Why would I be looking for the easiest way to build a raised garden bed? Aren't I an avid gardener? Aren't I one of those people whose gardens are the envy of the neighborhood? Well, sort of. If you count productivity ahead of beauty. It's not that I'm not talented, I'm just too busy to get complicated. So last year for my birthday, I asked for the wood to build two raised bed gardens of my own design. I've checked around and this is the simplest method of construction out there.
Here's what I used to make two 4x8 raised bed gardens:
*Four 2x12 pine or fir planks - 8 feet long (leave as is)
*Two 2x12 pine or fir planks - 8 feet long (cut each in half so you have four 4 foot sections)
*One 4x4 post - 8 feet long (cut into eight 1 foot sections)
*28 - Coated sinker nails (12D - 3 1/8" 7.938 cm)
Part 1- Making the long sides:
*Place two of the foot long 4x4s on a fairly level surface. Place one of the 2x12x8's balanced on top.
*Adjust so that one end of each 4x4 is square with one end of each plank. Nail plank in place through the 4x4 on each end using two nails. Hold square by hand or clamp as you nail.
*Repeat with all 2x12x8's and 4x4 posts.
These are the longer sides of your raised bed.
Part 2- Adding the short sides:
*Turn two of the long sides on their sides. The level (squared) side down and flush with your working surface. The posts should face each other. The jagged, protruding edge of the 4x4's should face up. You'll even it off later.
*Position the two cut 2x12x4's to form the short sides of the raised bed garden.
*Nail them in place, one corner at a time, making sure to square off the edges. You can use a clamp or hold them by hand to steady them as you nail.
*Each corner should have two nails through the edges of the planks and two nails through the plank where it meets the 4x4 on the short side.
Part 3- Repeat part two to form the second raised bed.
Part 4- Finishing touches:
*On the long sides, place an extra nail centered and slightly offset between your two original nails for stability. (Offsetting keeps the wood from splitting)
*Hammer the wood more closely at each nail site all around the raised bed.
*Use a saw to shave off the uneven tops of the 4x4's to make them flush with the top of the raised bed.
*Paint your raised bed gardens with the weather resistant finish of your choice.
This article was previously published by this author on a now closed Yahoo property.