DIY Raised Garden Bed (2024)

There are so many good reasons to grow your own food! From saving money at the grocery store, to knowing exactly where your food comes from, a small garden can yield lots of benefits. Best of all, you don’t need a large backyard to get started. Learn how to make your own diyraised garden bedwith just a few supplies and this easydiy tutorial.

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Growing up, our parents always maintained a vegetable garden in our backyard or in the later years, at the family cottage. I can only speak for myself when I say, I never truly appreciated the fresh, organic vegetables that we enjoyed from those gardens. Wonder if my sister would say the same?

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Having our own vegetable garden is a tradition we want to pass on to our children. It’s not only because of the increasing prices of produce at the grocery stores (and I’m not even talking about the organic stuff). But simply, there are some really cool life lessons in growing your own veggies.

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You can see how my daughter showing off the zucchini from grandma’s garden that was almost as big as her head! We use these monsters to bake our favourite and easy zucchini bread recipe.

Finding Garden Space

One small problem is that we don’t have a lot of time or space to devote to a large garden in my backyard in the suburbs. The best solution for us was to build a raised garden bed. We were able to custom make the garden to fit our needs and an additional perk was that we didn’t need to dig into the ground (which, in our region, is back breaking work to say the least!).

Benefits of a raised bed garden:

  • Ideal for small plots of veggies and flowers
  • Great way to make use of a small space, making them ideal for smaller yards
  • Can build directly over cement blocks or concrete patios
  • Digging into the ground is not needed
  • Keeps roots away from contaminated soil
  • Fewer weeds preventing garden soil from getting over run
  • Better drainage than with in-ground garden beds
  • Prevents roots from getting water logged in wetter climates
  • Barrier for pests such as slugs and snails
  • Soil warms up more quickly in Spring extending the growing season a bit
  • Easy access to the vegetables as they grow (less bending over needed)

Cons against making a wooden raised bed:

  • Limited space for gardening so smaller crop
  • Easy to over plant causing soil to be over run with roots
  • Soil dries out more quickly than in ground soil
  • Requires materials and tools to build
  • Need to buy soil to fill up garden bed (in-ground soil is free)
  • Lack of mineral content in bagged soil
  • Use of peat moss in bagged soil
  • Swapping out the soil every few years is recommended

The depth of the garden bed can vary, but garden experts advise 6” depth is the minimum since plants need at least 6”-12” rooting zone.

Materials Needed to Make Your own Raised Garden Box (sized 8’ long x 4’ wide):

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  • Mini Lumber Ties(x9 at 8’ long each), pressure-treated lumber
  • Miter Saw*
  • Hammer
  • Screws
  • x4 10” Nail Spikes and x8 5″ Nail Spikes
  • Drillwith appropriate sizeddrillbit
  • Measuring tape
  • Level
  • Pitchfork
  • Soil / Compost / Manure
  • Garden blanket* (optional)

How to build a Simple DIY Raised Garden Bed:

Step 1: Decide on the Location

Location, location, location…
Vegetable gardens grow best in a sunny location so vegetables are getting at least 6 hours of direct sunlight per day. Also, consider ease of working the garden from all sides.

Step 2: Prepping your Location

Measure and mark the perimeter for the garden bed using a spray paint (if building over top of grass) or some other form of marking (if building over top of a patio). If building over top of grass, than break up and loosen the soil using a garden fork so that the soil is not so compacted. Consider placing down a layer of landscape fabric to suppress grass growth in the garden.

Step 3: Preparing your Materials

Keep six of the mini ties at 8’ long and cut the remaining three mini ties in half so you have six at 4’ long each. If you use untreated wood consider lining the inside with landscape fabric to slow wood rotting from moisture.

Step 4: Assembling the DIY Garden Bed

Start by positioning one 8’ long mini tie lengthwise. Position one 4′ long cut mini tie at a 90 degree angle from the end of the longer mini tie. Continue with placing the second 8′ long and 4′ long tie to form an evenly shaped rectangle. Stagger the placement as shown in the photo. Check and measure to ensure that the first round of ties are level and squared at all corners.

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For the next step, add a second row of mini ties, overlapping the ends as shown. Using a large sizeddrillbit, drill pilotholes through both ties close to overlapping ends. Hammer long 10” spikes into all 4 corners to secure to ground.

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Add another round of mini ties and stagger the railway ties as was done in the 2nd round. Pre-drillholes at all 4 corners and hammer shorter spikes through the pre-drilled holes to secure ties together. For additional security, you can add a wooden spike at all the inner four corners as shown below.

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Step 5: Filling the new Garden Box

Fill the first layer inside the garden bed with some dried leaves and grass clippings. Next, add some good soil: a mix of topsoil, compost, and other organic matter, such as manure will give your plants a nutrient-rich environment. Your raised garden bed is now ready for planting!

Step 6: Planting the Garden

If you’re a beginner gardener and not quite sure where to start we have a whole gardening series for you! With garden bed plans, supplies you’ll need and getting it all prepared, this series makes it easy to get started!

SustainMyCookingHabit_PLANNING-YOUR-GARDENDownload

We used our easy raised garden bed successfully for four years before moving to a new home. The rot-resistant wood help up great! I can’t believe I didn’t take any pictures of it all filled with veggie plants- it held many tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers and herbs over the years!

We hope you enjoyed this DIY project idea and be sure to check out 70 more easy DIY projects to make in a weekend.

What will you plant in your garden bed this year?Happy Gardening!

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How to Build a Simple Raised Garden Bed (DIY Garden Box)

Jane and Sonja

Grow your own food even in a small space with this simple raised garden bed diy tutorial.

5 from 1 vote

Print Instructions Pin Craft

Materials

  • Mini Lumber Ties x9 at 8’ long each, pressure-treated lumber
  • Miter Saw
  • Hammer
  • Screws
  • x4 10” Nail Spikes and x8 5″ Nail Spikes
  • Drill with appropriate sized drill bit
  • Measuring tape
  • Level
  • Pitchfork
  • Soil / Compost / Manure
  • Garden blanket optional

Instructions

  • Decide on the location. Vegetable gardens grow best in a sunny location so vegetables are getting at least 6 hours of direct sunlight per day.

  • Prepare the location by measure and marking the perimeter for the garden bed using a spray paint.

  • Cut your lumber ties to size. Prepare the remaining materials to have on hand.

  • Assemble the DIY garden bed by positioning one 8’ long mini tie lengthwise. Position one 4′ long cut mini tie at a 90 degree angle from the end of the longer mini tie. Repeat with the others to form an evenly shaped rectangle, staggering the placement of the lumber.

  • Continue adding and securing addition rows.

  • Fill the new garden box with leaves, topsoil, compost and other organic matter.

  • Plan the garden bed and plant your flowers or veggies.

Like this craft? Leave some stars!& mention @SustainMyCraftHabit or tag #sustainmycrafthabit on Instagram!

DIY Raised Garden Bed (2024)

FAQs

What is the cheapest way to make a raised garden bed? ›

Old shelves make a great foundation for a raised garden bed, as they are inexpensive and easy to install. Some other garden ideas include repurposing old furniture, such as bedframes or side tables, to create a raised garden bed. This way, you can save money by using materials that are readily available in your home.

Is it cheaper to buy or build raised garden beds? ›

On average, a DIY raised bed constructed from wood will cost $25 to $50 per square foot. To have a wooden raised bed constructed and installed for you, budget for at least $100 per square foot. (Find a kitchen garden company in your area.)

What kind of wood should be used for raised beds? ›

Certain types of wood like cedar, redwood, and hemlock are more resistant to rot and decay than others. Cedar is naturally resistant to rot and pests thanks to something called tannins. That makes cedar a timber that will last a long time.

What do I put on the bottom of a raised garden bed? ›

Cardboard and Wood Chips: Layering cardboard at the bottom of your raised bed is an effective, cost-efficient way to suppress weeds. It eventually breaks down, enriching the soil with carbon. Wood chips can be added on top of the cardboard as an additional layer for weed control and moisture retention.

How deep should a raised garden bed be? ›

The minimum required depth depends on the plant. But on average, a raised garden bed should accommodate about 20 inches of soil for the roots of flowers and vegetables.

How thick should raised bed boards be? ›

Use lumber that's at least 2″ thick. Many beds are built of 2x6s, because a 6″ deep bed will grow nearly anything except carrots and parsnips. At Spotts, we use 2x8s because we like that extra depth. The easiest way to make a raised bed is just to screw some 2x6s together to make a square.

Should raised beds have a bottom? ›

Planter bottoms usually are slatted, with some type of semi-permeable cloth barrier which permits drainage. Raised beds, however, do not have bottoms; they are open to the ground, which offers the benefit of permitting plant roots to go further into the ground for available nutrients.

Do I need to replace soil in raised bed? ›

The soil in your raised beds will break down over time; however, you don't need to replace all of the soil in your raised bed garden to have beautiful, vibrant, or bountiful plants. Before planting the following growing season, add Miracle-Gro® Refresh™ Soil Revitalizer to your old soil, following package directions.

What is the cheapest material to build a raised bed? ›

What should you put at the bottom of a raised garden bed? Cinder or concrete blocks are an inexpensive and popular material used to build a foundation for a raised garden bed.

What wood should not be used in a raised garden bed? ›

Avoid using older types of wood treatments such as CCA, creosote, and Penta-treated lumber. Research from Oregon State University showed that pressure-treated lumber does increase soil copper concentrations by a minor amount, but only within 1 inch of the raised-bed edge.

Is treated lumber OK for raised garden beds? ›

He stated in a bulletin titled, Treated Wood in Raised Bed Gardening, “Scientific evidence and data have shown that using pressure treated wood for raised bed or box gardening is safe to adults and children in terms of the plants grown and used in these containers.” He further explains, “All chemicals in consumer ...

Should I line my wood raised bed with plastic? ›

As a final reminder, avoid lining your garden beds with plastic. Doing so prevents drainage and could drown your plants' roots with too much water. If you have a weed and pest problem, consider installing a combination of metal mesh and fabric or hardware cloth and cardboard to address both issues simultaneously.

Why put cardboard in raised beds? ›

It acts as a physical barrier to block out pernicious weeds. Usually, 2 – 3 layers of cardboard will suffice, though you may want layers in more weed-prone areas. The damp environment created by the cardboard is conducive to earthworms and other beneficial soil microorganisms.

Do you put landscape fabric under raised beds? ›

Landscape fabric is beneficial for raised garden beds, here are just a few of the many reasons why you should use landscape fabric for raised bed gardening: Prevents soil erosion in a raised bed: As a liner, landscape fabric lets water drain away from the soil while leaving the soil intact.

How many bags of soil do I need for a 4x8 raised bed? ›

For a 4x8-foot raised bed with a 6” height, using Mel's Mix: about 5 cubic feet each of compost, peat moss, and vermiculite is needed. It usually takes about two to three bags of purchased fertile mix (1.5 cubic feet each) to cover the bed surface to a depth of 2 inches.

What is the easiest cheapest raised garden bed? ›

Here are a few items you could use, round up or find in your yard to create a raised bed on a small budget.
  • Bricks.
  • Stones.
  • Wood or barn wood (make sure it's chemical free)
  • Fence pickets.
  • Cinder blocks.
  • Galvanized tubs.
May 3, 2023

What is the cheapest wood for raised garden beds? ›

What kind of wood should be used for raised beds? Cedar wood is the most affordable and is a naturally rot-resistant wood due to natural oils.

What are the two cons of raised beds? ›

Water Usage and Seasonal Considerations - Due to a raised garden's superior drainage, they tend to dry out faster in the warmer months. This requires more frequent watering to keep your plants hydrated. Due to the increased air circulation, raised beds can become colder sooner than natural soil.

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