How to Build a Raised Vegetable Garden
If you have a kid who loves helping out in the garden but you're always brushing the dirt off their knees, a raised bed may be the perfect addition to your landscape
Age Range: 6 and up
Here's a great project for the budding gardener in your family. This Old House TV landscape contractor Roger Cook recently built a raised garden with a few young friends. It's a simple frame of rot-resistant lumber that holds soil in place and brings it to a height that's easy for everyone to reach without stepping onto precious plants—plus no more dirty knees (or at least fewer dirty knees).
Plant a vegetable patch in your new garden. Kids will have tons of fun caring for their seedlings as they mature. And what better reward is there for a garden well tended than a crisp carrot straight from the earth (washed, of course) or a nice ripe tomato right from the vine.
Roger and the kids made this bed with rot-resistant cedar, a material that's safe around the edible plants it will contain. Cedar will also turn a nice silvery gray as it weathers.
The bed here is 10 feet long, but you can make yours as long as the lumber allows. However, it should be no more than 4 feet wide so that little arms can reach the plants in the middle. Roger cut stakes from 2x4s and angled one end to a point to hold the frame in place and keep the sides from bowing once it's filled with heavy soil.
Vegetable gardens need a lot of light, so Roger and his helpers placed the bed in an area that gets sun for most of the day. To improve drainage and prevent weeds from growing up into the garden, he removed the grass beneath the bed and tilled the earth before adding soil.