Gardening continues to be a favorite pastime, and more gardeners are discovering that raised beds make it easier. What's not to like about bringing plants to a higher level so you don't have to bend down and work on your knees? You can grow flowers, herbs and vegetables and work the soil while sitting on a ledge -- a major plus for anyone with a bad back or not-so-bendable knees. You can design and locate the raised garden bed where the growing conditions are best.
A variety of raised bed systems are sold at lawn and garden centers, in gardening catalogs and online, where we found several at http://www.eartheasy.com. They offer raised garden beds made of cedar, recycled plastic or composite material with a system of timbers that connect with anchor joints and screws.
To install the bed, first find a level surface. Slide the timbers into the joints and use the zinc-plated steel screws to secure them. The anchor joints are pressed into stacker joints in the ground. To help drive the screws, it's handy to have a power drill.
A 2-foot-high, 4-foot-by-4-foot raised bed made of recycled material costs $450. The shipping cost is additional and varies depending on where you live (as do the cost of the soil, fertilizer and plants). To have a landscape service assemble it, fill it with soil, amend the soil and plant it, figure an additional $110.
Pro Cost -- DIY Cost -- Pro time -- DIY Time -- DIY Savings -- Percent Saved
$560 -- $450 -- 3.8 -- 5.5 -- $110 -- 20 Percent
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