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Family ties, bow ties, and landscape ties. You need all of the above, especially when you and your family are making raised bed garden projects...you'll wear the bow ties for a night on the town to celebrate making your above ground garden.
You've decided that using a raised bed garden kit isn't as rewarding or as nurturing of family ties--a DIY raised garden bed is the way to go. You've used some railroad ties (great opportunity for Grandpa to tell tales of his exploits running the rails). But the easiest raised garden beds are made with landscape ties, which you can buy from a landscaping or garden store.
Landscaping ties will anchor the corner of your raised garden beds as well as form the frame. Note that for landscape ties treated with ACQ (alkaline copper quaternary), you need stainless steel fasteners for your frame. Landscaping ties work best in shorter raised garden beds, so create several small raised garden beds rather than one large bed. More family bonding time! Build those family ties.
You can finish the project by painting the landscape ties in an attractive weatherproof finish. It's time to sit back as a family and admire your DIY raised bed garden. Now, put on those bow ties and hair bows and go out dancing!