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How to Build Raised Garden Beds

Whether you’re looking to snip herbs in the backyard or plant an entire vegetable garden, raised beds are often the best choice for backyard gardeners. Raised bed soil warms up quicker than ground soil, drains off rain water more efficiently, and gives you control of the health and quality of the soil you’re using. They’re also one of the simplest but most satisfying DIY projects for any skill level.

Erin Longfellow of Maker Gray is here to show us how…

Maker Gray’s Raised Beds

Our friend Erin Longfellow of Maker Gray has generously shared her step-by-step Raised Bed Guide with us and even snuck in a few pro tips along the way. Erin is one of our go-to sources for carpentry projects for her easy-to-follow directions and modern, clean designs. Erin says “my goal is to help you learn that you too can build what I make…with easily accessible tools and materials.” We have to agree! Let’s get started.

© Maker Gray

Download Erin’s Printable Raised Bed Garden How To Guide and watch her informative YouTube video below.

A few tips from Erin before you get started…

On Choosing the Right Wood

“Cedar is naturally resistant to water, decay and bugs, and it is commonly available at home centers in my area. It really just takes care of itself. And if cedar isn’t as available to you, two others that do well outdoors are redwood and cypress.”

“For gardens, I personally avoid treated lumber as the harsh chemicals aren’t something I want near my soil or food. If using treated lumber, one possible solution I have seen is to try and protect the soil by placing an impervious liner between wood and the soil.”

On Choosing the Right Spot

“Before you build, make sure you have a spot with plenty of sun and access to water. Make sure you fill your beds with the appropriate soil and grow what you love to eat.”

How to Build Raised Garden Beds


6 5/4 x 6” x 8’ cedar decking boards
1 2” x 4” cedar decking board
1 box 2″ exterior screws
Exterior wood glue
Circular saw
Impact Driver


Step 1

Join one short side board and one long side board to one vertical interior corner brace using waterproof wood glue and 2” exterior screws. 

Tip: Clamps will hold the rail in place while you join the boards.

Tip: Pre-drill to eliminate wood splitting.

Step 2

Add the next corner, attaching a second interior corner brace and second long sideboard.

Step 3

Continue with the next two corners until you have a box.

Step 4

Then continue up the braces, adding the second and third rows just as you did the first.

And there you have it–a raised bed ready to grow.

As for what she’s planting in her own raised beds this year, Erin says, “I’m excited to incorporate some lettuces and new-to-us herbs. We’ve already had great success with arugula and have made some yummy summer salads and used it to top homemade pizzas. Looking forward to more of that! It’s so fun to walk into our backyard and grab home-grown ingredients for meals!”

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