The idea of constructing and building our own raised bed garden frames from scratch is very concievable, what we build or construct it from, may vary, but the thing is we can build one of these raised bed frames from practically any material. We can do this by using whatever types of materials we have at our disposal, provided its a sturdy structure and will be able to contain the soil for this purpose when completed. That is the basic requirement needed to get started and if we had just one raised bed up and running, we can elaborate and expand our future raised beds from there on. Our first experience will tell us a lot in terms of size, shape, depth, sturdiness and more importantly, functionality. As long as it serves us for the purpose of growing our vegetables and the frame remains intact while doing so, then we have mission complete as far as our first adventure has gone, in the great and exciting world of above ground gardening or raised garden beds.
I will outline briefly some tips and ideas on how different raised beds can and may be constructed and in some cases from the most basic of materials. We will see how some people used their imigination and creativity and also how simple a process this was in most cases. We will look at the different types of materials they have used and how well their projects worked for this.
Case study #1.
In this example we have a very sturdy and large raised bed frame and is made completely from lengths of wood, held together with long nails and screws. The timber lengths are interlocked together, in lego type formation and this makes a very professional and aesthetically pleasing appearance for this project. As we can see there is quite an amount of wood used in the making of this structure and it is, in this case approx 2ft in depth or height, which would be very useful for people with mobility issues or wheelchair users. In some cases a raised bed frame like this one would eleminate the need for bending and kneeling and also the need to overstretch, which may be a blessing in disguise for some people.
Cast study #2;
How easy is this frame to make I ask you… As we can see this is a very simple construction of wooden logs, butted up against each other to make a square shape and is self contained in all respects. The wooden logs are cut to lengths of 4ft and arranged in a formation which gives us another idea of how easy it is to create and assemble a raised bed like this. The logs being dead weight so to speak will make great sturdy sides for a structure like this and easily contains and holds in the soil. The other raised beds in this image are simple 4ft lengths of wood, nailed together and create a very simple and easy structure, which is just as effective in delivering another option in terms of size and shape.
In this example we have another rather easy and simple design for this raised bed frame. This structure is made entirely and completely from wooden pallets. The ease with which a raised bed frame like this is unbelievably simple to make and almost just as functional, like the other examples that we have described herein. Our resulting frame is 4ft in width and 8ft in length, which ties in nicely with the dimensions of any commercial pallets that are easily available at all hardware stores. The pallets are dissambled, the timber lathes then nailed together as side frames and then assembled to make a fantastic bed frame as per image. The inside of this bed frame is lined with a plastic membrane fabric, which prevents the soil from falling out over the sides, and makes just as good a great vegetable growing area in the shape of raised bed. The cost of this excercise is minimal, as the pallets are available for free from most hardware or commercial warehouses.
Case study #4;
This type of a raised bed is slightly more complicated to make and may require a tradesman to complete a project like this one. The walls or sides of these raised beds are constructed using builders concrete blocks and when complete, give a permanent finished structure. With the materials that are used in the making of a raised garden bed like this one, we have created a fantastic growing envoirnment for our vegetables. The fact that raised beds are much warmer and more efficient than the open garden system , we now have the added benefits of a concrete type of surround which will make the bed much more warmer as the blocks will retain the heat from the sun and this is then transferred into the soil, giving an oven type garden. We will need to monitor the watering with these types because of the reasons I’ve just outlined. Nevertheless these are a solid structure that will last for years and years and will give us great results in our gardening adventures.
This structure of this raised bed frame is slightly different in size, shape and design from all of the other systems that we have looked at as you can see. This is raised bed gardening on another level, we are looking at a professional approach with this construction and unless we are very skilled at carpentry, we would need expert help with the formation and design of this example. That said, it is still just lengths of timber screwed together and reinforced with steel rod braces to give extra strength where it could be found to have weaknesses. The extra reinforcement is needed because of the large dimensions and it just helps to keep it all together when filled with soil. The other great aspect of this type of garden bed frame is the accessibility. Its very easy to get at any part of this structure when fully planted-up, which is very important for weeding , maintenance and watering etc etc.
Case study #6;
Here in this example, we have another unusual looking contraption, but this serves as a very useful accessory in our gardening lives. What we have here is a standard 8ft x 4ft raised bed, but on top there is a timber wooden frame complete with chicken wire attached, which will prevent all sorts of pests from attacking and eating our vegetables. This device will prevent our houshold pets like cats and dogs from jumping onto our raised beds and it will also keep out other wildlife like rabbits and wild birds from eating and destroying our vegetables and salads etc etc. This wire mesh frame also prevents other garden pests like butterflies and insects from our garden veggies, but it will let the air and rain to penetrate through to the soil at the same time. The good thing about this extra addition to the raised bed system is that these are very easy to construct and very inexpensive, but nevertheless are a very necessary piece of equiptment.
I hope you have enjoyed this post on the different ideas that may interest those people who are considering building raised beds, but for some reason, did not know how to, or wher to begin. If you have any comments or questions on the above, please use the box down under and we will get back to you as soon as possible.
Happy gardening and best of luck.
“…what I have found…
is that I’m more alive and engaged
with the edible landscape.
For example, when the strawberries, cherries,
or black raspberries ripen, it is an exciting moment!
Nothing about a lawn is that exciting.”
― Amy Stross.