RAISED

A raised garden bed. (Fotolia.com / June 16, 2014)

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.

To find more DIY project costs and to post comments and questions, visit http://www.diyornot.com and http://www.m.diyornot.com on smartphones.

Pro Cost -- DIY Cost -- Pro time -- DIY Time -- DIY Savings -- Percent Saved

$560 -- $450 -- 3.8 -- 5.5 -- $110 -- 20 Percent

(c) 2014 GENE AND KATIE HAMILTON, DISTRIBUTED BY TRIBUNE CONTENT AGENCY, LLC.