Building Our Raised Beds

Last year we made our first foray into raised bed gardening. Our attempts directly in the ground had always failed (most likely because of the awful soil we have). But last year was a big success, so we’re sold on using raised beds.

I wasn’t very happy with the beds we built last year (1″ cedar just isn’t strong enough to hold in dirt without warping) and we wanted a much bigger garden this year anyways, so we pulled out the old beds and significantly expanded our growing space by building some new beds!

This past week I went to Home Depot and picked up the materials to build seven new raised beds using pressure-treated 2×8’s. I’m aware of the “pressure treated” controversy, but decided based on the research I’ve read, that it’s just not an issue.


At any rate, here’s the materials we used:

  • 17 – 16 foot 2×8″ pressure treated pine
  • 4 – 6 foot 4×4″ pressure treated pine
  • Box of 3.5″ screws

Each box was made of…

  • 2 – 15′ lengths of 2×8
  • 2 – 3′ lengths of 2×8
  • 4 – 10″ lengths of 4×4

I made the 4×4’s a couple of inches taller than the main boards to give me some room to work with our painfully un-level yard (which turns out was a GREAT idea on my part…high five, me!).

Then you just put the 4×4’s in the corners, put 3 screws on each side of each corner and BOOM! Raised bed. That weighs a metric ton (pressure treated wood is stupid heavy).






Then, we hauled the beds out in to the yard and got them leveled.

Using the skid-steer definitely saved us a ton of time and energy, but I still had to pickaxe for a couple of hours to get the beds how I wanted them.

Next up, we’ll truck in a few yards of top soil to fill in some dips in the yard, then it’ll be compost time! Whoohoo!

We now have about 315 sq/ft of planting space, compared to the 144 sq/ft we had last year.

How about you? Do you use raised beds?

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