A raised bed is one of the best ways to grow vegetables. Use this easy DIY plan to build one on your own.
- One 6-foot-long 4-by-4 ($15)
- Six 8-foot-long 2-by-6s ($75)
- One 10-foot-long 1-inch PVC pipe ($3)
- Two 10-foot-long ½-inch PVC pipes ($6)
- 32 3½-inch #14 wood screws and 16 ½-inch #8 wood screws ($29)
- One 4- by 10-foot roll of ¼-inch-mesh hardware cloth ($15)
- Eight 1-inch galvanized tube straps (semicircular brackets; $3.60)
- 32 cubic feet (1 1/5 cu. yd.) soil mix ($100 in bags; look for combination of topsoil, compost, and potting soil).
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Build bed upside down. Set a 4-foot 2-by-6 on its thin edge on pavement, and place a 16-inch post at one end. Secure post with two 3½-inch screws. Repeat at other end of board. Repeat with other short board. Join short sides with an 8-foot board; and secure with two screws. Add other long side. Add second layer of 2-by-6s.
With help from a buddy, flip the bed right side up. Move it into position in the yard, marking with a trowel each corner post's location. Move the bed aside; dig a 5- to 6-inch-deep hole for each post. Put the bed back into place, with posts in holes; fill around posts with soil.
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Rake the existing soil at the bottom of the bed to level it, then tamp it smooth. Line the bed with hardware cloth to keep out gophers and moles; trim the cloth with shears to fit around corner posts.
To hold hoops for bird netting or row covers, attach four 12-inch pieces of 1-inch PVC pipe inside the bed: On the long sides, space pipes 4 feet apart, 2 feet from each end; screw on two tube straps to secure each pipe. Fill the bed with a planting mix of topsoil, compost, and potting soil; rake it smooth, and moisten it with a gentle spray from the hose.
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Insert the hoops
To cover newly planted seedlings with bird netting or season-extending row covers, simply bend two 6-foot pieces of ½-inch PVC pipe to form semi-circles, and slip their ends into the 1-inch pipes inside the bed. Then drape the bird netting or row covers over them.
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