This photo shows the bed thus far…
I have a sunny patch out behind the garage that should work great for growing veggies. To improve the soil and make the beds easier to weed I am building a raised box frame.
I hunted around for awhile for which plan to follow. I wanted something simple that didn’t require a lot of cutting that was also economical. The best option I found was this plan on the Sunset Magazine website.
I used cedar because…
- It’s untreated and no chemicals will leach into the soil,
- It’s naturally rot and insect resistant,
- It smells and looks good,
- It weighs less and is easier to drill into than some other woods.
Because cedar is so great it’s also a bit pricey. The lumber required for this project cost around $90. I considered cheaper alternatives but in the end am really glad I chose cedar because it makes me happy every time I look at it.
I would advise anyone building a box like this on their own to follow the Sunset plan and consider the following tips…
- The wood doesn’t need to be treated with stain if you don’t mind letting it age naturally. I want mine to eventually look like my untreated cedar fence.
- My dad suggested using lag screws instead of wood screws, and I think it much improved the structure and look of the box. Lag screws have a hexagonal head. They are sturdier, and you are less likely to encounter stripping problems wood screws might present. I also used washers. I bought galvanized hardware because that type doesn’t rust. You will need a lag driver attachment for your drill, and you’ll need a socket wrench to tighten the screw all the way.
- My screwdriver would get the job almost done, but then I had to finish it with the socket wrench.
- Err on the side of having posts that are shorter. Then you won’t have to dig as big of a hole.
- Removing the grass and digging the posts will take a LONG time. As long as building the box.
That last suggestion will be the first part of my second post on this topic, yet to be written about how to set the structure and fill it up. Check back for updates on how the garden’s going!!!
Original article and pictures take http://erincovert.wordpress.com/2008/03/15/how-to-build-a-raised-organic-vegetable-garden-planting-bed-part-one/ site