Directions for building a raised vegetable garden bed

Asked February 7, 2017, 3:29 PM EST

Hello! I am a master gardener and trying to learn more about building raised vegetable garden beds. Page 407 of the Handbook provides some guidance, and I tried to find additional information on the extension web site. 1) where may I find actual directions for building a bed? 2) please advise on cost-effective, available materials ( cedar versus hardwood, etc) 2(a) are there any updates to chemically treated wood? For example, pressure-treated wood. 3) what are the preferable dimensions? For example, I've often heard that four feet width is good, because you can reach across to the center from either side. Also, what is the preferred depth for the central Maryland coastal plain? 4) any additional insight/advise will be appreciated! For background, I have had an organic community garden for almost 20 years and have decided to experiment with a few raised beds. Thank you! AACO MG

Anne Arundel County Maryland vegetable raised bed vegetable gardens

3 Responses

We are happy you asked.
Take a look at this link to our video on how to make a raised garden bed: http://extension.umd.edu/news/video/how-build-raised-bed

and this one shows different types of raised beds: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TKE2Ya7k9-0&list=PL13D4BEA3D39CE765&index=34

They should answer many of your questions.
As far as depth goes, it depends on whether it is soil underneath. If so, 4" depth is fine, even deeper is better.
A typical raised bed is 4x8 for the reasons you mentioned, but there are other variations as well.
Today's pressure treated wood is considered safe for use in food gardens. This is referred to as Alkaline copper quaternary or 'ACQ' lumber.
Jon Traunfeld, our Extension Fruit and Vegetable Specialist (Director, and MG Coordinator) is scheduled to teach MG's in Anne Arundel County on February 14th and could answer questions at that time as well.

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Thank you much!
i think I've been making this more difficult than necessary. The videos were extremely helpful. Somehow, I overlooked them. I do plan to attend the AACO MG monthly meeting, so I can learn more then.
Thank you again.