Tips for Creating Raised Bed Planters
Photo By: Shawna Coronado
Why Create a Raised Bed?
What Materials Should Be Used?
Anything material that retains the soil will work, from scrap concrete to lumber to railroad ties. Even composite wood is becoming more popular. Non-treated, rot-resistant lumber such as cedar works best. Pressure-treated wood is less expensive, but there is some debate around the safety of its use, especially if using the beds for edibles.
How Tall Should it Be?
How Long and How Wide?
Length is optional and limited primarily to your physical space. Width, on the other hand, is more important. Beds should be wide enough to allow for at least two rows of plants. Three rows is fine as long as you don't make the bed so wide that you can't reach into the center. Plants grow well in beds at least 12 feet long and three feet wide. However, a bed that is four feet wide provides even more planting options.
Before You Start Building...
If using wood, build the frame so the wood grain on all boards is facing inward. Otherwise, they may pull away and curve toward the outside as the wood dries and weathers. Not only is this unsightly, but it can also pull the screws or nails out as well, making your beds less secure.
Premade kits include connecting joints and hinges to configure your bed shape and height the way you want. These devices make bed setup a snap without any construction.