How to Build a Simple Raised Bed

Discover how to build your own 4x4 raised bed in just 5 super-simple steps.

So you've decided to take the plunge and grow your favorite veggies, herbs, and flowers in a raised garden bed. There's just one catch: You don't actually have a raised bed in which to plant them. No worries! We've got easy-peasy instructions for building a 4x4-foot one. Just follow the 5 steps below. (Or, simply order one of our customized Raised Garden Bed Kits and have everything you need delivered right to your doorstep. Each kit comes with a raised bed, soil, plant food, and plants.)

Materials needed:

Step 1: Get wood and soil.

Buy two 8-foot-long 2x12 boards from your local home improvement store and ask them to cut them in half for you. Most will do it; if your store will not, you'll need to use your own saw (or borrow a neighbor's) to do so. The best type of wood for raised beds is something that resists rot, like cedar, white oak, or pressure-treated lumber. You'll also want to get a package of 2x2 wooden stakes (you'll need a total of 4).

While you're at the store, toss some Miracle-Gro® Raised Bed Soil in your cart. It's just the right texture and weight for raised beds, provides excellent drainage, and contains lots of organic nutrients to get your plants off to a good start. (You'll need 11 bags to fill the 4x4x1-foot bed you'll be putting together.)

Bonus Tip: Don't worry about replacing all of the soil in your raised bed next spring. Instead, mix Miracle-Gro® Refresh™ Soil Revitalizer into last year's soil. When used as directed, it's designed to replenish essential nutrients, restore soil structure, and renew water retention so your plants can thrive.

Step 2: Choose your location.

Choose a level spot that gets a lot of sun and is close to a water source. If the area is grassy, simply mow it short (let clippings lie) before building your bed.

Step 3: Build the frame.

Position the boards to form a square; the boards should be on their edges. Pre-drill holes (to keep the wood from splitting), then fasten the boards with four screws at each corner.

Step 4: Assemble the bed.

Cover the spot where you intend to put your raised bed with landscape fabric, using enough to extend a little beyond the frame edges to help protect the wood from rotting. Set the raised bed frame into place. Pound a 2x2 wooden stake into the ground (through the fabric) on the inside of the frame at each corner and attach each to the frame to reinforce the corners. Then cover the landscape fabric with a layer of corrugated cardboard or several layers of newspaper for additional protection against weeds coming through. Finally, fill the bed with soil and use a garden rake to level it out.

Step 5: Plant!

Now it's time to populate your new raised bed with your favorite plants! Don't want to wait for seeds to sprout? Plant young veggie and herb plants from Bonnie Plants® and you'll get an immediate sense of accomplishment -- plus harvest time will be that much closer. Be sure to give your plant babies the nutrition they need to thrive by feeding them with Miracle-Gro® Raised Bed Plant Food. That power combo of Miracle-Gro® Raised Bed Soil and plant food plus Bonnie Plants® will bring you 3 times the harvest over the length of the growing season (assuming you follow all the directions, of course) when compared to unfed plants. Looking for some raised bed planting ideas? Click on the "What to Plant in a Raised Bed" tile below.

And that's it—you're done! Unless, of course, you feel like adding a second bed...or a third...or a fourth. After all, a yard filled with raised beds is a beautiful thing.