Raised beds are a great way to organize the garden.

I kill sections of my garden every year. It drives my family crazy, but me, not so much. I do what I can do, then I “Where’s Waldo” for a tomato in July.

This is my first year working remotely. So, I’m ramping up the homesteading efficiency–lowering waste and raising production. Raised beds and proper garden structures will help this. I can do a box at a time, they’ll be clean, and I won’t have to machete through the weeds. By defining my planting space, I’ll be less likely to cram in the extra tomatoes (which really do need space even though it doesn’t seem that way when they’re six inches tall) and I’ll plan what goes in better.

Ideally.

Talk to me again in July.   For now, let’s just build the darned boxes.

Raised Beds

  • Difficulty: moderate
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MATERIALS

This makes three boxes. Multiples of 3 is the magic number for the board measurements I used, but change this up to fit your space. Also, it’s easy to get pressure-treated pine boards, but tough to find non pressure-treated posts. Do the best you can.

  • 8 boards. 6 foot by 10 foot, not pressure treated.
  • 4×4 posts (either 2 4×6 foot posts or one 4×12 foot posts).
  • 3″ exterior screws (you need at least 24)
  • 1.5 cubic yards of loam, peat, or good soil to fill the box.
DIRECTIONS
  1. Make the board cuts. I used a circular saw to cut two of the 6-foot boards into thirds. (NOTE ON BOARDS: If you measure cuts from one end and cut them in 2-foot sections, the last piece of each board will be shorter. Boards are not exactly the measurement they say they are. They’re a bit smaller. You can solve this two ways. Measure your board and divide it into exact thirds. Or, use the short “thirds” for Box 3 so they match up together. One box will be a couple inches smaller).
  2. Cut the post into 12 sections. Each will be 9 3/8
  3. Screw the boxes together.  We screwed two post pieces to the end of the short (end boards) boards, then put the long boards together. That’s the easiest way.
  4. Put the box where you want.  Think about it for a while. Walk around it. Contemplate it filled with veggies.
  5. Then, fill it with dirt and plant it up. Don’t forget, the dirt will pack down, so fill that sucker right to the top. I tossed in some chicken manure from last year’s pile (properly composted) and some veggie compost that I sifted out.

COST: $$  The cost of your raised beds depends on your lumber sourcing. I needed to get the pine boards, which were a little more than $10 each. My loam was $29/yard with a $20 delivery cost. (I made more than three to make the loam delivery worthwhile. Screws were about $8.50 a box for a pound, which was between 30 and 40 screws.  Posts are about $9 depending on the quality of lumber and length.

  • 3 yards = $107 with delivery (enough for 8 boxes)
  • Each box needs .37 yards of loam: ~$14.
  • Screws: $8.50. I need 8. About $2
  • Lumber: $22-$25 per box

TOTAL PROJECT ESTIMATE: About $40 per box.