How to Make Raised Vegetable Beds
Updated: May 10
Raised vegetable beds are a great way to grow your own fruit and veg - you can control the quality of the soil, get better drainage and easier access for planting, weeding, and harvesting.
We created our raised vegetable beds using wooden railway sleepers - here's a step-by-step guide on how to create your own raised beds using timber sleepers.
What you'll need for two raised vegetable beds:
2.4m x 1.2m vegetable beds:
- 12 wooden railway sleepers (100mm x 200mm x 2.4m)
- 40 x 150mm timber screws
Choose where in your garden your raised beds will go, they'll need plenty of sunlight and if possible, to sit on level ground. Then, measure out the size of the bed you want to build - we chose to make ours 2.4(L) x 1.2(W) x 0.4(H), using a total of six railway sleepers per bed.
Cut four sleepers in half (we did this using a mitre saw). You should now have eight 1.2m long sleepers and eight 2.4m long sleepers.
Place four sleepers down to create the first layer - like so:
If you're building your raised vegetable beds on flat and level ground, go ahead and screw one 1.2m and one 2.4m sleeper together to make a right-angle. If you're assembling on uneven ground (as we were), create a stable base using stakes, bricks or the other railway sleepers first.
Screw the other railway sleepers together to complete the base.
Place the second layer on top, overlapping the base layer like so:
Screw the second layer together using two screws per end (8 screws per layer), before screwing the two layers together, we recommend angling one screw down per corner.
Repeat for the second vegetable bed.
Step 8 - Optional
We used a mesh tarp to line our raised beds as it stops weeds growing through the base and allows better control of the soil - the mesh also lets water seep through so the vegetable roots don't rot. Simply line the beds with the tarp and use a staple gun to attach.
Once the sleepers are in place, it's time to fill them with soil. Choose a high-quality soil mix that's appropriate for vegetable gardening, and be sure to fill the bed all the way to the top.
You're finished! We hope you enjoy your new raised vegetable beds and the fruit, veggies or flowers you grow in them.