We finished building and filling these raised beds a few weeks ago. Planting season will be starting here at the end of the month, so I thought I would share before the time comes for me to get all my big plants in the beds. This weekend, I got some onions, radishes, and lettuce started in my beds, but I have a lot more planned for this space! I plan to add tomatoes, cucumbers, green beans, dill, carrots, and potatoes, all once the weather is right!
These raised beds are 4 ft by 8 ft in size. We bought six 1 in x 12 in x 8 ft pressure treated boards. People don’t usually recommend using pressure treated, but they handle weather and they are no longer treated with poisons chemicals. We assembled them in place because 1 x 12s are very heavy. The only thing we did before assembling we the 2 cuts for the end boards.
Once we had all the boards together, we paired up the end pieces so the the ones of most similar size were together. Then we began butting the ends up, making sure the were flush, and pre-drilling before screwing in deck screws. Once one end was assembled, we would attach the other end in the same manner. We then did this to the other bed, so both beds were assembled where we were going to have them at the end.
Then we leveled the beds, and made them square. The first bed was on a large slope. We decided that if we could get at least 2 boards flat, the we can prop up the other 2 with some extra rock we had. It took us several hours to get it level, once it was level, we squared it, then propped up the corner that had no support. We then built a small stone wall to hold up the bed and fill in the gaps. The second beds was easier since it was on mostly flat ground. To fill these beds, we used excess dirt we had around our yard. Around the house there were several mulch beds that were almost a foot deep. We stripped off all the layers of mulch that was now mostly dirt, and added them to the beds. We then topped the beds with 1 inch of mulch to keep away weeds, and to give the beds a finished look.
This weekend when we were planting, we had to move the mulch from where we were working. This mulch got added to 2 fabric pots I have, that will need to be filled in the next few weeks before planting. We also turned up the grass in one bed, but didn’t for the other. The grass in the one we turned up is already a slight problem, whereas the one we didn’t turn up, there is no signs of dirt growing under the ~10 inches of dirt there. I would recommend not turning up the dirt if your dirt will be thicker than 6 inches on top of your grass.