5 Raised Bed Designs You Can Make In An Afternoon

Growing vegetables is much easier in loose soil, but building your own elevated plot doesn't have to be difficult.

October 23, 2015
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PHOTOGRAPH BY BETSIE VAN DER MEER/GETTY

Related: The Most Brilliant Raised Bed We've Seen

Raised garden beds boost vegetables above potentially waterlogged grounds. Not every gardener deals with a high water table, but there are other good reasons to plant in raised beds:

They are easier to keep free of encroaching grass than ground-level beds.
Elevated soil warms earlier in spring and drains more quickly after a rain.
Soil doesn’t become compacted because you don’t step on the growing area.
Raised beds offer easier access for planting, thinning, weeding, and harvest.

The following five raised beds are built from a variety of materials, described below. Each of these beds measures about 4 feet by 8 feet; you can adjust the dimensions to suit your needs, keeping in mind that anything wider than 4 feet will be more difficult to maintain. Try filling beds with a rich mixture of about two parts soil and one part compost.

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