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DIY Raised Garden Bed

I love to garden. Although I certainly can’t say I’m the best at it, or have a talent for it, I do really enjoy it. I like being outside, getting my hands dirty, and watching something that I’ve planted flourish and grow. So, when my husband told me just over a month ago that he wanted to build a raised garden for me, I was thrilled!

Do you want to garden but have poor soil, or limited space? Here's a step-by-step guide for building your own raised garden bed. It's easier than you may think!

 

I have always wanted to try my hand at growing my own food.  We live in an older neighborhood, though, that is full of very large mature trees.  While having a ton of shade is great for playing outside, it is not so great for trying to grow plants that need sunlight.  For this reason, I have never taken the plunge.

When my husband said he wanted to do this, though, I was all for giving it a shot.  So, we picked a corner of the backyard that gets a couple of hours of morning sun, as well as a bit of afternoon sun.  Fingers crossed, it will be enough.

My parents recently came down to visit, and we put my dad to work.  Ha!  So much for a vacation, huh?  He had already planned to help with an indoor reno project that I will be posting about in a few weeks.  We threw the garden in on him at the last minute.  Fortunately, he’s a good sport, and the garden was a fairly simple project.

Do you want to garden but have poor soil, or limited space? Here's a step-by-step guide for building your own raised garden bed. It's easier than you may think!

I can’t really claim anything about this garden as my own, except for the planting at the end (and writing this post, of course).  My dad and husband did all the work on it.  

And here’s how they did it.

(This post contains affiliate links.  To see my full disclosure, go here.)

Step 1:

Purchase the wood.  (No photo.  Sorry!)

They chose rough cut cedar for a few reasons, even though it is more expensive than pine.  Number 1, it is naturally resistant to rot.  Number 2, it is insect repellant.  And number 3, it is untreated, so there is no concern about chemicals leaching into the soil.

They bought nine 2 x 4s, and one 4 x 4.  

Pro tip:  When buying wood, you should eyeball the length of the board to make sure it is as straight as possible.  You don’t want to end up with pieces that are warped at all.

Step 2:

Cut and prepare the wood for building.

Do you want to garden but don't have a lot of space, or poor soil? Here's a step-by-step guide to building your own raised garden bed. It's easier than you might think!

My husband suggested a 4′ x 8′ garden.  Since 2 x 4s come at approximately 8 feet long, this made cutting the wood fairly simple.  My dad trimmed all of the boards down to 8 feet exactly, making sure to trim off any rough ends.  Then, he cut 3 of the boards in half.  This gave us 6 pieces that were 8 feet long (garden length) and 6 pieces that were 4 feet long (garden width).  

He also cut the 4 x 4 into 6 pieces that were 10.5 inches long.  These pieces will become the support beams that bind all of the 2 x 4s together.

Do you want to garden but have poor soil, or limited space? Here's a step-by-step guide for building your own raised garden bed. It's easier than you may think!

Then, you will want to drill pilot holes in the long boards (8′).  They drilled the holes approximately 3/4″ in from the corners of the board.

Do you want to garden but have poor soil, or limited space? Here's a step-by-step guide for building your own raised garden bed. It's easier than you may think!

Make sure to drill pilot holes that will accommodate the screws you are using.

My dad and husband used Grip-Rite PTN4S5 4″ 10 Coarse Thread Exterior Screw.  These are treated so that they won’t rust/corrode, and they won’t discolor the wood.

Do you want to garden but have poor soil, or limited space? Here's a step-by-step guide for building your own raised garden bed. It's easier than you may think!

Step 3:

Build the frame.

They then created 3 individual rectangular frames.  Each one was a simple rectangle utilizing two 8′ boards and two 4′ boards.  Then, they stacked the three frames on top of one another.

Do you want to garden but have poor soil, or limited space? Here's a step-by-step guide for building your own raised garden bed. It's easier than you may think!

Do you want to garden but have poor soil, or limited space? Here's a step-by-step guide for building your own raised garden bed. It's easier than you may think!

Next, they added the 4 x 4 support posts inside the frame.  Pilot holes were drilled in the 2 x 4s approximately 2 inches from the inside corner.  

Do you want to garden but have poor soil, or limited space? Here's a step-by-step guide for building your own raised garden bed. It's easier than you may think!

Then, the 4 x 4 was secured into each corner with screws. 

Do you want to garden but have poor soil, or limited space? Here's a step-by-step guide for building your own raised garden bed. It's easier than you may think!

They also placed a 4 x 4 post halfway down the length of each side.

Do you want to garden but have poor soil, or limited space? Here's a step-by-step guide for building your own raised garden bed. It's easier than you may think!

Voila!  It’s nearly done.

Step 4:

Add weed barrier.

The final step in building is to add a weed barrier to the bottom.  For this, they used Vigoro WeedBlock Diamond.

Do you want to garden but have poor soil, or limited space? Here's a step-by-step guide for building your own raised garden bed. It's easier than you may think!

Simply cut a strip that is slightly longer than the bed, and use a staple gun to attach it.  It does not need to be perfect, as it won’t be seen.  

Do you want to garden but have poor soil, or limited space? Here's a step-by-step guide for building your own raised garden bed. It's easier than you may think!

For a bed this size, you will need to layer two pieces across the bottom to accommodate the entire width.

Do you want to garden but have poor soil, or limited space? Here's a step-by-step guide for building your own raised garden bed. It's easier than you may think!

That’s it.  Now, you’re ready for the fun part!

Do you want to garden but have poor soil, or limited space? Here's a step-by-step guide for building your own raised garden bed. It's easier than you may think!
Don’t mind the overgrown, weed filled planter boxes in the back…

Step 5:

Fill with dirt and plant. 

Do you want to garden but have poor soil, or limited space? Here's a step-by-step guide for building your own raised garden bed. It's easier than you may think!

This particular planter required about 26 cubic feet of dirt.  Simply dump the dirt in, then use a rake to level it out.

Do you want to garden but have poor soil, or limited space? Here's a step-by-step guide for building your own raised garden bed. It's easier than you may think!

Finally, you’re ready to plant and enjoy!

Do you want to garden but have poor soil, or limited space? Here's a step-by-step guide for building your own raised garden bed. It's easier than you may think!

 

(The next step is figuring out a way to keep critters out of it.  Tips/suggestions are welcome!)

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11 Comments

  1. Your dad and hubby did a great job Amy, it sure looks like it will last a long time and raised veggie gardens are so much easier to work in too. I hope those critters stay away so you can enjoy the fruits of your harvest

    1. Thanks so much! I’m hoping the critters stay away, too! I have been amazed at the growth of everything in such a short amount of time.

    1. I know. I’ve been wanting to try my hand at home grown food for years, as well. This bed really was pretty simple to put together, and in just over one week, my plants have doubled (or more!) in size. You should definitely go for it! Thanks for stopping by!

  2. my wife put a few of these together last summer and she loves them. I was very impressed with her handiwork. Ours are in a small fenced in area out the back door so I’m afraid I have no critter tips for you though #happynow

    1. Yes, I am loving mine so far. I am hoping that we have lots of veggies come late summer/early fall. 🙂 So far, the critters haven’t been bad. (Knock on wood.) I know the squirrels have done a little bit of digging here and there, but it’s not been terrible yet. Hopefully, it stays that way. Thanks for looking!

  3. Your planter bed is beautiful! I would love to do something like this in our yard. Fingers crossed your plants get enough sunlight! Thanks so much for sharing at the #happynowlinkup!

    1. Thank you! So far, they seem to be thriving! Hoping we can keep them growing. 🙂

    1. Thank you so much for the share! I am loving it so far, and it was definitely easy to put together. We’ll see how growing goes this season. If it goes well, we may have to build another one next season. 😀

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