Not everyone has that proverbial green thumb, and that’s okay. Gardening is primarily about patience, persistence, and timing. If you possess these skills, you’ll have no problem growing a grocery store’s worth of fruits and vegetables you can enjoy all year long.
Now, building a place to house your garden takes a little more technical savvy and know-how. Fortunately, our team at Mr. Handyman has the experience to offer advice and direction to help you get the perfect raised garden box for the perfect spring plantings.
Materials & Tools for Your DIY Garden Bed
Before you roll up your sleeves to get started, let’s talk about some of the necessary tools and materials for your gardening box project.
Some tools and materials you’ll need include:
- Specific product – First things first. You need to consider the fruits, vegetables, flowers, and/or herbs you want to grow. This will help you decide how large or small you want your raised garden box. For now, let’s say you’re interested in strictly vegetables and fruits.
- Garden soil – According to Growing a Greener World, the best soil for vegetable growth includes compost and organic matter. Regardless of the type of soil you choose, ensure that it isn’t too compact, rocky, or grainy. Additionally, you can use the formula Length x Width x Depth to determine how much soil you’ll need to fill your DIY garden bed.
- Wood – For this particular project, we’re going to build with untreated wood so that it doesn’t affect the pH level of our soil.
- Building tools – For this project, you’ll need a drill, screws, lumber, wood glue, a miter saw, safety glasses, a spade, and gardening gloves.
- Space – Fruits and vegetables require a lot of room to grow. For instance, many seeds should be planted in rows that need at least a foot of space. If you’re growing various fruits and vegetables at once, be mindful of the expanse of your garden box.
Decide Where to Place Your Raised Garden Box
Whether you have an expansive or compact backyard, choosing a spot for your raised garden box that gets at least 6-8 hours of direct sunlight is essential. Vegetables should have 8 total hours of sunlight every day, so the more sun, the better. You should avoid areas of your yard that are consistently wet or particularly low-sitting areas where water tends to run off.
Consider These Spring and Summer Vegetables & Fruits for Your Raised Box
Now that you’ve got the technical side of building a raised bed, let’s talk in-depth about what to grow.
Tomatoes love basking in the sun’s rays. They grow best in warm soil that gets a lot of sunlight, which means they’re best to plan toward the end of spring into summer. Remember to plant tomatoes at least 18- to 24-inches apart so they have enough room to grow. Additionally, provide plenty of water to these delicate plants, as dry soil can cause blossom rot. Compost and fertilizer will give your tomatoes the nutrients required to be healthy and perfect for refreshing summer salads.
If you’re thinking about planting cucumbers, right now is a perfect time! Cucumbers do well when they’re planted 2 weeks before the last frost of the season. Like tomatoes, cucumbers adore the sun and thrive in extremely sunny areas with a lot of fertilizer. You’ll need a wider/longer raised bed for cucumbers, as the rows should be planted 6 feet apart.
Planting carrots a few weeks before the season’s last frost is best for producing the most vibrantly colored and sweet-tasting vegetable. Carrots thrive well in rock-free and manure-free soil, as manure can cause growth mutations, i.e., growing extra legs (no joke!). If you’re planting carrots in a raised garden box, make sure it’s long enough to accommodate planting the seeds 3 inches apart in rows at least a foot from one another.
Raspberries are one of the best fruits to grow in a raised garden bed because it helps prevent root rot, which raspberries are prone to. A DIY raised garden bed creates a natural draining system to keep moisture from causing mold to grow. You can plant these delicious and antioxidant-rich fruits in summer, but spring will yield the best-tasting berries of the bunch.
At least 6 hours of uninterrupted sunlight will allow beans to thrive. If you’re given a bean plant, keep them in their original planter, as transplanting beans will likely be unsuccessful. Bean seeds should be planted 3 inches apart and 1 inch into the soil.
Steps for Building Your Raised DIY Garden Bed
Don’t consider yourself a builder or a handyperson? Never fear! Here are easy steps to help you build a durable and sturdy raised garden box.
Step 1: Mark Your Location
Measure and mark the space for your raised garden box or multiple boxes. Plot the space with a shovel to outline where your bed(s) will permanently rest. Remember, wherever you place your DIY garden bed, the space should get at least 6 hours of direct sun and have easy access to drainage and water.
Step 2: Remove the Grass
Use a spade to loosen the ground where your bed will be placed. This will help your plants produce strong roots that can grow deep into the earth and survive.
Step 3: Measure & Cut Your Wood
You’ll need seven 6-foot boards, seven 3x9 boards, and eleven 10.5 support posts. We’re going to be building a 4 x 6 x 10 raised bed with untreated wood so that it doesn’t adversely affect your fruits and vegetables. Keep in mind that this wood is still prone to rot because of moisture. We recommended purchasing rot-resistant and untreated wood. However, if this isn’t an option, you can staple heavy-duty plastic to the inside walls of your raised bed.
Step 4: Attach Your Boards
Use a minimal amount of wood glue to attach three wallboards and use clamps to keep them together while reinforcing the board with your posts. Drill pilot holes first and screw in the posts inside of your box. Repeat this process until you have a perfect rectangular bed.
Step 5: Add Wire Mesh to the Frame
With your frame constructed, stable mesh hardware to the bottom of your bed for drainage and to keep weeds out. Landscape fabric works just as well to block weeds and preserve the health of your fruits and vegetables.
Memphis Handymen Ready to Help with Your Gardening Project
Growing a beautiful and healthy garden doesn’t require a lot of innate skills, but it does demand patients and consistency. We can help get the necessary materials to help you build a garden bed so you can stop venturing to the grocery store for fresh and seasonal produce.Call (877) 685-1377 for more information about our professional handyman and repair services in Memphis, and let us take all the work off your hands.