First, we scouted out the best location to place this. Because once it is filled with soil, its not going to be moved easily!
First, we checked for sun exposure. The bed will be used only to grow greens, not tomatoes, peppers or squashes. So it will thrive if it receives 5-6 hours of sun.
Second: Water. The lawn is overhead sprinkled and we wanted to be sure that it would be watered sufficiently. That will have to be checked more closely after the sprinklers are turned on for the season. For now, its great that they are not on, so the bed can be carefully hand watered with a watering can.
In the photo above, you can see the cuts in the center braces that hold the wooden slats. Putting it together took just a couple of minutes. This bed is 4 feet wide, 4 feet long and 8 inches tall. To fill the box we would need 16 cubic feet of garden soil. Since there is a problem of voles in the area, we stapled a layer of chicken wire to the bottom of the box. The chicken wire was about 3 foot wide, so we overlapped it with 2 layers through part of the box. That should deter those pesky varmints! After that, we added a layer of small rock to help with drainage. We had 3 small bags of rocks just enough to lightly cover the wire.
We bought 3 bags of garden soil, that were each 2.2 cubic feet. According to the label, they expand to 3 Cu. feet. One bag of soil on top of the rock, then a layer of perlite. Some benefits of perlite: prevents compaction - improves aeration and drainage.
Does not decompose - lasts for years.
Stimulates root initiation and vigorous growth. AND much cheaper than vermiculite! But be downwind when you spread it.
Then a layer of straw, more soil to finish up.