3 tier raised bed

So, as usual, I became bored and thought I’d have a go at making something I’d thought about doing for a few years now. The idea originated from Homebase and my Grandfather. Homebase always want to charge ridiculous amounts of money for their raised beds and planters, when all it needs is: thinking, wood and screws. My grandfather was never one to pay for something, when he thought he could make it himself…unfortunately, his craft skills were always wanting, mainly straight lines that is!

So, I made it. A 3 Tier Raised bed At a fraction of the cost for the size I wanted – my garden is quite long – and it took 1 hour to make (If you’re using an electric saw.)

I did needed to shave some concrete off the brick border (layer down badly by the previous owner,) a simple and crude construction, but produces a fine finish.

All that is is needed is as follows:

– 8 x planks of 2.4m decking (Wickes for £4 a plank.)

– 2″ wood screws or decking screws

– Wood saw (I used a table top circular saw for ease.)

– Electric drill and bits (I also used an aged pump action screw driver as they are amazing!)

6 planks I kept at the same length, no trimming as I wanted it to be as long as possible. My border was 70cm wide, so I aimed at 69cm to give a bit of squeezing room. After considering that I wanted 3 beds, obviously I had to divide it by 3 and take into consideration the width of the decking boards themselves. So the final end pieces were: 18cm, 41cm and 64cm (the boards were 2.5cm wide and I had them either side of the end pieces – see picture.) You should also consider the width of the saw blade you’re using.  Mine, being a table top, is 3mm wide, which made measurements and cutting a little tricky.

After all the boards are cut to size, measure the width of the decking plank at each end of the 2.4m boards, so you know where to drill and where the middle is, otherwise you’ll screw it all up (pun intended.) Drill 2 holes at either end of the board and then place the pre-cut end pieces, in their end and drill through.  Always drill smaller holes than the screws first, to avoid splitting the wood – I learnt that one the hard way many. Years ago, also makes screwing things together easier and the screw isn’t forcing itself into the wood, just squeezing in.

Repeat the process at both ends and on all the pieces, you’ll end up with 3 different sized beds. The last part it to combine them together and bind them.

With the last bit of decking I sliced off 3cm wide pieces and drilled 2 holes in them, like vampire puncture marks, ready to guide the screws in. I made 10 of these as I used 3 on the back and 2 on the sides. No the strongest joining, but it’ll hold it all together.

If you want to make it extra secure, you can add corner spikes of wood to hammer it into the ground, but I found it heavy enough (definitely when picking it up!) not to need this and when it is full of soil, it will be very difficult to shift.

In the end, the result is as above. If I had thought more about it when making it, I would have taken more photos, but it was very spur of the moment.

Update: I’ve just done a few calculations and the volume this holds is as follows:

Bottom tier = 180L

Mid tier = 116

Top tier = 51L

This gives a grand total of 347L for the whole thing (I would round up to 350, for soil compaction.)

This should make it easier to know how much soil/compost you will need in order to fill it. Do bare in mind, you may need a bit less, depending on how many plant you, well, plant.