After building our smart and sustainable home, we wanted to grow more of our own fruit and vegetables. After researching the best option, we decided raised garden beds were the way to go. The hard clay and rocky soil in Austin is not ideal for inground gardening. We quickly learned cedar was the best wood to use for long-lasting quality. Finding the wood, creating a design, seemed daunting, so we looked into the pre-cut wood and pre-made beds ready for assembly. That is how we found Gardener’s Supply. We debated on what size and depth, but eventually decided on a deep root, 4×12 raised bed.
This will be ideal for deep-rooted plants, such as tomatoes and blueberry bushes, these 15″ deep beds also create attractive focal points in the garden. Each bed includes four industrial-strength aluminum corners, 1″ rot-resistant cedar lumber that’s been precut to the proper lengths, hardware, and instructions. Easy assembly — just slip the boards into the corners and screw them in place. (12′ long beds use two 6′ boards with in-line connectors.) Raised beds are easy to set up, plant and maintain, producing high yields in a compact space with less digging and weeding. Use Deep Root Cedar Raised Beds to grow vegetables, or install the beds along a perimeter to create stunning border gardens. Made by us in Vermont. You can follow our 4 step process or download the installation manual here.
Step 1: Plan Your Layout
We have a sprinkler system in our yard, so the first thing we needed to do, was plan where we were going to put our raised bed. This bed is 4 x 12, and our sprinklers are 20 feet apart. We turned on a quick test cycle to make sure we weren’t putting the bed over a sprinkler head or too close to a head, where it would directly block a stream of water.
After that, we laid out the outer wood planks and got ready to put it together.
Things we needed:
Step 2: Assembling the Raised Garden Bed
Start assembly! We found it easiest to slide the cedar planks into the aluminum corners and the connector creating a “U” shape. This gave us a chance to make sure we were doing it right, and easily move it around to make sure we had it straight along our fence line. We left an 18″ inch gap between the back of the raised bed and our fence, enough room to get around with a lawnmower, and also be able to get to the plants that will be growing in back.
Step 3: Adding Landscape Fabric
We drilled the “U” shape together after confirming the location. We then started to lay down the landscape fabric. The landscape fabric acts as a weed stopper so unwater weeds, and possibly critters, don’t get into your bed from underneath. We left a 3″ inch skirt of extra fabric around the bed, which can be trimmed later. We secured the fabric with the landscape staples, around the edges of the bed, about every 1′ foot.
Step 4: Add the Divider
Finish securing all corners of your bed with the screws provided and add the caps, then if your bed requires one, add the middle divider.
Step 5: Add the Soil
For our bed size, we needed 60 cubic feet of soil. Your need will differ depending on the size of your raised garden bed. For reference:
- 4’ x 4′ Cedar Raised Bed holds 20 cubic feet or 514 quarts of soil
- 4′ x 6′ Cedar Raised Bed holds. 30 cubic feet or 770 quarts of soil
- 4′ x 8′ Cedar Raised Bed holds 40 cubic feet or 1028 quarts of soil
- 4′ x 12′ Cedar Raised Bed holds 60 cubic feet or 1542 quarts of soil
Finished! Just Add Plants!
Now you can enjoy gardening, and eating the delicious fruit and vegetables you grow at home. One step towards a more sustainable lifestyle! We will be adding photos shortly of our growing garden as it starts to bloom and grow.
A few other articles from Gardener’s Supply that helped us:
Composting Resources • Vegetable Gardening • Zone Hardiness Guide