Last year, I asked Nick for a raised flower bed to replace the shale-lined, ground-level one at our house. It happened to be nice weather that weekend, so we gathered what we needed an went to town. Our bed’s outside measurements estimate at 3ft by 9ft and about a foot deep.
- Twelve 6ft landscaping timbers
- Six 4ft landscaping rebar
- Four large bags of garden soil
- Drainage rocks (we reused the shale)
First, prepare your area. In our case, we had to remove all of the shale border and I had to dig out and replant a small rose bush. After moving all of the rocks and plants, I dug down about two inches against the sidewalk and around. During this time, the hubby cut six of the timbers in half and cut the rebar into 16in pieces. We placed the first layer of timber and went around with a level adding and scooping out dirt when needed. Next, we staggered the subsequent layers of timber. Nick went around with his drill and 3/4in bit and drilled the 12 holes for the rebar. Then we sank the rebar into the ground until it was flush with the tops of the timbers, thus securing our bed.
I took the larger slabs of the shale and dispersed it evenly in the bed to help with adequate drainage, then we topped this with river stone rock also for the drainage. We dumped the two bags of garden soil in, and then I started adding plants. It is a good idea to pre-space the plants you intend to use in the bed. I followed up with the third bag of soil to cozy the plants in. The fourth was held in reserve until after the garden settled.
**Builder’s note** This bed was done in spring of 2013. There has been little to no sinking, but the beams do wiggle a small amount (approximately 1/2 in at the corners). If you are wanting zero shift, you could try to add more rebar to secure it.
That’s it! Are you doing raised beds this year or traditional?