DIY Network

How to Plant a Raised Garden

This DIY Basic will provide tips on building a raised vegetable garden.

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Step 1: Watch an Overview Video

Step 2: Use Cedar for the Frame

Building a vegetable garden is an easy and affordable family project. Using cedar for garden frames will avoid exposure to the chemicals used in some treated lumber. Plus cedar will help repel insects. Reinforce the frame of your garden bed with wooden stakes to prevent them from moving as soil is put into the bed.

Step 3: Limit the Width of the Bed

The garden bed can be any length, but try to limit the width to 3-4 feet for easy access to the center of the garden without stepping into it. Avoid using railroad ties. They are treated with creosote that will leach into the soil for several years and may contaminate your plants.

Step 4: Fill Soil With Organic Nutrients

The real key to successful growing is good soil filled with organic nutrients. There’s no need to buy soil; some scrap 2x4s and some chicken wire are all you need to create a compost bin. Just add yard and food waste, keep it moist and let nature do the rest. The ideal mix of ingredients for a compost bin is 25 parts "browns" to one part "greens" Broccoli, lettuce and peas do well in cooler weather while beans, tomatos and peppers do well in warmer weather.