The perfect raised bed

A nice, big planting box is just the thing for summer veggies, herbs, and flowers. See how to make it in five simple steps

Jim McCausland

A raised bed makes gardening easy. Filled with soil mix, they provide the excellent drainage needed to grow picture-perfect vegetables and flowers.

You can build the basic raised bed pictured here in a few hours, then add versatility by mounting PVC pipes inside to hold hoops that elevate bird netting or row covers over your crops. Orient your bed north-south for maximum sun exposure.

Use redwood or cedar ― both are beautiful and rot-resistant. You’ll need a table or power saw to cut the wood. An electric drill is helpful, though not required.

Our total cost: $172.

DESIGN: David C. Becker

Get our step-by-step instructions

Materials for a raised garden bed

  • 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.) planting mix ($25 in bulk or $100 in bags) 

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