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We had had the rain for an almost entire week. This is definitely not helpful when you are trying to work in the garden. But we were able to start and build a few raised beds for the front yard as part of the transformation challenge last weekend. And today my Mr. CanDo has finished the last of them. I think this is a perfect opportunity to share our tips with you if you are wondering about how to build irregular shape raised garden beds 😉
Many times, when it comes to construction of the garden raised beds, gardeners just chose to build them in a rectangular shape. There are a few reasons for it:
first, they are easier to build. You just measure and cut the desired length of the boards. It saves you time and sometimes money, as there is little to no waste of the materials.
second, they look pretty in the garden. They can be placed in a symmetrical pattern, and symmetry usually is very pleasing to the human eye.
In our case, it would not be very helpful as our front yard itself is not a rectangular field. Also, it has a slope on two sides and a few of the trees growing which eventually affects the layout of the raised beds as well.
So, I got an idea!
I knew we needed to build the beds around our fig tree. And the only way to do it in an interesting way was to build and lay them out in an irregular form and shape.
So keep reading if you want to find out
How to Build Irregular Shape Raised Garden Beds
Before we started building the raised beds, there were a few steps we needed to take. I won’t be writing a lot about each of them but will give you a brief idea of what they are.
First thing first,
Evaluate your site
Is it flat? On the slope? Round? Square? Irregular shape?
This will may dictate what your garden site and beds will look like.
Create a vision for your site
What do you want your garden to be like? Do you want to grow vegetables, flowers, or herbs there? Or maybe all of them?
What style do you like? What style do you want your garden to be like?
How much time and work would you be able to dedicate to your garden maintenance? Are water resources at scarce? Would xeriscaping be your solution to it?
How much sun does your garden get? Is it very different in summer and winter?
Plan your garden
This step will only come after the previous and many questions have been answered. Of course, if you have an unlimited budget, you can create almost anything you desire. Nature will still make its corrections but you can still try and have it all you want.
However, if you are on the budget, or like us, prefer to go with nature and not against it, you will want to use the easily available resources.
As I have mentioned above, we do have slopes on two sides of the front yard, and we are not planning on changing them.
After you have evaluated your site, had a vision for and planned it, it is time to implement your plans!
Building the raised garden beds in the irregular shape
You will need to mark the location of your beds.
Some recommend using a spray paint to mark the location of the beds. If you want to go that way, you may use this non-toxic spray paint.
But we thought we would share with you how we did it. We are not saying it is the right way to do it. It is simply a way it has worked for us 😉
I put the site plan onto quad paper (not to scale) and marked down an approximate layout and location of the beds. Mr. CanDo later made a prettier plan with a drawing software he uses.
But because it was not to scale, and because we wanted to get a visual idea of what it may look like, we decided to place “markers” of the future raised beds location.
It also helped us to know their exact measurements 😉
Use what you have on hand
We have a lot of leftover timber from various projects, so we thought it would be great to use it as markers.
Simply insert them into the ground where your corners will be and “dance” from there. It is easy to take the stick off the ground and move it to where you think the corner should be.
After you have them all in the desired location, measure each of your beds’ sides and start building.
We had mentioned in this post that we would be using the free pallet wood. They are easy to find here. Mr. CanDo dismantled them using this saw. I was proudly assisting him holding the pallets 🙂
Depending on the size of the pallet wood and your raised bed you will need to either:
a) cut the wood plank to the required length; or
b) assemble a few of them together using a smaller piece of wood on the side which will be the inner side of the bed.
Because the shape of the bed is irregular, the connection in the corners would not be a perfect square angle. Therefore, you will need to cut the end of the wood to the required angle. This is an extra step but will help to create a nicer look.
And here you are.
Now you know how you can build irregular shaped raised garden beds.
We will be lining the inside of the beds with the cardboard to block the grass and weeds and filling it with compost and topsoil.
And I can’t wait to plant our beautiful vegetables and flowers that are currently growing in our greenhouse and waiting to be transplanted outside as soon as the weather permits!
Did you find this post helpful?
Please comment below if you have any questions or need further clarifications. As always, we will be happy to answer them 🙂
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Aaaannd, if you are working on your yard transformation, share your picture on the Instagram with a tag #yardtransformations2018 if you want us to check out your progress as well 😉
This looks great Nat! I love the shape and design of your garden beds. They are already pretty even when they are empty. Can’t wait to see how they look in the summer! Will they all be veggie plots, or are you adding flowers to any?
Thank you so much Deneen! They will be a mix of veggies, herbs (mainly basil), and flowers. We usually complement vegetables with beneficial flowers like marigolds, calendula, and nasturtiums. I can’t wait to see how they will look like in summer either! ?