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How to Make a Raised Bed
Although you can simply clear a spot in the ground and plant, you'll get much better results with a raised bed. Essentially a bottomless box filled with soil mix, raised beds create the best growing conditions and don't require much upkeep beyond watering and minimal weeding. The size is up to you, but for starters a 4-x-4-foot area is manageable, yielding a salad garden that can later be expanded to include other vegetables.
Materials for Your Bed
Customize a raised bed's dimensions as you like. For DIYers, use 4-foot-long sections of 2-x-8-foot lumber. Or you can buy a premade raised-bed garden from a variety of online sources: 4-x-4-foot raised bed, orcaboard.com. 3-x-3-foot bed or 3-x-6-foot bed, Gardener's Supply Company, gardeners.com.
Where to Plant
Choose a flat, bright spot in an area that gets at least 6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight a day.