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This year, I decided to use raised garden beds for my vegetable garden. I did a ton of research and decided it was my best option. I live in South Florida, so we get a lot of rain—and our soil is really sandy in some parts, with few nutrients.
I raise a garden to have fresh fruits and vegetables and save money on my groceries. But when I started shopping around for raised garden bed kits or pre-made ones, the prices were ridiculous. If you want one for the aesthetics, then sure, buy a fancy one. But I decided to go for the more frugal option—build one myself.
A little disclaimer: I am no master craftsman. I have no special skills that made this project easy for me. So if I can build my own raised garden beds, anyone can.
Raised garden beds offer a ton of benefits to you as the gardener, and to the plants you are growing.
This DIY project makes two 4 × 4 raised beds, each being 1 foot deep.
Before you start, however, you'll need to prep your site. You can do this in a couple of different ways. The first option involves getting the location down to a flat dirt area. You will have to dig up all of the grass and the roots to get a nice, level, sandy area. Rake it out with a metal rake so you get rid of any rocks or roots left behind. I used this method with my first garden, and it was very labor intensive but cheaper.
The other option that I chose to go with this year was to leave the ground as is and put a weak barrier around the entire area. I also used mulch as my walkways between each raised bed. To me, this is so pretty and you don't have to fight the weeds as much later. The downside is that it costs a little more. You have to buy the weed barrier and landscape pins to secure them.
Once you decide which method to go with though, you're ready to start building your raised garden bed.
© 2018 Megan Dodd
Veggie Lady on April 14, 2019:
Stay away from pressure treated lumber because the chemicals used to treat the wood can leech into the soil.