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Build Your Own Raised Beds and GROW!

Build Your Own Raised Beds and GROW!

Mary Smith |

We're finally updating our Build Your Own Raised Bed tutorial!  Our first post was in 2015 when we moved to our new homestead and built a bunch of 8 foot by 4 foot beds.

We are STILL using these beds but we ended up putting gopher wire on the bottom to keep the gophers out.  We've also adapted this tutorial to make a few 4 foot by 4 foot beds for different projects or just because they were easier to handle.

Many of you have seen our updates on facebook.  We have expanded our growing area over the last week.  This place is HUGE!  We wanted to get growing fast but with the rocky ground (and gophers) at our new homestead, we decided to build raised beds.  Here's how we built...

Drill (required)
Circular saw (optional)  
Staple Gun (optional) 

Lumber & Supplies:
We purchased 2"x12"x16' untreated boards
untreated 4"x4" posts-Buy it 8 feet long and have it cut in 1 foot long posts
48" landscaping cloth (optional)
 3" deck screws from a local hardware shop.
It takes 1 and a 1/2 boards to make these 4X8 beds.  
That means 12 boards will make 8 beds.

A few thing I've learned:
Landscaping cloth works to keep the weeds out but NOT gophers.

If you have gophers or other burrowing pests, I highly recommend gopher wire or hardware cloth (it's not actually cloth).  Affix the wire to the bottom of the bed after you build the bed but before you fill with dirt

The 3 inch deck screws can be expensive but they are well worth it

I was told that the 4" post at each corner was overkill but I feel it is worth it.  Our raised beds are in great shape so far!

If you choose to build 4 foot by 4 foot beds, you can purchase pre-cut boards OR buy 1- 2X12X16 and have it cut into 4 foot boards.

If you prefer to make smaller beds then you will need to re-adjust length/quantity of boards. 

Screws: 32 
3 inch "Star Drive" deck screws
*These include a drill bit* 
The 2"x12" board were cut in 4' and 8' pieces.   
The 4"x4" posts were cut in 12" pieces.
If you don't have a circular saw (or want to make the boards easier to handle) I suggest having the people at the shop cut your boards. 
The 12" pieces of 4x4 post were attached  
to the ends of the 2x12x8 pieces with the  
3" deck screws: *4 screws per board per corner* 
32 screws total

After taking the 4' and 8' boards to the garden the 4' and 8' boards were assembled so that the 4' boards covered the ends of the 8' boards with their attached posts. 

This gave the assembled bed a 4'x8' OUTSIDE dimension gopher wire was attached to the bottom

Now, we have pictures of our 4 foot by 4 foot beds!

4 ft by 4 ft bed

4 ft by 4 ft bed with gopher wire

We used a staple gun to attach the gopher wire to each bed
The assembled bed was then placed gopher-wire side down and filled with good, organic soil with plenty of Organic Nutrients added to the beds.

4 X 4 growing Organic Radish

For 4 beds @ 4ft X 8ft we used about
5 cubic yards of soil.
Water the bed once it's filled with dirt and organic plant food.  We added more dirt once the soil compacted a bit.

If you have additional questions about getting started or would like more info please feel free to ask.  As always, I am happy to help.

If you'd like to check out some of our gardening tips, check out our fb page. 

Stay tuned for info on FILLING and maintaining these beds!


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Nice step step tutorial. Thanks


So I did enjoy your post about the Raised beds . Unfortunately I don’t think I’m going to be able to build a garden this year, I just bought my first home in another part of Connecticut and I’m not trying to grow something this year. I got sunflower (from you) started already but vegetables may not work this year.
My wife and I had Turtles and tortoises last year my Russian tortoise dug out at our old place and 5outta 8 escaped….. we only found two unfortunately the three were never found again. sadly my wife had two turtles for 25 years. So this year when I built my turtle pen outside, I chicken wired the bottom so that might prevent gophers or any other Critter from getting into your raised beds from underneath.

Michael McGeehan,

I am brand new to gardening. I love your sight and found the link to raised beds. I ordered the wood, had it cut and brought it home. That said, I wish I would have known how heavy this was gonna be. How difficult to move around. Exactly what drill bit to use to pre-drill the holes and where each screw was supposed to go. It’s been over a week and I’m still trying to figure it all out and move around by myself. 😩


Do u have any suggestions on how to keep squirrels away??


I’m so excited about growing my own seeds and can’t wait for them to come in the mail. My plan is to have a vertical garden in my apartment. There are a few grow lights to choose from and I’m starting with a LED bulb.

Do you have any info on maintaining a garden indoors? I may have to move it outside eventually somehow but I’m hoping I can produce my veggies indoors. Is that possible with your seeds?

thanks very much


Has anyone suggestions for controlling fire ants. They get into my pots as well as in my raised asparagus bed. I am in South Alabama, close to FL line.

John Nelson,

I have plans for making a couple of these this spring, can’t wait to start planting! We would love to have you at our To Grandma’s house we go link party – it starts every wednesday!

Grandmas House DIY,

Nice step by step! Thanks for sharing!

Anne in the Kitchen,

Thanks, for the great tutorial. We need to expand our garden this year and raised beds are our best option. We have HEAVY black clay soil. Our other beds are brick, but the lumber would be more easily moved and cheaper!

Anne in the Kitchen,

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