Why garden in a raised bed? The soil can be liberally supplemented with compost and other organic amendments, creating a rich and porous root zone that nurtures plants. And the bed sides act as an edging, helping to keep out weeds and turfgrass. Many gardeners, including those of restricted mobility, find that the slightly higher soil level facilitates maintenance. Bonus: The elevated soil of raised beds drains quickly and doesn’t become waterlogged, and it warms up earlier in spring. This finished bed measures 4 feet by 8 feet—a size that makes seed sowing, weeding, and harvesting easy—and raises the planting level by almost a foot.
3 2-by-12 boards, 8 feet long
1 2-by-4 board, 8 feet long
28 2 1/2-inch galvanized deck screws
1. Cut one of the 2-by-12 boards in half to make two 4-foot lengths; these will be the two end pieces.
2. Cut the 2-by-4 board into one 4-foot length, to serve as a center brace, and four 1-foot lengths for corner supports. The two uncut boards will become the sides of the raised bed.
3. After drilling pilot holes, attach one of the side boards to an end board with three evenly spaced screws.
4. Place one of the corner supports in the angle between the boards and attach it to the side board with three screws. Repeat for the remaining three corners.
5. Attach the center brace to join the two sides at their midpoints. Use a square to position the brace at a right angle to the sides (5). The brace prevents the sides from bowing outward when the bed is filled with soil.