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Growing Vegetables in a Raised Bed, Metal Trough or Pots

Quickly Build a Raised Bed With Just a Hammer!


Use Correct Materials

Select non-toxic materials to construct your raised bed.   Don't use pressure treated lumber which contains toxins that will leach into your soil and affect your vegetables.
An affordable alternative is untreated yellow pine that                      typically lasts 2-5 years.  Options to consider for durability of 7-10 years include:  Douglas fir, Cedar or composite decking.


Material List for a 2" x 10" x 8' Raised Bed

  • (8) Oldcastle Planter Wall Blocks (See Photo)​   @$2.48 each

  • (3) 2" x 10" x 8 ft. untreated yellow pine board @ $10 each, douglas fir, cedar or composite decking. (Note: ask your lumber store to cut one board in half for two (2) 4' lengths.)   

  • (4) 24"x 1/2"  rebar rods for stability @ $2.47 each



  1. Select a level site for raised bed.

  2. Mow or use weed-eater to cut the grass or weeds as close to the ground as possible. Then spray stubble with this organic weed killer:   Recipe: 1 gallon vinegar; 2 cups Epsom Salts; 1/4 cup Dawn Liquid Soap. Mix and put in sprayer.  Spray on a sunny day after dew disappears.

  3. In each corner, stack two Oldcastle Raised Wall Blocks on top of the other to create 10" height.

  4. Next, take one of the 8' boards and slide the end into the side of one pair of stacked raised bed corner block. 

  5. Slide the other end of the board into the opposite corner block to create the longest side. 

  6. Slide one 4' board into the short end of the unused pair of corner blocks. TipLeave the other short end open for easy access to bring soil in with a wheelbarrow. 

  7. For stability, use a hammer to drive put a 24" rebar rod into the center hole of each stacked corner block.  

  8. Check that the box is level and not on a slope.


Fill Raised Bed with Soil

Money saving tips:  

  1. Big garden centers will deeply discount open or torn bags of soil amendments after weekend sales.  Check for these bargains early on Monday morning​.

   2.Some counties sell bulk compost made from yard waste at                 $25.00 per pickup truck.  If you have a large area to fill, order                topsoil by the truckload to get the most affordable rate. 

  3.  Have a volunteer garden party to make it fun to do the work!

  1. Before adding soil:  Although some might line the bottom of the box with landscape material or heavy landscape plastic for weed prevention, but we prefer to used 6-8 layers of cardboard or black and white newspapers which will decompose and allow worms to nourish your garden. 

  2. Add soil. You may choose to use packaged garden soil or make your own with our Basic Garden Soil Recipe.

  3. Close end of raised bed with final short board. 

  4. Fill soil to three inches below top edge of bed. (note: Some gardeners add a bag of worm castings or Mycorrhizal Fungi 1/2 cup for every 4×8 raised garden box)

  5. Level soil with a rake. 

  6. Lightly water bed to settle the soil.

  7. Now you are ready to plant following plant spacing recommendations.  See Vegetables A-Z

Raised Beds Built with just a Hammer: Courses

Container Gardening

Do not use Garden Soil in containers.
Remember - Vegetables raised in pots still must be in a location with at least 6 hours of daily sunlight



Mix in a wheelbarrow:

1 part peat moss

1 part vermiculite or perlite

1 part compost or Black Kow



Start with a clean pot.

Check for drainage holes in bottom. No need to add drainage rocks.

Fill pot halfway with potting soil. 

Gently moisten soil.

Carefully loosen roots of plant and add to soil.

Fill pot soil to within 2-3 inches of top of container

Water soil thoroughly.

To reduce plant shock you can add Quick Start according to directions.



Raised Beds Built with just a Hammer: Testimonials
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