Last year we had good luck with our two raised beds and we had plenty of empty space next to them. So this year we decided to double it and build two more. Dave loves his tools and this was a great opportunity to use them.

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We used 1″x6″x8′ cedar boards to build 4’x4’x1′ raised garden beds. Each raised garden bed used four 8′ boards. We were able to get two 4′ sections from each board and used two sections per side. We used 2″x4″x8′ for the corners, which were cut into 1′ sections; so one 2″x4″x8′ was enough for two raised garden beds. Essentially we got this going assembly line style and it only took a couple hours.

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Since we were on such a roll with the Raised Beds we decided to build two more raised beds for Dave’s hops. We used the same 1″x6″x8′ cedar boards to build 2’x6’x1.5′ raised hop beds. These beds were three boards high to make them a bit taller. The hops need a bit more root space and we wanted it higher so it wasn’t as easy for the dog to access. We were able to get a 2′ and 6′ section from each board and it takes three sections per side. Each raised hop bed used six 8′ boards. These beds also used 2″x4″x8′ for the corners, but were cut into 1.5′ sections.

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Once we got the raised beds built, we put down landscape fabric and placed the beds. At this point they were ready to be filled with dirt and planted.

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Overall the lumber is expensive to get the cedar. However there are so many chemicals in the pressure treated, so it was really worth it to us to not put that into our food. The cedar is naturally bug and rot resistant. In the photo below you can see what the beds look like after one year. They are still in good shape and required no maintenance.

Aged Bed

Structurally we decided to make some changes this year. Last year we used a 2″x2″ for the corner supports. This year when we went to buy those, they didn’t have any available in cedar. The closest we could find was a 2″x4″, so that was what we went with. The other change was with the corners. Last year we used a mitered corner; mostly because Dave had just gotten a miter saw and wanted to play with it. However the mitered  corners were harder to fit together. This year we opted for standard straight cuts. These were much easier to fit together which allowed us to pre drill the holes, then attach all of the corner supports to the left side of each section, and assembled.

We also looked into the commercially available raised beds to decide if that was better than building them ourselves. The commercially available options were substantially more expensive. Also you don’t have as much control over the size. We opted for 4’x4′ raised garden beds as those fit almost perfectly into the space we had available. The 2’x6′ raised hop beds were the best size for our space and what we wanted to do with the hops.

We are so looking forward to getting our fruits and veggies planted!

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