how to extreme

Build a Circular Raised Garden Bed

Construction How-To, Landscaping, Landscaping, Outdoor Living April 14, 2017 Sonia


Dig a Moat. I cut an edge and dug a moat using a garden spade. The earth gives the bottoms of the poles some backing and support and makes them easier to set.

Cut an edge and dig a moat. Pile the dirt in the center.

Measure and Cut. To get the Stonehenge (Planthenge) effect, I cut the poles between 22 and 28 inches and angled my chainsaw slightly differently in each cut. The sawbuck makes it easy to slash out quick marks and get four pieces out of an 8-ft. pole.

Set a pole in the sawbuck, make your marks and make the cuts.

The chainsaw was fun to use on this project. There I no better tool for making quick cuts in big pieces of wood.

The sawbuck stabilizes the work and keeps the saw out of the dirt for clean, fast cuts.

Setting Poles. Get two poles reasonable plumb, set them in the moat and bomb a structural screw in there to lock them together.

Rock’em and lock’em. Make sure the posts are reasonably plumb first.

Level + eyeball = on the money.

Eyeball it. We checked for plumb every few poles with a 2-foot level. However, they’re rough poles, not planed dimensional lumber, so we also stepped back every so often and took a glance to see if it looked right. This is one those times where the tool is a guide but in the end you trust your eye. It knows what looks right.

Mix and match the last few poles to get a combination that works. Note that the space on the left of the photo is for the hose chase. I kept it open by leaving a pole loose.

Outer Circle, Last Log. Since the poles I used varied in size from 4-5 inches or so, once I got to within about 2 feet of closing the circle, I did a mix and match of poles I already cut to see which combination of heights and widths fit best.

Ripping wedges served two purposes: Secure the landscape fabric and beef up the connections.

Install the semi-circular wedges with 3-inch screws. I started the screws first to make it easier.

Rip Cuts and Wedges. Necessity being the mother of invention I realized, as I got tangled up in landscape fabric, that wedges would be a great way to hold the fabric in place against the inside of the outer circle. Luckily, the chainsaw—mine’s a Stihl—rips as well as it cross-cuts. After securing the bottom of the pole in my sawbuck, I ripped some semi-circles off the edges of the poles.