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How to Build a Raised Bed with Landscape Timbers

Updated on March 9, 2010

How to Build a Raised Bed with Landscape Timbers

There are many materials that can be used to build a raised flower bed, but one built with landscaping timbers gives the bed a naturalistic look that just can’t be acquired with other materials. A flower bed built with landscaping timbers sets your bed higher than that of the surrounding area to showcase your flowers and call attention to them, while still appearing to be a part of the natural landscape. Flower beds are easy to construct with landscaping timbers by following a few easy steps.

Step 1

Start by choosing a site for your flower bed that is fairly flat and will show your flowers to their best advantage.

Step 2

Clear an 8 foot by 4 foot site of top growth with a hoe and dig out the top two inches of topsoil inside the rectangular area and pile it to the side. Level the area inside the box.

Step 3

Add a mixture of equal amounts of organic compost, sand and peat moss and turn it into the pile of soil to create a good growing medium.

Step 4

Lay out your landscaping timbers around the outer edges of your site. The standard length for landscaping timbers, which have smooth curved edges, is 8 foot. You can usually have one cut in half at the lumberyard when you purchase it, or you can cut it in half yourself. The two half timbers will serve as your end lengths. Screw them together at the corners. (Higher bed walls can be created by staggering layers of timbers and screwing them together, one on top of the other. In this event, more growing medium will be required to fill your bed.) For our purposes, one layer of timbers will do nicely to form a bed that is slightly raised.

Step 5

Sink 6-inch 1x1 pegs into the ground on the inside, at each corner with a sledgehammer, to give the box more stability. (“How to Build and Install”) Sink them deep enough so that the tops are even with or just below the top edge of the landscaping timbers. These pegs are only for added stability and do not need to be attached to the landscaping timbers. The soil used to fill the box will keep them from moving. (For higher walls, longer pegs would be required.)

Step 6

Lay chicken wire or hardware cloth across the bottom of the box and nail it to the sides to keep out garden pests that burrow.

Step 7

Fill your newly formed box with growing medium from your pile to the top edge of the timbers. Level this out and you are ready to plant your flowers.


“How to Build and Install Raised Garden Beds”.



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