Laying Out Square Corners

1-2 hours

For raised beds or neat borders learn how to lay out the perfect square corner

Laying Out Square Corners

For crisp, neat beds and borders, perfectly square corners are a must -- and a sign of good workmanship. This guide will teach you a simple technique to assure you of flawlessly square corners every time.


Form the edges
Form edges  - Laying Out Square Corners

Lay out one edge of the bed with batterboards. The batterboard edges should extend about 12 – 18-inches past the planned corner. Drive in a stake where you want the corner. Lay out the second edge with batterboards and stretch a mason's line between them across the corner stake.

Make a 3-4-5 triangle
Make a 3-4-5 triangle  - Laying Out Square Corners

With a tape measure, check that the corner is square by making a 3-4-5 foot triangle. Adjust the mason's line as needed until the distance between two points equals 3-feet, the other edge equals 4-feet and the edge opposite from the corner stake is exactly 5-feet.

Mark the ends
Mark ends  - Laying Out Square Corners

Mark the endpoints with tape and transfer them to the ground with a plumb bob. Drive in stakes to mark the endpoints and stretch a mason's line along the ground between them. Sprinkle powdered chalk over the line to mark the rough outline of the bed.