Raised bed gardens offer numerous benefits and are easy to build. In their simplest form, they can be created with a shovel, spade or rake by mounding soil up so that the level area for planting is higher than the sounding area for walking. Beds can be any length you'd like but shouldn't be any wider than 4' so that it's easy to reach into the middle. Some garden gurus like Eliot Coleman recommend narrower bed widths of 30" that can be easily straddled for planting. Although it's not necessary for raised bed gardens to have a frame, many people opt for one either for aesthetic or practical purposes. Frames help delineate which areas are for planting and which are for walking which can be very helpful for family and school gardens where little feet might not know the difference. Frames can be built from a variety materials depending on what you have on hand and the importance of aesthetics: logs, rocks, untreated boards, landscaping timbers, concrete blocks or corrugated metal. The video instructions above are for a 4'x12' frame made out of 2" wooden boards. There various ways to attach the boards to one another. You can use 4" deck screws, brackets or buy ready-made corners where all you need to do is slide the boards in and attach them with screws. Photo credit: Conomike Video credit: GardenFork.tv
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