How to Build a Raised Bed Step-by-Step

How to Build a Raised Bed Step-by-Step
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    [Music]
    Hello! It's a gloriously sunny day, the birds are singing and spring has sprung -
    the perfect time of year to start a raised bed!
    I'm going to start a new raised bed just behind me here.
    It's an area that gets plenty of sun from lunchtime onwards and right through to the evening.
    It's relatively well-drained, and crucially in this sloped garden it's a nice flat site.
    So let's get started!
    Let's start by laying cardboard over the area the new bed will occupy.
    This will help to clear all the grass and weeds beneath.
    Now, the first thing you want to do with any cardboard is remove any staples that you find
    and any bits of tape like this as well, which won't really decompose.
    That way you're left with nice clean brown cardboard that will rot down into the soil over time.
    Carefully picking off all this tape and staples may seem a little tedious,
    but it really shouldn't take you too long.
    As you can see on my right, my pile of cardboard has yielded an appreciable amount of tape,
    so you can see it's worth it.
    So now we've got a nice pile of cardboard, it's time to spread it
    all over the growing area, including the paths.
    That'll help to suppress the weeds, stop the grass growing through,
    and keep it nice and clean, ready for the compost to go on top.
    In order to create my paths around the raised bed, I'll be laying
    bark chippings directly onto the cardboard to give a neat and tidy finish.
    Of course an alternative would be to cut away excess cardboard from around the raised bed
    to leave a simple grass path.
    You'll notice that I'm overlapping the cardboard.
    That's so no weeds can creep through any gaps.
    Aim for an overlap of about six inches (15cm) and you should be fine.
    The ground's all covered - so now it's time to make our raised bed.
    For this project I've got two pieces of wood that are eight foot long - that's about 2.4m.
    Wood that size can be cut in half to make a 4 foot (or 1.2m), square bed.
    The advantage of a bed that size is that you can reach the center from all sides of the bed,
    so that you never ever have to step on the soil inside the bed.
    That means it never gets compacted, and the plants thrive because of it.
    Having laid out a measuring tape along the first plank,
    I'm now clearly marking off the halfway point with a pencil.
    This will serve as a guide for sawing the plank in half.
    I'll then do exactly the same for the second plank.
    And there we have the four walls to our raised bed, all of equal length.
    Now it's time to drill some pilot holes, which will make it easier to screw the walls together.
    I'm using a drill bit slightly thinner than the screws themselves.
    One end of each plank will overlap the end of the next and screw directly into it,
    so position your pilot holes correspondingly.
    Two holes in each plank is sufficient.
    With the wood all cut to size and our holes drilled, we're ready to begin putting together the bed.
    The walls of the bed need to be laid out so that each plank overlaps the next
    with the pilot holes located at the overlapping end.
    Now let's screw the walls together.
    Use long screws so that each wall is properly secured to the next.
    We want a snug, close fit like this.
    Great! And now the bed is completed, as you can see behind us, and it's time to fill it.
    And for that I've got my special assistant along, Isla.
    Right Isla, let's get busy!
    To start, I'm adding a layer of garden compost to the bed.
    This will give a nutrient-rich, moisture-retentive layer for roots to grow down into -
    a sensible move with the approach of summer.
    It also introduces lots of beneficial microorganisms to the soil,
    which will further enhance plant growth.
    This compost is quite lumpy, so for the top layer I'm using enriched topsoil
    specially formulated for vegetable gardening.
    Its fine texture means I can get on with sowing and planting immediately.
    You could use more of your own garden compost if you prefer,
    but make sure it's completely decomposed and a fine enough consistency to begin planting.
    That's it Isla, keep on going - you're almost finished!
    And there you have the completed bed!
    In fact, Isla and I have been so busy we've made another bed behind me here.
    And with each completed bed comes the fun part - sowing and planting it!
    Now, if you're going to create a raised bed this spring, then please let us know what you plan to grow in it.
    You can let us know in the comments section below.
    And if you've enjoyed this video, please do subscribe before you leave us today
    I'll catch you next time.
    [Music]
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