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How to Start a Vegetable Garden: Building Raised Beds

Length: 2:53
Produced By: Steve Aitken, Danielle Sherry, Gary Junken, Kate Geruntho Frank, Cari Delahanty

So you're wondering how to start a vegetable or kitchen garden? Not to worry. Our seven-video series, "How to Start a Vegetable Garden," will help you get your first veggie venture off to a good start. We’ll cover the basics: choosing a location, preparing the soil, building raised beds, starting your seedlings, and planting your garden.

4. Building Raised Beds

If your soil isn't the greatest or you just don't feel like digging, raised beds can be a great solution for your vegetable garden.

Materials
Raised beds can be made out of all different kinds of materials, but wood is the most common option. The obvious choice for your wood may seem like pressure-treated lumber, but because it contains copper, an untreated wood that weathers well might be a better option. Douglas Fir is readily available in our part of the country and relatively inexpensive. Other choices might be Cypress or Redwood.

Tools you'll need:
Cordless drill
3.5" galvanized decking screws
Six 8-foot-long 2x6 boards
Six 4-foot-long 2x6 boards
Four 2-foot-long 4x4 boards

Building the bed
To make the long sides of the bed, screw three 8-foot 2x6 boards to two corner posts. Pre-drill the holes before screwing into the wood to make life a bit easier. Having an extra person around to help you position the boards correctly and make sure they’re flush.

To build the short sides, stand two of the constructed long ends upright about four feet apart. Screw the short 2x6 boards to the corner posts so that they’re flush. If you’re not building on level ground, a speed square and a level will come in extremely handy.

See more videos in this series:

1. Selecting a Site
2. Testing Your Soil
3. Removing Sod and Vegetation
4. Building Raised Beds
5. Starting Seeds Indoors
6. Direct Sowing Vegetable Seeds
7. Planting Out


Companion Content

VIDEO How to Make Leaf MoldFall leaves make an organic soil amendment and mulch

VIDEO Making CompostA balanced organic mixture, properly layered, creates a rich soil additive

How Is Your Soil Texture?Healthy soil starts with the right proportion of sand, silt, and clay