Raised Bed Corners
How raised bed corners are connected together is the trickiest part of building any raised bed vegetable garden. Lumber wants to swell, shrink and twist, especially when it is wet on one side (inside where the soil is) and dry on the other (the outside).
On top of that, screws driven into the end grain of wood don't bite very well, so you can't just screw the side of one board into the end of another without some kind of reinforcement.
So I've searched the web for some good sturdy raised bed corners that solve this problem quickly and easily. You can click on the photo below to see many different choices that include detailed information and reviews:
Any of these corners are good choices. They save you work, because you really only need a screwdriver (and perhaps a hand saw to cut your boards to length) to put together your own raised bed.
In addition to holding the boards straight, pre-made corners solve another challenge. The weight of all the potting soil, plants and water on the inside of a raised bed garden exerts a lot of outward pressure, and these corners will not "blow out".
If you are only building a small, 6" deep raised bed, there is not that much outward pressure, but the deeper and larger a raised bed that you build, the heavier the lumber and the stronger the corners will need to be.
For example, raised bed gardens intended for wheelchair access need to
be a couple of feet high, so they need to be built of strong timbers
such as 4x4s or 4x6s. These are too big for any of the pre-made corners
shown here. If you want to build one of these large, deep raised beds,
see the Raised Bed Construction article.
Raised bed corners come in different heights and
designs, and some are stackable so that you can turn a 6” high bed into a 12” high bed using the same style corners.
Some are fixed
at 90°, and some are actually hinged so you can make raised
bed gardens in polygon shapes or even with curved-edges, rather than
just squares or rectangles.
So the things to consider before choosing which style to buy are:
- Are they only for square or rectangular beds, or do they swivel to different angles so I can make other shapes?
- Are they stackable, so that if I want to make my raised beds go higher later on, I can?
- Am I going to need anything besides a screwdriver?
- Can I live with how they look? (Some are more aesthetically pleasing than others!)
If I already have lumber, are they the right size to carry the lumber I
already have on hand? (Finish lumber is usually 1 ½” thick, whereas
rough-sawn can 1 ¾” – 2” thick.)
For more details about specific aspects of raised bed vegetable gardening, visit these related articles:
- Raised Bed Garden Designs: Photo Gallery
This is a photo gallery featuring 9 different raised bed garden designs. The close-up photographs of the corner details should make it easy for those who are even a little handy to duplicate the construction. Make the dimensions fit your taste or space.
- Raised Bed Garden Kits
The fastest way to get up and growing is with a raised bed garden kit. Just open the box, assemble, fill with potting mix, and plant!. Available in many different designs, raised bed garden kits also come in different sizes and depths to fit your needs. This article is a side-by-side comparison of the best.
- Raised Bed Construction
No matter what design of raised bed garden you choose to build, observe these construction details which hold true for all raised bed construction. By following these simple do's and don'ts you can build a custom raised bed any width and length you choose, out of 2x6s, 2x8s, 4x4s, 4x6s or any other sturdy lumber.
- French Intensive Raised Bed Garden
There is another type of raised bed, too: one with no frame at all! This is the way I have been gardening most of my life, and it is called double-dug, French intensive raised bed gardening. It costs nothing for building materials or imported potting soil, honors and supports natural soil ecology, and is sustainable indefinitely. You can watch a You Tube video showing how to use the method, if you would like to compare it with framed raised beds.
- Raised Strawberry Bed
Everyone loves raised beds, and everyone loves strawberries. A raised strawberry bed combines the best of both worlds.
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