My Vegetable Garden Layout Part 2 (Raised Beds)

It may seem like I’m jumping ahead a bit but here is a picture of our first raised bed. I’ll be putting together a step by step post on it later. There is still one more bed to build and both of them need to be prepared for planting. As you can see the small bed is actually a little higher than the other two. This allows for some slightly deeper roots and because I thought it looked good! I didn’t use any corner posts even though that would have made it more sturdy. This was simpler. If I need to I’ll reinforce the joints later with some 1″x8″ wood. The best wood to use is either cedar or redwood but those can be expensive. I used pine. Why? It’s cheaper. I don’t think it will last more than a couple years and by then my plans may have changed for these beds. I didn’t use pressure treated lumber as I don’t trust the chemical process well enough to chance putting strange chemicals into our veggies. I still need to get the bed into it’s final position but that will have to wait until the second bed is made.

13 thoughts on “My Vegetable Garden Layout Part 2 (Raised Beds)”

  1. I like your design, Dave. Just a comment about your avoidance of pressure treated timber (lumber to you Americans!). I had some concerns myself until I read the results of some quite comprehensive testing of plants grown in raised beds built with treated and untreated timber respectively. The results showed traces of the chemicals used in pressure treatment only in the plants growing immediately adjacent to the timber and then only when the raised beds were very new, i.e. once the timber has dried, the leaching of chemicals ceases. I now use pressure treated pine, but I leave the timber to dry for a few weeks before I fill the beds with growing medium and start sowing/planting.

  2. Looking great! Interesting comment by keith, I, too have avoided planting food in the treated boxes, but like you say, cedar and redwood are not readily available here and expensive if they can be found. I like your higher square in the middle too. Can’t wait to see them all planted up.

  3. i think the higher box looks great! btw, it is potato planting time in middle tennessee-gotta get these boxes done so you’ll have some potatoes to go with the chives!:)

    keith, i did try to access your my space link. it did not allow me to. maybe because i have to be logged in. i do have a myspace so i am able to do so, but do not know where to look once in there. you are welcomed to email me or post where i should look on here (i don’t think dave will mind) or on my blog or something!

  4. Dave,

    The raised bed design is terrific I especially like the extra high section…if you hadn’t already planned an herb bed that would look good with thyme draping over the edges.


  5. Keith,

    That sounds like an interesting study. I’ve always heard that the arsenic in the older wood bleeds into the soil and the plants. Newer treated timber (or lumber, I think timber sounds better actually just not used to using it) doesn’t use the arsenic process. I just don’t know what it uses and if it’s safe. What study was it that you read. I’d like to use the pressure treated stuff if it doesn’t leech. It’s cheap and holds up well to the elements.


    Thanks! I just thought that square gave it a little extra elevation and some variation.


    I’ve been debating on the potatoes. The one’s I tried last year didn’t do well but in a raised bed they might do a lot better.


    That’s an excellent question. One that should be a post. Stay tuned!


    You can never have enough time…errr…thyme right!? 🙂

  6. This post is especially helpful to me. I am just now (for the first time ever) planting some vegetables. I keep hearing/reading that raised gardening is easier/better and the way you spelled it out gave me the answers to some of the “why’s” I’ve been looking for.

    I’ll keep reading because I have lots to learn. Thanks.

  7. I love the idea of a higher corner bed! My husband and I are putting together raised beds for veggies & herbs this spring, and I may borrow your idea for our garden. 🙂

  8. Thanks for posting your design! I had been wondering about doing something the same in the corner of our backyard but didn't think of having the higher square in the middle like that! Hopefully my husband will build me this in the spring! Many thanks…


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