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RunnerDuck Raised Bed Project

Raised Garden Beds

     One of the best ways to garden in the back yard is with raised beds. They are easy to get to, they make arranging things easy, they hold water a little better and they look nice.
     I made our raised beds from pressure treated 2" X 12"s. Our beds are in a "U" shape mainly because of the area We had to work with. I started off building a simple frame with butt corners. I supported the corners with pressure treated 4" X 4"s and screwed the whole thing together using deck screws. Be sure and treat the cut ends of all the wood to protect it from rotting in the future.

     Before I filled it up with dirt I cut 1/2" wire mesh to fit under the frame, on the ground. I cut it wide enough so that the frame will hold it in place. I did this to help protect my plants from the local critters. Remember I have an on going battle with moles and I figure this will help keep them out of our garden.
     Remember, if you have a problem with critters check out NOT TONIGHT DEER! Animal Repellents for some good solutions.
     Here is what ours looks like full of winter weeds and before spring planting.
     Since we have a fairly short growing season here in Washington I made an addition to help get an early start. Using the same plans that we did for the cold frame cover,, I made covers for the raised beds. I've had them on for a while and judging from the weeds shown above they seem to work just fine ;-)

I hope this helps with your gardening this year and produces some good vegetables for you.

If you are interested in more information about above ground gardening we would recommend "Square Foot Gardening" by Mel Bartholomew.

Mel also has a great web site all about above ground gardening. Just visit for a ton of information.

Here are some comments from our readers about this project.

Some people have concerns about arsenic leaching out of the treated wood and into their plants.
     It was suggested to build it using bare wood and treating it with a couple of coats of Jasco, Termin-8 Wood Preservative. It's available at most hardware stores.
     If you want to find out more about treated wood you might check out this thread on's list server,
     Marilyn suggests plants that grow with their fruit above ground are less likely to absorb leached chemicals than plants that grow underground like carrots and potatoes.

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