If you’re just starting out on your grow-your-own journey, you’re probably wondering where to grow all those delicious fruits and veggies.
A raised bed is the perfect solution.
Not only do they let you keep your plants away from the weeds in your garden soil – and away from those pesky pests – but they couldn’t be easier to build.
Don’t believe us?
This Plantables-approved raised bed planter only requires two pieces of wood and a saw to build. You can’t really get easier than that, can you?
What you are going to need:
- A level (if you’re not particular about angles and straightness, you can do it without it)
- 2 x full-length scaffolding planks, or long, heavy-duty planks of wood (oak and cedar are best)
- A saw
Before you start to build:
Buying your wood:
Oak and cedar are both solid choices for a raised bed – they’re tannin-rich and resistant to rot, which means they last about 15-20 years – but they’re also pretty expensive.
If you’re on a budget, pine lumber also works well, but might not last quite as long.
Avoid pressure treated lumber, if you can. Although it lasts longer, the nasty chemicals used to treat it can seep into the soil that you’re growing your plants in.
Instead, if you’re using pine lumber or recycled wood you’ve got from around your garden, just give it a once-over with some linseed oil. That’ll treat it and make it last longer.
Alternatively, you could also staple thick plastic sheets to the inside of the raised bed when it’s built. It’s completely up to you!
Cutting your wood
Before you start cutting and placing, you need to work out the size that you want your raised garden.
You can build raised beds in any shape and size you like (if you’re good with angles and math) but we’re going to start with the basic rectangle.
We don’t know the size of your garden or the planter you want to build, so we’re going to talk in
easy whole numbers. (And, because we’re gardeners, not mathematicians!)
So, for the sake of easy calculations, we’ve bought two 6-foot of wood and we’ve cut them both into 4-foot and 2-foot lengths.
Now, you’ll be able to build a 4 foot by 2 foot raised bed for your garden, easy peasy.
So, let’s get started.
Step One: Cut the slots
Want to know the beautiful thing about this planter? It doesn’t need any screws or glue.
That’s right, we’re doing things the old-fashioned way, with simple joints holding everything together.
First, take a pencil and a tape measure. (For a proper handyman look, keep the pencil behind your ear and the tape measure hooked on your belt.)
Measure 6cm from the long edge and draw a straight line down into the centre of the plank. (This line should be exactly parallel to the short edge.)
Next, measure the thickness of the planks. Once you’ve got this, draw another line that distance apart from line 1. (See diagram below, if this is all getting a little confusing!)
The next part is the fun part.
Join up the lines and cut out the slot, and then repeat the same step on the remaining ends of all of the boards.
Step Two: Assemble your planters
Slot them all together. Like this:
(It’s just like IKEA furniture, minus the hours of frustration.)
(Use your spirit level to check it’s straight if you like. Or just leave it so that it looks about right and say it is ‘rustic’ if anybody comments…)
Step Three: The plot thickens
Once you’ve moved your raised bed into place, fill it with soil and you’re in business. Give the top layer a quick rake and you’ve got a raised bed fit for growing the tastiest, healthiest fruits and veggies you’ve ever seen.
And that’s all there is to it. What are you waiting for?
(Send us pictures of your planters if you build them – we always love to see what you’re up to! Use #plantables to make sure they get in front of us!)
If you’ve got a lot of spare wood and bits-and-bobs laying around, check out this video by our friends over at Garden Fork TV. (Go for the raised bed tutorial, stay for the adorable dog.)