How to Build Raised Beds for Planting

By Karen Carter
eHow Contributing Writer

A raised garden bed has many advantages over a typical row-style garden. The narrow beds have pathways between them, and all the work is done from the paths. This lessens the chance of creating compacted soil in the growing area by stepping on it. Crop rotation is easier to manage and the beds contain all the soil improvements in one area. Raised beds are good in areas were the soil is of poor quality or does not drain well.


  1. Step 1

    Use a builder's level and shovel to even out the ground. Your goal is to dig up the humps and grass clumps to create a level area for the raised bed. Do not worry about holes since they will be filled in when the bed is filled with soil.

  2. Step 2

    Take one of the boards and cut it exactly in half. You should now have two 8-foot boards and two 4-foot boards.

  3. Step 3

    Line up the corners of one of the 4-foot boards with one of the 8-foot boards. Be sure that it is the 6-inch sides that are lined up. Use two screws in the corner to hold it together. Do this with the other corners so that you have a rectangle measuring 4 foot by 8 foot. Do not use nails for this project. Nails tend to pull away from the corner because of the weight of the soil pushing on the boards.

  4. Step 4

    Lay the raised bed frame where it is going to stay. Take a 12-inch stake and hammer it into the soil at the inside corner of the bed. Do this with the other three corners. This causes the raised bed to stay put when you fill it.

  5. Step 5

    Fill the raised bed to the top with soil and any soil improvements. Do not compact the dirt. Your raised garden bed is now ready to be planted.

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