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How to Create a Raised Garden
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How to Create a Raised Garden

Raised bed gardens are a popular trend in gardening for a variety of reasons. The raised bed allows complete control over soil, making it an ideal option for backyard gardeners plagued with poor soil or insufficient drainage. The walled border around a raised garden adds a clean, modern look to the garden, and can also keep pets or children from accidentally marching through the crops or flowers. In addition, the 12 or more inches of garden height is 12 less inches that gardeners need not bend over when working, putting less strain on the back. A raised garden is a relatively easy project that can be completed in an afternoon.

1. Designate a location for your garden. An east-facing bed will receive morning sun and afternoon shade, which is best for growing vegetables. For a small family garden, measure a 4-foot-by-6-foot rectangle and mark its perimeter with the chalk line.

2. Dig out the bed. Although the garden will be raised above the lawn, the grass must be removed. Shovel away the turf and first few inches of soil to create a garden plot.

3. Pour a thin, even layer of gravel on the plot. The gravel will suppress the growth of weeds or grass. Flatten the plot by walking on it to create a level foundation for your garden bed.

4. Build the garden frame. Use the drill and wood screws to connect the boards into a rectangular shape Screw the five screws spaced about an inch apart from the outside of the 6-foot boards into the edge of the 4-foot, 4-inch boards, ensuring that the corners are flush. The additional 4 inches on the 4-foot board will overlap the 6-foot board to create a 6-foot-by-4-foot rectangle.

5. Place the wood frame in the garden bed. If the measurements for the plot and the frame were accurate it should fit perfectly. If not, shovel away or replace turf to create a secure, level fit. Also secure some of the displaced dirt around the outside edge of the frame to help hold it in place.

6. Pour the garden soil and/or compost into the frame. The 6-foot-by-4-foot-by-12-inch bed will hold about 24 cubic feet of soil. Fill the frame to within an inch or so of the top.

7. Transplant vegetable seedlings or sow seeds in your new raised garden.