DIY Raised Beds

     Raised beds are a great way to get into gardening, you get all the benefits of fresh veggies, but skip the toilsome bending over to pull weeds and harvest the crops. They also help keep some pesky critters away that would love to eat your produce. I built three raised beds in my front yard. The design is super basic just a rectangle with 4x4s in the corners, and 1x4s running along the sides. I made my raised beds about six by four, and around thirty inches tall.

Material/Cut list.
4 @ 4x4x36
4 @ 1x4x72
4 @ 1x4x52
2 @ 2x4x72

     Assembly is basic, just joining the 1x4s to the 4x4s. I joined them on the insides of the 4x4s, so the pressure of the soil would push the 1x4s into the 4x4s, rather than pull them away, it also gives clean corners on the inside, whereas had I put the 1x4s on the outside I'd have the corner posts on the insides of the walls. Of course the beds would have been about eight inches wider and longer that way. I also wanted to keep the treated lumber from coming in contact with the soil, and putting the corner posts on the outside does a great job of that. The top board is mounted about three inches down from the top of the corner post, and there is about a six inch gap between that and the board below it. The top board is the long side, I figured that it would be better to have the longer side higher, as the material I was lining the beds with has enough rigidity for a few feet. The end boards are installed directly under the side boards, so I didn't have to measure anything for that.
     To keep the beds from moving around I dug holes about a foot deep to put the bottom of the corner posts in. I placed 2x4s on the long side on the ground as the bottom of the beds was flaring out more that I wanted. If you're using Plywood or something quite rigid you can probably skip that part, I was using some rubber type material and while it is fairly rigid the weight of the soil was just too much for it to hold back. The inside could be lined with Plywood, but because it will be in direct contact with the soil it will always be damp. I personally would never want to have treated lumber in direct contact with any soil that I'm growing food in, but do your research and make informed decisions yourself. This will be my first time growing something in the beds, and I can't wait to harvest fresh veggies.

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