If you have a messy child who loves to plant and play around the garden, but who you are fed up of cleaning up after a day of joyful dirty exploration, a raised garden bed may be the ideal solution you are so deeply looking for. This type of bed is easy enough to build, takes around 2 hours to build from start to finish, and will set you back by around $200 – $300.
Although you could use pretty much any type of wood you wish to make the bed, it is recommended that you use some form of rot-resistant wood, which isn’t coated in anything which may be harmful if eaten; after all, you are about to plant vegetables in it, and we all know how much children love to put anything and everything into their mouths. Next, you need to select your plot of ground. Ideally it will be somewhere with plenty light, and a maximum of 4ft wide, so that the children can reach into the middle without climbing or falling into it, however it can be as long as your elected choice of timber allows. For the best drainage, you should remove the grass on your elected plot, and tile it under the soil. The following set of instructions will allow you to make a bed 4ft wide by 10ft long, but you can change the values to suit your needs.
Firstly, you should cut an 8ft length of your elected timber in half, to create your 2 4ft ends. Hold one of your 10ft lengths on its end, and line up one of your 4ft cuts so that the face of your 10ft length covers the cut end of your 4ft length. Using a drill or screwdriver, attach the two pieces together through the back of the 10ft board, and into the cut end of the 4ft length. It is advisable to use 3 x 3” screws, but you can essentially use as many as you wish to ensure it is sturdy. Do the same thing for all sides, so you should now have the outline of your bed in a basic rectangle shape. Once all the sides are attached, use a framing square to ensure all the corners sit at a 90 degree angle, and adjust where necessary.
Now that you have your bed in a perfect rectangle, you want to keep it that way. So attach a piece of wood to each corner, which should give you a triangle shape at each of your corners. Again, attach these pieces with as many screws as you feel necessary.
Select your spot
Now you can move your frame to your elected sunny spot, and mark out where it will lie by drawing a line around the outside of your frame with a shovel or spade.
Preparing the ground
Now you know where your bed is going to sit, take the frame out of the way again, and remove the grass layer where your bed is going to sit. After you have removed the grass, try to turn the soil a bit so that you will have good drainage.
Making sure all is level
Lift your frame back into its final sunny resting place, and remove soil from around the edges of the frame so that all sides are level with one another.
Secure your frame
The next step involved settling your frame into place, to ensure it doesn’t move. You should cut 10 2ft lengths of wood, and create a spike at one end by cutting diagonally from around 5” up the long side, into the middle of the short side on both sides. Once you have make all of your stakes, hammer them at least 18” into the ground, and 2.5ft intervals along the outside of the long edges of your frame. Once they are in the ground, secure your stakes by drilling through them and the frame of the bed so that they are 100% in place. Then put a stake into each corner, and secure the same way. Finally, you need to put one stake into the middle of each short edge, but only secure with screws on one side.
Adding your soil
You can now remove the unscrewed edge of your bed, and use your wheelbarrow to empty a combination of soil and compost to fill the bed until the soil sits around 2-3” from the top edge of the frame.
Complete your frame
You can now put the short edge of your frame back into place, and secure with screws like you did with all of the other sides. As a finishing touch to your masterpiece, you can use a saw to cut the top of all of the stakes so that they sit level with the rest of the frame.
Let the fun begin!
Now that your bed is completed, you can begin to plant your vegetables and plants. Just remember to keep them well watered, and you’ll be eating home-grown vegetable soup in no time at all!
Author Bio: Peter Smith loves gardening at his free time. He also gives online gardening tips to people, click here to go to his site. Apart he is an experienced freelance writer.