Written by: Eliza Whitfield
This semester, I’ve been taking a couple of food and agriculture-based classes; between that fact and my general love for the great outdoors, I decided that I wanted to grow my vegetables this summer. Feeling extra inspired, I decided to build two raised garden beds at my house in Upstate New York. I have always considered myself to be relatively handy, so I confidently drew up basic design plans for the beds and determined what supplies I would need. I figured I would build an eight-foot by the three-foot bed and a six-foot by the three-foot bed would provide sufficient space to grow a handful of vegetables.
I started my project with seven 2” x 6” x 12’ boards, six 2” x 6” x 8’ boards, and two 4” x 4” x 6’ boards. Using a circular saw I cut the 2” x 6” x 12’ boards; I cut three boards to 6’, three boards to 3’, and one board to 18” increments. I then cut the 4” x 4” x 6’ board into 18” increments.
I lined the boards up and using #9 x 3” outdoor screws, I drilled two 18” boards against three 8’ boards — in the case of the 6’ bed, I only used one 18” board. I then attached the 4” x 4” ‘s to the ends of the lined boards.
I then added the 2” x 6” x 3’ boards to the other side of the 4” x 4” corner posts. Then repeated the process for the remaining sides of the garden bed.
The final step to completing these beds is: filling them with soil, compost, mulch, and seedling vegetables. I have not done this step yet, I will fill the beds in May once this semester is over and I am able to plant the vegetable seedlings.
I have made sure both beds are located in areas that recieve generous amounts of sunlight to allow the vegetables to grow big and healthy. These beds were very easy to build and through building them I was left feeling very accomplished and eager to produce my own food.