Building Raised Beds

4' Raised Bed building schematic

4′ Raised Bed building schematic

I thought it would be useful to include the schematic I used in building my newest addition to the garden in the form of three 7″ tall 4’x4′ raised garden beds which I built in the fall. You can make two raised beds following this template with the following materials:
  • (1) 4’x8′ 1/2″ or 3/8″ Plywood. Cut in half. (10$)
    1/2″ is cheaper, but 3/8 will last longer. May depend on if you want to move it or simply provide a barrier for weeds.
  • (8) 8′ long 4″ Cedar Decking. Cut into 4’1″ and 3’11” sections. (3.50$ x 8 = 28$)
    These are 1″ x 3 1/2″. This allows you to use a complete section across the front of the box for aesthetics.

    Note: In my experience, 8′ long cedar decking is between 1/2 and 3/4″ longer than 8′. I don’t cut off the extra, I just make sure that one board is 2″ longer than the other.  (ex: ~4′ 1 1/4″, ~3′ 11 1/4″)

  • (1) 8′ long 2×2 Cedar. Cut into 8 5 1/2″ sections. (4$)
    These are used to reinforce the corners. You could make them the full 7″ tall, but this would not allow you to stack modular risers on your bed. I will talk about these later.
  • (1) 1lb box of 2″ outdoor rated wood screws. (8$)
    For attaching cedar to the corner braces.
  • (1) 1lb box of 1 3/4″ outdoor wood screws. (8$)
    For attaching the plywood base, and for the corners.
  •  Total: 58$, with plenty of screws left over for atleast two more beds.
One of my three raised beds on December 6th containing Garlic, Shallots and Greens.

One of my three raised beds on December 6th containing Garlic, Shallots and Greens.

These are in addition to the 5 partially raised garden beds which I established in previous years. I built these beds with a plywood bottom because I simply placed them on top of the gravel along the side of the house. These beds occupy one of the two most parking spots on the property, so I did not want to make them permanent as they may not be desired when it is time to sell the house.

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2 Responses

  1. Eve says:

    Hi, Tom, I hope you don’t mind- I used one of your photographs on my blog:

    I linked it back to you of course. If its a problem, let me know and I’ll find a different photo


    Btw, cool site and projects!

  1. January 31, 2010

    […] created a short post a few weeks ago with directions for building a Raised Bed.  I wanted to expand on that article by showing the three raised bed modules which I have designed […]

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