People create raised beds not only for vegetable gardens but also for flowerbeds, and the styles and shapes that you are able to create are almost unlimited. For a simple, easy-to-build project with a unique design, a hexagonal flowerbed can be built in less than a day. Whether you are going to use annuals or perennials, you will be ready to plant and enjoy your raised hexagonal flowerbed for years to come.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Tape measure
- Square-end shovel
- 6 2-by-2 inch stakes, 16 inches long (point on one end, if possible)
- 12 2-by-6 inch cedar boards, 4 feet long
- Hammer and nails
- Rubber mallet (optional)
Determine where you want your raised flowerbed to be. Pick a site that is easy to access for maintenance, receives at least 4 to 6 hours of direct sunlight a day and can be watered easily either by hand or with an irrigation system.
Measure out your area in a hexagon shape with all sides running 4 feet long. You may want to mark off the location using sticks pushed into corner points on the ground connected by string or environmentally friendly spray paint, or some opt for sprinkling a line of flour to mark the bed.
Use your square-end shovel to remove the sod, or top layer, of the garden area. This includes the grass and its roots, which usually has you digging up the top 3 to 4 inches of the ground. Create a shallow trench about 2 inches deep running along all the edges of the bed and 4 inches wide.
Set a corner stake down on the ground running vertically. Lay two of the 2-by-6 inch boards side by side horizontally with the stake just under one end. Be sure the top edges and side edges of the stake and boards are flush to one another, leaving 4 inches of the stake extending out at the bottom. Nail two nails into each board and through the stake to secure. Repeat this step to create the other five wall portions.
Set the wall pieces around the bed in a hexagonal shape. Have a friend prop up each wall piece while you drive the stakes into the ground using your hammer or a rubber mallet. Keep the shape of the hexagon by overlapping the stake points and the ends of the next wall unit. Each wall unit should sit level in the trench with the ends butted up against the adjacent wall pieces.
Connect the wall units together by nailing two nails through each board end into the post of the adjacent unit at each intersection. This will secure the unit and keep it stable. Line the bottom and walls with black garden plastic, if desired, to keep soil from escaping and weeds and grasses from entering the bed.
Fill the bed with garden soil until the soil line is about one inch from the top of the boards. Your soil will settle over time, so keep some extra garden soil on hand for when you notice your 1-inch gap getting larger. Either plant seeds or transplant seedlings from your local greenhouse or garden centre, and water.
Tips and warnings
- You may want to consider starting to compost in your backyard. The scraps from your kitchen and yard can create rich soil without the expense of buying it, thus filling your raised bed when it needs a boost.
- Some gardeners choose to top a raised bed with boards to create seating areas or somewhere to kneel while working in the garden. If you choose this option, purchase boards at least 6 feet long and cut the ends at a 60-degree angle. Nail down into the sides to attach.
- Always wear the correct and appropriate protective gear for any woodworking project.
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