I somehow wound up with two extra tomato plants and nowhere to plant them. Tomato plants take up a lot of space when they get mature, so my preference is to plant them away from the rest of the vegetables. I solved my dilemma by building a raised bed in a sunny location on the edge of my yard.
Here is a photo of the basic materials – three six-inch wide by six-foot long cedar fence boards. Also used were a few screws, and 4 pieces of re-bar about two feet long. The boards cost about two dollars each at my home center, the screws and rebar I already had – so my total cost was less than ten dollars. It’s important to use cedar or redwood because these woods don’t rot. I chose cedar because it is cheaper and doesn’t split as much. I used 3-inch general purpose screws, but ideally stainless steel or galvanized deck screws would be best so that they won’t rust.
The fence boards have angled corners on one end, so I cut that end off, leaving each board 70-inches long. Two of the boards became the long ends of the raised bed. The third board, I cut into two 35-inch pieces to form the short sides of the bed. You can certainly use a circular saw or table saw, but a hand saw works perfectly fine, is just as fast, and burns a few calories. Next, I simply screwed the long sides to the short sides to make a rectangle.
The area where I wanted the bed to go previously had bermuda grass. Uggh. For a few weeks prior, I sprayed the grass with glyphosate-type herbicide to kill the grass the best I could. This type of herbicide is supposed to only be absorbed by the growing green parts of a plant and not remain active in the soil. Unfortunately, about the only way to get rid of bermuda grass is poison. I dug up as much of the mostly dead grass as I could, turned over and loosened the soil, leveled the area and laid down the cedar rectangle I had made previously.
After checking to see that the bed was level, I used rebar staked around the edges to secure it in place and keep the edges from bowing out once I filled it with soil. Next, I filled it with about 8 cubic feet of garden soil and steer manure from my home center, and set in my tomato plants.