Building a raised bed on flat ground is simple but if you live in an area like mine, finding flat ground is about as easy as finding an honest politician.
Cut up some cardboard boxes and place the cardboard on the ground inside the frame, covering all exposed grass and soil. This step is optional but it helps keep grass and weeds from growing up through the soil. All that’s left now is to fill your new garden bed with square foot gardening soil mix and start planting. If you know of another way to build a raised garden bed on a slope, leave a comment below with your ideas or website link. We wanted the beds to be level, to ensure even water distribution (in beds that are not level, plant roots at the high end get less water than those at the low end.) and we like the way it looks when the beds are level. The project is simplified by building the bed ‘in place’, requiring no measuring of the slope grade, and can be built working alone – you don’t need someone on the other end to hold boards or move the finished bed in place.
Select a piece of lumber wide enough to fill the gap between the box sides and the ground at its widest point. We have a two-way sloping, south facing lot and it has been a challenge to find a raised bed design that will work. Using this method, building the garden box itself can easily be accomplished in twenty minutes or less.


Then, you’ll use a pick axe to dig out a narrow trench in the slope for the frame to lay in. That measurement is roughly how deep you’ll need to dig the trench for the uphill side of your box.
Then take the four lumber connectors and hammer one connector into each side of the box on the inside, fastening the top and bottom securely together.
The sloping ground provides good drainage for the orchard, but presented some problems for the vegetable beds. The technique described here will work on varied grades and even if the slope runs off in two directions. I had a buddy of mine who is a San Jose handyman help me build about 12 boxes for my garden in the spring. If you are trying to learn how to build a raised garden bed on a slope, let me show you how I built mine and maybe it will save you some headaches. I found one solution using a quick online search but it required using a saw to rip boards into wedge shapes to level up the bottom of the box. My local big box home and garden store offered the first two cuts free and charged 25? for each additional cut. View each of the other corners from the center of the box and make sure they are put together in the same manner.


If you have a very mild slope, you might be able to get by with building one frame out of 12″ boards and skipping step 2. The two side trenches heading down the slope will need to be dug the same depth on the uphill side but will gradually become shallower as they head downhill.
Building raised beds was a better solution because they held together for years and required no maintenance. This way you know where the cross-spanners are located so you don’t dig into them during future plantings and harvestings.
The trench on the downhill side of your box will be the shallowest trench of the four and may not require any digging at all.
Now you can stand back and see the box is level both across the width and along the length.
If you choose to build a larger bed, make sure to lay the bed out with the longer sides running across to the slope, not down it.



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