This article will describe an alternate method to building a standard Citizen Gardener raised bed box. The advantage to this method over the standard design is that it uses slightly less wood, wastes less wood, and is slightly simplified. The disadvantage is the inside diameter of the box is a little less than a full 4′ across, so you can’t get a full 4 ‘squares’ across.
The reason we used this method for one of the classes was that we used cedar wood instead of standard white wood, and couldn’t get the cedar in the 10′ sizes we needed. It worked out fine, so I wanted to provide this write-up so everyone can see another possible way to build boxes when making their raised beds for backyard vegetable gardening.
Materials (rough-cut cedar lumber)
- QTY 2: 2 x 8 – 8′ (2 x 10 – 8′ would be more preferable because it gives more soil depth)
- QTY 1: 2 x 3 – 8′ (2 x 2 – 8′ is also OK)
- QTY 28: 3″ deck screws (1 lb box is enough)
- Outdoor wood glue (waterproof)
- Cut both of the 2×8-8′ in half so you have 4 48″ pieces
- Cut out 4 7″ pieces out of the 2×3-8 (cut to 9″ if using 2 x 10 lumber)
Using waterproof outdoor wood glue, attach the small end of the 2 x 3 piece at the measurement you just made, and clamp to hold temporarily.
Flip the board over, drill pilot holes to prevent wood from splitting, and then screw in 2 or 3 deck screws from the outside face of the board.
All 4 boards are built the same way, the picture below shows 8 boards, enough for 2 beds.
Lay the four sides down on a flat, hard surface to assemble. Glue the joints where the wood touches, drill pilot holes, and use deck screws to attach all the corners. Be sure the sides are even and the joints are tight before screwing the screws in. (it is often necessary to remove all the screws and retighten) The glue should ooze out of the joint when it is tight.