Simple Raised Beds for Your Georgia Garden

Josh Fudor, UGA ANR Agent in Cherokee County, developed this simple raised bed design that is perfect for community or school gardens.  This is the plan that we use in our teacher training workshops and the teachers appreciate the simplicity.

Simple Raised Beds for Your Georgia Garden
Teachers find this raised bed design easy to construct.

Gardening in raised beds is an easy way to get started growing great vegetables. The benefit of raised bed gardening includes: ease of management, prevention of soil compaction, better drainage, longer growing season, and ease of soil improvement.

Raised beds can be constructed out of just about any material and there are a number of kits available that are quick and easy to assemble. With a few tools and minimal time commitment the ambitious gardener can construct their own and save money.

Materials List

Qty.

Material

Cost

3

8’ 2”x10” Boards (cost will vary depending on choice, i.e. cedar, pine, treated) We will use treated pine for this example

37.00

16

1⁄4” x 4” Galvanized Lag Screws

14.50

16

1⁄4” zinc plated washer

1.90

1

Cubic yard or 27 cubic feet of soil/compost mixture

40.00

* Prices may vary depending on location and if delivery is required

Total: $ 93.40

Tools Needed

  • Saw-hand or electric powered
  • Speed square
  • Tape measure
  • Drill
  • 1⁄4” socket driver bit
  • 3/16” drill bit for pre-drilling
  • Safety Glasses and gloves

Step One:

Choose the straightest boards with little to no knot holes. This will make things much easier and make for a longer lasting finished product.

Step Two:

Cut one of the 8’ 2×10” boards in half. 8’ boards should 96” long but be sure to measure first just to be safe.

Step Three:

Make a notched cut out of the ends of all the boards. These notches provide added stability to the bed without the use of additional reinforcement. A 10” board is actually 9 1⁄4” wide so the mid-point of the board is 4 5/8” a cut 1 1/2” deep is needed to ensure the boards are flush at the corners.

The graphic below shows what the cuts should look like on all 4 of the boards when done, note that the notches are cut out on opposite sides of the board, this should be done on all boards.

Simple Raised Beds for Your Georgia Garden
Figure 1: Notch Cut Detail: 4 5/8” x 1 1/2” notch to be removed from opposite ends of all boards

Step Four:

Once all 4 boards have been notched on opposite sides of the board, lay them out to form the box. If cuts were made to proper measurements the boards should fit together smoothly. Pre-drill 2 holes in each end of all the boards approximately 3/4” from the end of the board. See Figure 2 below:

Simple Raised Beds for Your Georgia Garden
Figure 2: End of board detail – position of holes for lag screws.

Step Five:

Afer holes have been pre-drilled place one washer on 4” lag screw and drive them through the pre-drilled holes. 16 lag screws will be inserted with 4 on each corner.

Step Six:

Position bed in a location that receives at least 6-8 hours of direct sunlight on a North-South axis.

Happy Raised Bed Gardening!

Becky Griffin

Becky Griffin

Community and School Garden Coordinator at UGA Extension
Becky Griffin helps school and community gardeners succeed! This includes organizing school garden teacher training for the summer months, managing the Center's garden presence on the web, and using social media to connect gardeners to the latest research-based gardening information.

Some of her recent and current work includes collaborating with partners on urban agriculture, working with school gardeners on STEM goals, and assisting communities in starting community gardens. In 2016 Becky launched the Pollinator Spaces Project which encourages community and school gardeners to add pollinator spaces.This project has been expanded in 2017 to the Georgia Pollinator Census project.Ask her about it!
Becky Griffin

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