The beds can be any length or height, depending on your available space or needs. The only dimension that counts is the width. The ideal width of each bed should be between 150 and 180 cm so you can reach the center of the bed from both sides easily without having to walk on the soil in the bed.
To make your wooden raised bed you will need landscape timber, 15 cm nails, organic matter to add to the soil in the bed, a builder’s square, a carpenter’s level a hammer and a fork. Remember that when you are adding soil to the bed it is best to mix it with the original soil. This will help water to be drawn up from the surrounding soil outside the bed.
Start your bed construction by marking the area and dimensions of the bed. Remove any surface vegetation from the marked area, level the soil along the lines where the timbers will be positioned. Lay out the first layer of timbers to create a low wooden wall for the planting bed. Use the builder’s square to check the right angles of the structure and the level to check that the timbers are level.
Repeat the process of laying timbers working around the wall, stacking timbers to raise the height of the wall until the wall has reached the required height. In order to keep the structure stable, drive the 15 cm nails into the corner joints on each layer of timbers and on the top row at an angle through the vertical joints.
Turn over the soil inside the bed area and add some extra soil and organic matter to fill the bed. Mix them all well to aid drainage and water movement. Tamp down the soil inside the bed as well as you can to reduce the uneven settling later when the plants will be in place. Finish your bed by planting in the herbs and vegetables. Place them slightly closer than you would plant them in rows in the garden.