Step 1. First start with a fairly thick layer of wet newspapers or flattened wet cardboard boxes on top of the landscape material. Overlapping the sheets makes another organic weed and grass barrier.
Step 2. Add 2 - 3 inches of Peat Moss on top of the newspaper or cardboard layer.
Step 3. Add 2 – 3 inches of soil, either bagged or from your yard.
Step 4. Add 2 – 3 inches of Manure, Peat Moss or other chopped organic material (leaves, grass, straw, wood ashes etc.)
Step 5. Add 2 – 3 inches of fine Compost for the top layer to plant in.
This layering technique adds lots of Organic Matter to the bed and ensures good water, air and nutrients the first year. You can use whatever materials you have on hand to make your Raised Bed garden, just make sure you have at least a 1:1:1 ratio of peat moss, soil and organic matter. Top the layers with some fine compost to set the seeds into. (Note: I like to use manure in step 4 the first year which adds extra nutrients.
If you build your Raised Bed in the fall, let it sit over winter. You can add another layer of compost in the spring and go ahead and plant. If you build your Raised Bed in the Spring you can plant immediately. Each year add another layer of compost or organic material such as cut leaves. Make sure any organic matter is chopped so that it can break down quickly.