Step 1

Dig Out Strips of Turf Wide Enough for Wood Frame

Dig Out Strips of Turf Wide Enough for Wood Frame

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Select a Site

Dig out strips of turf wide enough to accomodate the timbers. Pressure-treated, softwood sleepers are an economical alternative to rot-resistant hardwoods like oak. You could also consider buying reclaimed hardwood.

Step 2

Lay Out Timbers for Raised Bed and Check for Level

Lay Out Timbers for Raised Bed and Check for Level

©2009, Dorling Kindersley Limited

2009, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Arrange Timbers

Lay the timbers out and check that they are level using a spirit level, or a plank of wood supporting a shorter spirit level. Check the levels diagonally between timbers, as well as along their length.

Step 3

Make Sure Base is Square by Checking Diagonal

Make Sure Base is Square by Checking Diagonal

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Check the Base

Ensure the base is square by checking that the diagonals are equal in length. For a perfect square or rectangular bed, it is a good idea to have the timbers pre-cut to size at a local lumber yard.

Step 4

Tap Sides of Base with Rubber Mallet to Secure

Tap Sides of Base with Rubber Mallet to Secure

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Arrange the Timbers

Using a rubber mallet, gently tap the wood so that is butts up against the adjacent piece; it should stand perfectly level and upright according to the readings on your spirit level. Remove soil as necessary.

Step 5

Drill and Attach Raised Bed Timbers at Corners

Drill and Attach Raised Bed Timbers at Corners

©2009, Dorling Kindersley Limited

2009, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Drill the First Set of Timbers

Drill through the end timbers into the adjacent pieces at both the top and bottom to accommodate a couple of long, heavy-duty coach screws. Screw firmly into position, securing the base ready for the next level to be built.

Step 6

Overlap Joints in Second Layer of Timbers

Overlap Joints in Second Layer of Timbers

©2009, Dorling Kindersley Limited

2009, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Add a Second Tier of Timbers

Arrange the next set of timbers, making sure that these overlap the joints below to give the structure added strength. Check with a spirit level before screwing in the final set of fixings, as for step 5.

Step 7

Fill Base of Raised Bed with Rubble for Drainage

Fill Base of Raised Bed with Rubble for Drainage

©2009, Dorling Kindersley Limited

2009, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Prepare the Bed with Proper Drainage

For the extra drainage required by plants, such as Mediterranean herbs and alpines, part fill the base with construction rubble or chippings. Then add sieved topsoil that is guaranteed free from perennial weeds.