FULL ARTICLE HERE: https://www.aconcordcarpenter.com/raised-garden-bed.html I choose to use 1x8 cedar to build my raised garden bed. Using thicker boards would make the bed heavier and more durable, but also more costly. I decided that I wanted to experiment with minimal fasteners so I cut slots into the 4x4 leg posts to accept the side boards. The best way to do this is with a dovetail joint. A dovetail joint is a joinery technique most commonly used in woodworking joinery. It used no fasteners, and is known for its resistance to being pulled apart. Cutting the Raised Garden bed I decided on a leg height, using a miter saw I cut all 4 posts to 31” high. At this height I can get 3 legs out of one 96” long post. My lumberyard stocks 8-foot 4x4s. Leg and Side Connection - Dovetail Slots I used a router and dovetail bit to cut slots into two sides of each 4x4 leg post. My design called for post caps so I cut the slot ?” longer than the side material. This allowed me room to later mount the cap and keep it from touching the side boards. Cutting the Raised Garden Bed Side Panels I wanted to achieve an internal width [Side to Side] of 15.75so I added and doubled the depth of my dovetail slot [X2] to that measurement and cut the boards on a miter saw. The internal depth [Front to Back] of the beds was going to be 31.75. I did the same procedure of doubling the depth of the slot and adding it to the length of the board. Note – these boards will receive a dovetail on the ends and eventually slide down into the 4x4 post slot. Adding the depth the slots are needed to achieve this. Assembling the Side to the Posts I slid the side panels into the 4x4 post legs. I used a sanding block to ease the dovetails on the side pieces to allow them to slide into the slot better. Building the Bottom of the Raided Garden Bed The raised garden bed panels help hold the entire structure together. I decided that the bottom of the bed would have 1x8 cedar boards, spaced ?” apart for drainage. We’d line the inside of the bed with landscape fabric to keep the soil inside the bed. To secure the bottom boards I added a 1-1/2” wide ribbon strip along the bottom perimeter of the garden bet. I used plenty of 1-1/4” screws to secure it to the side panels. This ribbon strip supports the 1x8 bottom boards. Tip: Cedar splits easy. Make sure to pretrial any screw holes. The bottom boards are then fastened to the ribbon strip with 1-1/4” rust resistant screws. Building and Mounting the Post Caps I used some 2x6 cedar to make the post caps. I cut the caps on my miter and table saw so they overlapped the post 3/4” on all four sides. Once I had the caps cut to size, I used my table saw to rip a bevel on all four sided of the cap top. The bevel adds a nice aesthetic feature and also serves to shed water. I secured the post caps with construction adhesive and allowed it to dry. Afterwards I will add long 16- penny galvanized finish nails or screw the caps down and hide the screw heads with plugs. Read more on How To Install Wood Plugs Lining the Bottom of the Garden Bed To keep the soil from falling through the ?” drainage slots I added landscape fabric to the bottom of the bed. I cut the fabric a few inches longer on all sides, and added a few staples to hold it in place until soil is added. Soil for Raised Garden Beds The soil blend that you put into your raised bed is the “secret sauce,” to its success. Fill the beds with a mix of topsoil, compost, and other organic material, such as manure, to give your plants a nutrient-rich environment. Ready to Plant Once the raised garden bed planters were finished and filled, it was time to start planting!
How to Build A Raised Cedar Planting Bed