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Constructing a Raised Garden Bed

Raised beds make good use of space and are an efficient way of growing crops. The soil drains well, warms up rapidly in spring and can be tended from the path, avoiding soil compaction.
Excerpted from Simple Steps: Vegetable Gardening

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Raised Beds Make Good Use of Space for Garden

Highlights:

Step 1: Cut Edging Boards

Decide on the bed size. The ideal width is 4 feet, to allow easy cultivation from the path, but beds can be any length. Cut four edging boards to the correct length and nail on wooden pegs about 4 inches from the ends.

Courtesy of DK - Vegetable Gardening © 2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Step 2: Create Bed Frame

Lay out the boards in their final positions and drive the wooden pegs into the soil with a mallet. Check that each timber is straight using a level, making adjustments by pounding the higher end down with a mallet.

Drive Boards of Raised Bed Into Ground with Mallet

Courtesy of DK - Vegetable Gardening © 2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Step 3: Make Adjustments for Next Bed

Rest a piece of wood diagonally across two edging timbers, place a level on it, and make any necessary adjustments. Before building another bed, ensure that you leave a path wide enough for easy access.

Make Diagonal Check for Level and Adjust if Needed

Courtesy of DK - Vegetable Gardening © 2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Step 4: Fill Bed With Topsoil

Fill the bed with good-quality topsoil that has been improved with organic matter, such as garden compost or well-rotted manure. Spread the soil evenly and level the surface with the back of a rake. Top off as the soil settles. Tip: Make sure the soil is level by stretching a length of string across the raised bed. Bricks will keep the string taut.

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Excerpted from Simple Steps: Vegetable Gardening

© Dorling Kindersley Limited 2007

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