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How to make raised vegetable beds

Updated on January 2, 2013

It's all about the height!

Simple way to grow your own vegetables!

Raised vegetable beds are a great way to grow your own vegetables for a number of reasons, some of which I've listed below:

  • The increased drainage means vegetables can grow better
  • More organised garden - different vegetable beds can be used for different crops
  • Makes your garden look alot better by giving it a structure
  • Gardening is easier because the of the increased height of the beds!

So now we know some of the advantages let's get going on how to create our first raised vegetable beds!

Plan...always make a plan!

Ok so you want to start growing your own vegetables but like anything - it's all about the planning! So the first thing you want to do is go to your garden and measure what you have, and then decide exactly where you want everything to be.

Maybe theres existing plants that have come to their end and could be removed to make space for a new vegetable bed. Or perhaps theres some dead space behind a garden shed...

So get a sheet of paper and chart out where you want everything to be. A vegetable bed can be as long as you want - but the width should, in my opinion, always be about 4 feet wide...this means after you plant you can always reach the centre when standing on either side of it.

Once you've planned out your garden - go through everything and double check it making sure the plants will get adequate sunlight etc...

What do you need to build it?

Ok there's alot of different materials you can use to create your vegetable beds. Bricks and cement blocks are always popular. Some people just gather up a load of old rocks in their garden, or from the beach, forest etc, and in fact I've even seen big tractor tyres piled up on each other and filled with soil!

Anything that can be used to compact the soil into a sturdy shape is ok, and if you feel like being inventive or if cost is an issue then have a look around your house for suitable materials - but be wary of metals as they rust...(be inventive but be sensible!)

But on this occasion I'm going to use planks of wood....

So here's list of the items you'll need:

  • Wood (untreated wood is cheap and fine for raised vegetable beds)
  • Outdoor screws
  • Brackets
  • Organic enriched soil
  • Drill
  • Black plastic woven sheet mulch (for weed prevention)

That's it!

Now the next step is to either build it yourself or to get someone else to do it. If youre unsure how to use a drill or dont feel up to the task then ask a neighbour or a freind, bribe them with some freshly grown carrots or onions! Or if you're planning on assembling a number of vegetable boxes then you could ask a local handyman - and they might even pick up the materials too (just run through your plan with them saying how big and how high you want the boxes to be).

Building vegetable boxes isn't too dificult - its more important that theyre planned out properly so if at worst you do need to get someone in to do it - they shouldnt take too long to do a few hours you coud have 3 or 4 built.

Let the planting begin!

So your boxes are ready and the soil is freshly laid. So now its noto the planting! And whilst you could, in theory just go and buy a load of seeds and just start throwing them everywhere it's best to do a little research.

Believe it or not the BBC has a fabulous website about how to grow vegetables. But there also great books out there too like this one from Fiona Gilsenan.

But dont spend too long researching either, the best way to learn is by practicing...vegetable growing takes a day to learn - but a lifetime to master!


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    • Mama Kim 8 profile image

      Sasha Kim 4 years ago

      These are beautiful ^_^ love the idea especially for patios. Fantastic. voting a bunch

    • sfandler profile image

      sfandler 5 years ago from Ireland

      Thanks for all the info - I need to get plsanting soon!!

    • valeriebaby profile image

      valeriebaby 5 years ago from Galway

      some really great tips here - defo gonna try out the raised vegetable bed above the patio!

    • nikkiwikki profile image

      Nikki Wiks 5 years ago from Ireland

      Thanks...I actually forgot to mention the weed barrier - to stop weeds growing through - so Ill add that now...!

    • AEvans profile image

      Julianna 5 years ago from SomeWhere Out There

      What beautiful boxes and although I am in the U.S. I will try this although our dirt where we live is hard as a rock! lolol Thanks for all of the tips. Thumbs up! :)

    • profile image

      silverblanket 5 years ago

      Great article again! Nice wok there you read the one I just finished up about solar energy? us should check it out