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!
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.
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.)
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.
Cut and prepare the wood for building.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Then, the 4 x 4 was secured into each corner with screws.
They also placed a 4 x 4 post halfway down the length of each side.
Voila! It’s nearly done.
Add weed barrier.
The final step in building is to add a weed barrier to the bottom. For this, they used Vigoro WeedBlock Diamond.
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.
For a bed this size, you will need to layer two pieces across the bottom to accommodate the entire width.
That’s it. Now, you’re ready for the fun part!
Fill with dirt and plant.
This particular planter required about 26 cubic feet of dirt. Simply dump the dirt in, then use a rake to level it out.
Finally, you’re ready to plant and enjoy!
(The next step is figuring out a way to keep critters out of it. Tips/suggestions are welcome!)