Constructing A Wooden Raised Bed Garden
Constructing a raised bed garden is relatively simple. First of all you need to choose your construction material of choice, whether that be wood, brick or concrete. You can of course buy a complete wooden raised bed garden from your local garden supplies shop or online from Amazon.
A raised bed garden is a great idea, especially for the elderly or disabled who find it troublesome to bend right down to the ground. If you build a wide base and place concrete slabs along the top to create a seating area, your raised bed garden becomes even more accessible to those who can’t stand for long.
A Wooden Raised Bed Garden
Another reason for choosing to have a wooden raised bed garden is if you want to grow a specific plant that needs acid soil, while your garden soil is alkaline or vice versa, it is easier to construct a raised bed and alter the soil pH in just this small area. While large garden areas can also have their pH altered by adding lime or sulphate depending on whether you want your soil to become alkaline or acid. You add lime to increase the pH level and suphates to reduce it.
You can easily make the soil in your raised bed garden be exactly what you want it to be.
Raised Bed Gardens at Amazon
One major advantage of having a raised bed garden is that it will not get walked on. Areas of your garden that you constantly have to walk over to access your plants become compacted underneath the ground, which makes the soil difficult to work with. On rainy days the soil sticks to your soles and when you return to the house you spread mud everywhere.
If you construct your raised bed in a situation where you can lay concrete paths around them, you will not get your footwear dirty. It is a good idea to construct paths wide enough for wheelchair access, even if you don't use one.
If you are unfortunate enough to have an accident, you will still be able to garden, and you will add value to your property by building these wide paths round your raised beds, especially if you live in a single storey house that could in the future be adapted for a wheelchair-bound resident.
Constructing a wooden raised bed garden
How to Construct a Raised Bed Garden
If you prefer to have a wooden raised bed garden, it is relatively easy to construct.
You will need a:
- wood planks
- a carpenter's square
- a spirit level
- a pencil
- a tape measure
- wooden stakes
- a hammer.
Decide where you want your raised bed to go and measure the area carefully.
Order your wood, or use old wood you have lying around.
Do not use old railways sleepers as they have been chemically treated and may damage your plants.
Cut your wood to size if need be, and construct as shown in the diagrams here.
You can make them as tall as you want them to be.
The higher they are above ground with poor compacted or clay soils, the better the drainage will be around your plants.
- Drill screw holes, two at each end, and when you line up you four base planks of wood, you will use outdoor wood screws to connect them at the corners, as shown in the diagram here.
- Then you take the stakes and firstly place one at each corner, on the inside of the construction. Drill and fix into place.
- Then add a few more support stakes round the whole structure and drill into place to make a nice solid consruction.
- If you have been using the carpenter's square and spirit level, your raised bed will be exactly in place so that when you lay the next board layer on top of the first, everything will fit tightly in place, with no gaps.
- Screw the next layer of boards into place by connecting them with the stakes you have already secured to the bottom of the structure.
A Newly-Constructed Wooden Raised Bed
Advantages of a Raised Bed Garden
- You can prolong your growing season with a raised bed garden.
- Being raised, the soil in it warms earlier in the spring than than the rest of the soil in your garden.
- In the autumn you can protect your plants from frost by adding polythene sheeting over the top to create a mini-greenhouse.
- You could also do this in the spring to allow seedlings to germinate quicker.
- No-on walks on the soil, so there is less compaction.
- You can ensure the pH is perfect for your plants.
- You have less bending down to do.
- Easier for weeding.
- You can treat your new wooden raised bad garden with special plant-safe chemicals to help weather-proof it and make it last longer.