How to Build a Cedar Raised Garden Bed

Raised bed gardening is quite popular, partly because it allows you to grow ornamental and edible plants in a limited space in a small yard that has hard ground.

Raised beds also have several other advantages. They have superior drainage, less soil compaction, and a good balance of moisture retention, thanks to the high organic matter content of the garden soil you use.

Your plants will thrive and produce higher yields in this rich, moisture-balanced growing environment. In-ground beds produce lower yields and are more difficult to maintain than raised beds.

raised bed

Another reason to appreciate raised beds is that the soil in the frame warms up sooner in the spring than the surrounding ground, giving you a head start on the growing season to maximize harvests. (Read Cinder Block Raised Bed Ideas)

There is no such thing as a “standard” for raised garden beds. Your ideal garden will consider your limited area, physical limitations, personal taste, and general gardening limitations.

Although they make efficient use of small spaces, gardeners are often stumped on the best material to use. While there are many, if you want a weekend job that can get your green thumb working, you can make cedar-raised garden beds.

In our guide, you can learn all you need to know about building a cedar garden bed. By the end, you’ll see that cedar-raised garden beds have their own advantages, as does the innovative design of your raised garden beds.

Is Cedar Good for Raised Garden Bed?

Raised garden bed kits, such as the one described here, can be purchased. These 15-inch deep beds are ideal for deep-rooted plants like tomatoes and blueberry bushes.

Four industrial-strength metal corners are included in each bed, as well as one “rot-resistant timber, hardware, and instructions that have been pre-cut to the proper lengths. (Read Best Mulch For Raised Bed Vegetable Garden)

It’s easy to put together: slide the boards into the corners and secure them with screws. (12′ long beds comprise two 6′ boards joined with in-line connectors.)

Raised beds are easy to set up, plant, and maintain, yielding excellent yields in a small space and requiring less digging and weeding. Deep Root Raised Beds can raise vegetables or create attractive border gardens when installed along the edge of your outdoor space.

Recycled wood is the best option most times. Under the correct conditions, composite wood and masonry materials can also be employed successfully. However, there are many advantages to using cedar.

Raised beds are frequently constructed with cedar lumber. It has natural rot and insect resistance as the wood ages and faces wet and dry conditions. Even when in touch with the soil, eastern red cedar (Juniperus virginiana) is rot resistant and will last for years.

Using cedar is hard to work with, yet you can create stunning border gardens full of backyard plants, and it can be left unfinished to create attractive focal points, as they gray naturally.

Many lumber stores carry West coast cedar (Thuja plicata), which is much easier to work with, albeit it is prone to splitting when used without pre-drilling. The cost is sometimes four to five times Southern yellow pine, and the cedar’s life expectancy in close contact with soil is questioned.

These are sturdy and easy to assemble and are made of durable and naturally rot-resistant wood. Raised bed corners are half-lapped with rods running down the center of the assembly, preventing the corners from nails loosening with time. It’s easy to stack the boards to create beds of various heights.

Long-lasting Western Red Cedar Boards are rot-resistant, easy to assemble and take a few minutes with very few tools. Cedar offers superior strength as the wood expands and contracts, and your raised garden bed is the ideal height for growing vegetables and is completely natural. 

cedar wood

Is Cedar the Best Wood for Garden Beds?

A raised garden bed can grow vegetables and producing high yields to your favorite roses in a compact space.

You can control the spread of wieldy plants, change the soil without affecting an entire patch of ground, and spend hours tending to your crops without putting so much strain on your back or knees.

Depending on your garden space, you can choose from various best-raised garden beds made from cedar. Some offer more depth, while others offer garden boxes that are easier to work with. (Read Raised Bed Vegetable Garden Layout Guide)

You can find ready-made, which can be ideal as nails eventually loosen, yet your raised beds assemble can be made just the right size if you make your own, and nails working loose isn’t an issue.

Types of Raised Garden Beds

There are three types of raised garden beds: raised ground beds supported raised beds and containerized raised beds.

Aside from soil, a raised ground bed requires no additional materials. It’s a basic raised bed with flat-topped mounds that are normally 6 to 8 inches high. Raised ground beds are ideal for gardeners who want to cover a wide area with areas but don’t want to spend money on support frameworks.

A supported raised bed has a frame or edge around it that keeps the soil in. This frame or edge is often made of wood, stone, plastic, or metal. Supported raised garden beds are ideal for sloped or uneven yards, offer a great size, and provide a polished look to gardens.

The sidewalls of a containerized raised bed are taller (10 inches or more). Containerized raised beds look great on lawns, sidewalks, and terraces.

cedar raised bed

Key Considerations for Raised Garden Beds

Size

Consider your space limits while choosing a raised bed’s length and width. The length is restricted by your yard and construction materials.

Your reach governs width. You should be able to reach the bed’s center from either side of the frame without stepping into it. The ideal width is 4 feet.

Most raised beds are 6-12 inches high. Taller raised beds use more soil, but they are easier on your back because you don’t have to bend as far to reach the plants.

If you want the boards to match your patio or fencing, you can stain their exterior. Pins will be the same height.

Ease of Assembly

Raised garden bed kits outperform DIY raised garden beds in terms of assembly. The tools required are far less; they offer easy assembly and take just minutes to set up. Such kits are well suited to individuals who don’t have tools or space to work.

If you want to build your own raised garden bed, you can easily tackle the construction of any shape bed. Assembly takes a couple of hours, and you can easily match your fencing design with your raised cedar garden bed better than a kit. Once you build them, there is nothing more to do with both options, and it takes just a few minutes to complete your soil assembly.

Raised Bed Construction

Here you can find a quick overview of how easy it can be to build your cedar raised bed.

For the sides, use cedar “2 x” boards. These are typically 2′′ x 6′′, but if you don’t have any, you can use 2′′ x 4′′ or 2′′ x 8′′ boards.

Use 4′′ × 4′′s for the corner posts, cut to 10′′ longer than the bed’s required height. If your bed is longer than 8 feet, you’ll need to put extra posts in the middle to prevent bowing and fasten the cross-supports.

The ease and affordability of this particular raised bed design make it easy. If you use untreated cedar boards, the wood and rebar will cost less than $50, and the total time will take less than an hour to complete. (Read Free Landscape Design App)

Although the untreated wood could last five to ten years, the structure of this build allows each board to be replaced without dismantling the entire bed.

You’ll need the following materials to make a 4-by-8-foot bed:

  • A rubber mallet
  • Rebar
  • Newspaper or cardboard
  • Soil to fill the finished frame

1. Position your boards.

Place the boards on a level patch of ground with their inner corners touching. Place one longboard on its side and hammer two pieces of rebar 1 foot from each corner, a few inches deep into the ground, with a rubber mallet.

2. Prop up the sides.

For interim support, place a piece of rebar in the center of each. After that, prop up the second long side and make any necessary adjustments to your frame’s alignment. Then, 1 foot from each corner of the second long side, hammer rebar a few inches deep.

3. Add support.

Remove the temporary supports and hammer rebar a few inches deep a foot from each corner of the short sides. Along each long side, add two pieces of rebar 2 feet apart. When the frame is filled with soil, these will help to support it. Then hammer in the rebar until it’s exposed 6 to 10 inches above the ground.

4. Fill it up.

Wet the bottom of the frame and line it with newspaper or cardboard. Fill your bed with soil until it reaches a few inches above the top.

How to Build a Cedar Raised Garden Bed (2)

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