PDF drawing plan with front, side, and back elevation views of a 4×8 ft raised garden bed, printable file, with dimensioned views, 3D image with part details, and cut list for free download.
Model credits: Tumbleweed
PDF drawing and exploded view: Elvis Alcequiez
The download link in PDF format for both the drawings and the cutting list is after the instructions and tips.
|Wood Lumber / 5 1/2″ x 1 1/2″||L||L|
|A||8′ 2×6||4||8′ 1″||8′|
|B||4′ 2×6||4||4′ 1″||4′|
|Wood Lumber / 3 1/2″ x 3 1/2″||L||L|
|A||4×4 post||4||1′ 4″||1′ 3″|
Instructions and tips
The raised garden bed is a garden bed raised on tiny legs to improve drainage, light, and air. It can also help prevent weeds and pests from crawling in. The raised garden bed has become a common type of garden feature due to its convenience and good looks.
Here are some materials that you may need to construct a raised garden bed:
- Lumber (treated or untreated) to create the frame of the bed. Common sizes include 2×6, 2×8, 2×10 and 4×4.
- Screws or nails to hold the frame together.
- Landscape fabric or weed barrier to line the bottom of the bed and prevent weeds from growing up through the soil.
- Topsoil, compost, and other organic matter to fill the bed.
- Mulch to top the soil and retain moisture and control weeds.
- String, stakes, and a measuring tape mark out the location and size of the bed.
- A saw, drill, and screwdriver or hammer for assembling the bed.
The size of screws or nails you will need to build a raised garden bed will depend on the size of the lumber you use for the frame. If you are using 2×6 or 2×8 lumber, 3-inch deck screws or 16d (3.5-inch) nails will work well.
If you are using 2×10 or 4×4 lumber, 4-inch deck screws or 20d (3.75 inches) nails will be appropriate.
What do you put on the bottom of a raised garden bed?
There are a few things you can put on the bottom of a raised garden bed to improve drainage and prevent weeds from growing up through the soil:
Landscape fabric: This is a permeable material that allows water to pass through while preventing weeds from growing up through the soil.
Hardware cloth: This is a mesh material made of galvanized steel that can be used to line the bottom of the bed. It allows water to pass through while preventing rodents and other pests from burrowing into the bed.
Rocks or gravel: This can be used to line the bottom of the bed to improve drainage.
Cardboard or newspaper: This can be used as a weed barrier, but it will decompose over time.
Plastic: Some people use plastic as a weed barrier, but it’s not a good long-term solution as it can retain heat and can be harmful to the environment.
How deep should a raised garden bed be?
A good rule of thumb for filled-in beds is about four times the depth of the plant you are planting unless you are planting something that quickly grows roots deeper than 4 inches (10 cm).
What is the cheapest way to make raised beds?
There are a few ways to make raised beds inexpensively:
Use reclaimed or repurposed materials: You can use materials such as pallets, bricks, or stones to create the frame of your raised bed. This is a great way to recycle materials and save money.
Use untreated lumber: You can use untreated lumber such as pine, cedar or redwood to construct the frame of your raised bed. These types of wood are often cheaper than treated wood, although they will rot faster.
Use a simple design: Keep the design of the raised bed simple, this will save you money on materials and labor. For example, you can use just four pieces of lumber to create a basic square or rectangle bed.
Build the bed on top of existing soil: Instead of removing the soil and replacing it with new soil, you can build the bed on top of the existing soil and add a barrier to prevent weeds from growing up through the soil.
Use weed barrier instead of landscape fabric: A weed barrier is a less expensive alternative to landscape fabric and does a similar job of preventing weeds from growing up through the soil.
Do you raise garden beds to have a bottom?
Raised garden beds do not need to have a bottom, but it is recommended to have one to improve drainage and prevent weeds from growing up through the soil.
A bottom can be added to the bed by using materials such as landscape fabric, hardware cloth, rocks, gravel, cardboard or newspaper, or plastic. Some of these materials are more permeable than others and allow water to pass through more easily.
Additionally, some materials decompose over time, so it’s important to keep that in mind when choosing a material for the bottom of the bed.
If a bottom is not added, the soil and compost can mix with the original soil, which can be a source of weed growth or soil-borne pathogens.
Is Treated wood OK for raised beds?
Treated wood is not recommended for use in raised beds for growing food because the chemicals used to treat the wood can leach into the soil and potentially contaminate the plants and the food they produce.
It is recommended to use untreated wood or alternatives such as metal, plastic, or stone for raised beds.
Should you line raised beds with plastic?
Lining a raised bed with plastic can have both benefits and drawbacks. On the one hand, it can help to prevent weeds from growing and make it easier to keep the bed clean.
It can also help to retain moisture in the soil, which can be beneficial in dry climates or during periods of drought. However, lining the bed with plastic can also make it more difficult for the soil to breathe, which can lead to anaerobic conditions and poor plant growth.
Additionally, plastic can be bad for the environment and is not biodegradable, It’s not a long-term solution. It is better to use organic mulch or other natural materials like leaves, straw, or grass clippings to suppress weeds and retain moisture.
So overall, it’s best to weigh the pros and cons carefully before deciding to line a raised bed with plastic.
What is the best material to use for raised garden beds?
There are several materials that are commonly used for raised garden beds, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. The best material for a raised garden bed will depend on the specific needs of the gardener and the location of the bed. Some popular materials include:
- Untreated wood: This is a popular choice because it is relatively inexpensive and easy to work with. However, it will eventually rot and need to be replaced.
- Treated wood: This type of wood is treated with chemicals to make it resistant to rot, insects and decay, but it is not recommended to use it for growing food as the chemicals can leach into the soil and potentially contaminate the plants.
- Metal: This is a long-lasting and durable option, but it can be expensive and can get hot in the sun, which can be harmful to plants.
- Concrete or stone: These materials are extremely durable and long-lasting, but they can be heavy and difficult to work with.
- Plastic: This is a lightweight and inexpensive option, but it can become brittle over time, crack and degrade. Also, it is not biodegradable.
- Bricks or pavers: These materials are long-lasting and can add an attractive element to a garden, but they can be heavy and difficult to work with.
Overall, untreated wood, metal, and concrete blocks are the most popular options due to their relatively low cost and durability.
However, it’s important to consider the specific requirements of the site and the gardener, as well as the environmental impact of the materials being used.