will just be magnified as you continue building up the wall. You’ll need to use a masonry chisel to break the stone into a smaller piece to fit into that space.
Pull up the fabric along the inside wall, place the edge on top of the middle layer, add the glue, and place the stone on top. And yes, I embarrassed my husband because I just had to take pics of our soil being delivered! Deciding on the type of garden to create is one of the most important decisions for the beginning gardener. Mine are bordered by pea stone, but using cobblestone, bricks, grass, pavers, crushed sea shells, etc. Many a plot of tender young peas have rotted in the spring because April and May rains have no place to go. Two compounds, quite similar to each other but sold by different suppliers, have now replaced CCA wood in the residential market.
The copper keeps insects at bay, and the fungicide prevents soil fungus from attacking the wood. One of the main advantages of a raised bed is that the soil doesn’t get compacted the way it might in a conventional bed because they are planned for accessibility. Two by eight, ten or twelve inch lumber is great, as it is easy to work with and will give you plenty of depth.
This is your opportunity to fill the bed with a good mixture of quality topsoil, compost, peat moss, manure, worms, etc.
As with any garden, mulching the top of the soil will help retain moisture and keep weeds down, but try not to be too aggressive in turning over the soil. Whether you are starting your first garden or are well seasoned and looking for new ideas, this site is for you.
This step is to prevent the raised garden bed’s soil from coming out through the tiny openings between the stones. Sometimes the stones moved a bit when working on the adjacent stones butting up against them.
LOL I love the look of wooden raised beds, but yes the weather can also wreak havoc on the wood.
You never want them to be wider than four feet because you need to be able to reach the center of the box without stepping onto it. Weeding is greatly reduced because you will have put good clean soil into your box right at the outset and weeds will have a reduced chance at gabbing a foothold. In ACQ, the fungicide is quat, which is also used in swimming-pool chemicals and as a disinfectant. It is a good idea to keep the garden to around four feet wide, because this way you can access the middle of the bed from either side. All those worms living in the soil are hugely beneficial and they don’t like to be disturbed. We are also developing the garden enthusiast's ultimate record keeping tool which we hope to release to you very soon. The leaching of chemicals out of MCQ is practically non-existent and using the treated lumber for a vegetable bed is safe because the chemicals do not leach out into the soil. Some people don’t mind this, and actually like the look of plants growing out of the stones. Remember, compacting the soil is a big “no no” which will impact drainage and is harmful to the beneficial worms that live below the surface.
Some gardeners go the very basic route, and use bales of hay or straw then fill with good soil and compost. If you’re placing your bed against a wall or fence, it should be less than four feet wide. Obviously, the longer your sides, the heavier the lumber and the bulkier the project becomes. This will absorb the warming rays of the sun and heat the soil very quickly (your melons, cukes and tomatoes will love this!), and later in the season the mulch will all but eliminate weed development. Most of my boxes are 12 feet long and I used simple L brackets in each corner to connect the four pieces.
Brand names of this new pressure-treated wood include NatureWood, Wolmanized Outdoor, and Natural Select.
For depth, eight inches is good, but you can’t go wrong by going deeper.Ten to twelve inches is great for potatoes, carrots and other root vegetables.



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