Have you seen the prices for raised beds? I love gardening in raised beds, but I do not love how expensive those raised bed kits can be. So I went to Lowes and poked around a bit to see what I could come up with.
To start with I found some 8 foot boards that were 10" x 2" ...
This is a great thickness. They're meant for construction and so are not as pretty (or as expensive) as the 1 inch thick boards but the ten-by-twos should stand up in the garden much better.
And I love that the guys at Lowes were willing to cut the boards for me. I had each eight foot board cut into a three foot length and a five foot length. So each raised bed will be 3'x5' and requires only two boards. (Cost, so far, per bed about $16.)
But how does it go together -- did I find any "corner connectors" like the raised bed kits have? Well, sort of. Not click and snap connectors, but nail in place L-bracket corner braces work just as well.
The galvanized steel should hold up to the weather for many years to come and even though I decided to go with 2 per corner for the strength, they're still cheap at 51 cents. (Bringing the total cost in at about $21 per raised bed.)
I attached two L-brackets to each end of my 3' boards, using the nails I found under the garden shed when I moved in. I think they might have been roofing nails -- but who cares? They were free and I have pounds of them.
The three foot boards stood on end nicely to be nailed down to the five foot boards. Two inches thick really was a good choice, a one incher would have fallen flat.
I didn't get a picture of the next step because that involved balancing the other five foot board on top of the two end boards as they stuck up in the air, and then nailing down that second five foot board, flipping the frame over and securing the L-brackets on that side. Taking a picture too would have made it even more complicated. :D Because I didn't bother with buying nails the right size, and because my free nails are longer than two inches, they came through the outside of the boards. Not a problem. I just pounded them over and hammered them flat. Now they're even more secure and less likely to pull out. (I think that's an example of "all things work to the good..." don't you?)
And there it is. A raised bed ready and waiting.... the compost to fill it (them -- I made 3) will be delivered this weekend and I've got lettuce and snap peas in a hurry to be planted as soon as there's soil in the bed frame. Hooray Spring!