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How to Build an Accessible Raised Garden Bed

Building a raised garden bed is a great DIY project to make gardening more accessible, while also adding character to your yard. This garden bed is waist-high and easy to access whether you use a wheelchair, have trouble crouching down, or simply enjoy the convenience. With these easy-to-follow instructions, you can learn how to build a raised garden bed of your very own.

Skill Level: Intermediate
Time:
  1. Step 1 Measure your Deck Boards and Posts

    A person measures lumber using a tape measure.
    A person makes a mark on lumber using a pencil and a square.

    You will need fifteen 5/4”x6”x8’ decking boards that will be cut to different lengths, as well as one 4”x4”x8’ post and one 4”x4”x10’ post, both of which will be cut in half for the front and back legs respectively. 

    Begin by measuring and marking your decking boards. You will need twelve lengths of 72 inches, eleven lengths of 10 inches, and seven lengths of 28 inches. 

  2. Step 2 Cut your Deck Boards and Posts

    A person cuts a piece of lumber using a circular saw.

    Cut your decking boards to the previously specified lengths and set aside. You may need to shave off and sand the edges for a smooth finish. 

    Next, cut your 4”x4”x8’ and 4”x4”x10’ posts in half. This will get you two 4-foot posts and two 5-foot posts. Note: 24 inches of each post will be in the ground.

  3. Step 3 Set your Posts

    A person adds concrete to the hole where their post sits.

    Now it’s time to prep the ground for your DIY raised garden bed. Measure a rectangle where you’d like your garden 66.5 inches long by 6.5 inches wide. The centre of the holes for each pole should be in the corners of the rectangle.

    Once you’ve measured where each post hole should be, dig each hole 24 inches deep.

    Mix the concrete and set the two 4-foot posts where you’d like the front of your garden bed to be, and the two 5-foot posts where you’d like the back of your garden bed to be. Be sure to use a level to ensure the poles are plumb and straight.

    Allow your posts to dry according to the time specified in the concrete instructions.

  4. Step 4 Clad your Posts at the Base of the Garden Bed

    The two pieces of lumber that make up the corner of the garden bed are shown.
    A person secures a piece of lumber to the garden bed using a drill.

    Once your posts are set and dried, you’re ready to begin cladding your planks. Start cladding the bottom plank 33 inches from the top of the post using your drill and 2-inch deck screws.

    Attach all four sides and continue to work your way up four levels using the 72-inch planks for the front and back, and the 10-inch planks for the sides. You can continue to add the 72-inch boards at the back for two more levels.

  5. Step 5 Attach the Support Beams for the Flower Bed

    A person drills into a piece of lumber.

    Use screws to secure three 10-inch planks directly across the inner backside of the planter where the cantilever planks will rest.

    On top of those, add the three cantilever beams that will support the plywood bottom of your raised garden bed planter.

  6. Step 6 Attach the Remaining Deck Boards

    A person attaches a piece of lumber to the garden bed.
    A person attached another piece of lumber to the garden bed.

    Use the 28-inch planks for the long top cantilever side pieces and secure those with screws. Then, drill the remaining 72-inch planks on the front of the garden bed. This will be where the soil goes.

  7. Step 7 Cut and Set your Plywood for the Base

    A person cuts a sheet of plywood using a circular saw.
    A person places a cut piece of plywood into the garden bed.

    To finish your planter, cut your plywood to the inner dimensions of the top of the planter box. Set the plywood in, and line with landscaping fabric or poly sheeting to secure. 

  8. Step 8 Add Soil and Start Gardening

    The finished raised garden bed is shown on a deck.

    Finally, all that’s left to do is add your soil and plant flowers, herbs or veggies, and get ready to love the convenience of a waist-high accessible raised garden bed. Enjoy!

What You Need for This Project

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