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Technical Writing: Garden Bed

How to Build an All-Season Cedar 4’x 4’Raised Garden Bed. 
By Anthony Rosario-Licerio

A raised garden bed is a great alternative to in-ground garden beds because they prevent soil compaction, provide a barrier for pests, and good drainage. This is the perfect solution pfor budding horticulturalists or the weekend gardener.

Gather the following materials. You will build your garden bed using Western Red Cedar boards; cedar is not a commercially grown wood and may prove difficult to find at a big box retailer and can alternatively be bought from a lumber mill. Buy 3-2”x6”x16’and 1-2”x2”x8’ Cedar boards from Shur-Way building centers, ask to have your boards cut to dimension this will save you time at home. Soil, Shorty’s Garden Center planting mix is recommended, this can be bought for $45/yard or picked up in house in 1-gallon and 5-gallon increments. The soil has a tendency to drain fast and mixing in compost or peat moss is recommend to help prevent this. However, any planting mix will do. Stop at Parkrose Hardware to purchase the fasteners and any tools you may be missing. You will need thirty-two-3.5” deck screws and a square carpenter’s level, rubber mallet, and drill to assemble this project

Prep, cut, and clear, begin your project by prepping the materials and the area. Place the 8-foot board on a level surface, draw your tape-measure the length of the board and make tick marks every 15-inches, cut, create a point to help drive the post into the ground. Use these pieces for your posts. Pre-drill holes in your 4’4” boards using a drill bit ½-inch smaller in diameter than your screw, 1-inch in at the 1.5” and 3”, stacking your boards will give a uniform finish. Before moving onto assembly clear a 4’x4’ square of grass, weeds, and debris in the area you want your garden bed. 

Pound the first post 2” into the ground using the mallet in the upper left corner of the garden bed, tie 4-foot twine to the first and second post, and draw the second post to the upper right corner. Repeat this process until you can tie twine around the perimeter of the garden bed. Place your first board ground level at post one and two, level and screw in place. Repeat this step until your first level of boards have been secured around the perimeter of the garden bed and repeat for level two. Fill your garden bed with soil mixture and water the bed, this will settle the soil. Top off and rake the bed to even out the soil, this will help with drainage, you are ready to plant. 

Your newly built garden bed should provide you with a bountiful harvest of fresh fruits and vegetables year round or flowers.  To learn more about building soil, pest control, and irrigation, visit learn.eartheasy.com. And to purchase seeds visit Linnton Feed and Seed. 

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