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Garden Gardening Sustainability

DIY raised garden beds

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Kevin built DIY raised garden beds for the first time about five years ago. He and his dad built them as a birthday present to me one summer and they went all out. The raised garden beds were beautiful. They made them out of 4×4 square, cedar and they had a little ledge that was perfect for sitting as I dug in the dirt. They were solid and held up well year after year.

 

But, those DIY raised garden beds were also expensive. Each one – and they built me just two – was just under $200. Looking at that number now, I’m actually a bit embarrassed. The significant cost was due to the thickness of the 4×4 wood we stacked for each side of the box. However, at the time, we were both working, we had one child and we wanted to make something that was really high quality. That cost us money.

 

Fast forward to life on the farm and DIY raised garden beds like that are out of the question. They simply cost too much for the amount that we need and I realize for most people even one is out of the question. The thickness quality would be wonderful to have, but we’ve found a way to make more inexpensive, simple DIY raised garden beds that work just as well.

DIY raised garden beds

 

Our farmhouse raised beds

Last year we made four 4×4 DIY raised garden beds, four low 8×4 beds and two high 8×4 beds and they all cost less than $50. In fact, the 4×4 beds cost just about $30. These raised garden beds worked wonderfully and our garden flourished.

 

This year, we are making at least 20 new DIY raised garden beds in various sizes using the simple design we used last year. We’re already off to a great start making more 4×4 boxes and 4×8 boxes and I wanted to share the process with all of you.

 

Since this year is a bit odd with the coronavirus outbreak, I’m guessing everyone has some extra time on their hands (unless you’re considered essential) and might be thinking about how you can start a garden too. It makes me feel better knowing we will be able to feed ourselves, and hopefully some of the neighbors too.

 

Keep reading to find all the instructions and make sure to watch the video below so you can see us in action building a box. But, please be kind. This is Kevin’s very first video. 🙂

 

Why raised garden boxes?

There’s a few reasons I love raised garden beds.

  • I like that they provide organization for the garden.
  • They also help to keep a pathway between the crops so that nothing creeps into another veggie’s space.
  • Raised garden beds also help prevent soil compaction.
  • They provide better drainage for fruit and vegetables since they are sitting above the ground. The water always has somewhere else to go. For us this is really important. Our property is fairly low lying and we have some soggy parts, including where the garden is. The beds help to prevent root rot for our plants.
  • And, some people will tell you, they aide in keeping pests away from your crops. However, those pests were made to eat your veggies. They tend to find a way. Although, the boxes do seem to help slow them a bit.

DIY raised garden beds

DIY raised garden beds

Supplies needed for the 4×4 DIY garden boxes

  • (4) 4×4’s cut to 12-inches long for corner posts
  • (8) 1-inch x 6-inch cut to 4 feet long
  • (24) 2.5-inch deck screws
  • Hand drill. You can find the Milwaukee Cordless Hand Drill we use here.
  • Miter saw or a table saw – If you don’t have one of these home improvement stores will often cut wood for you. You can find the Dewalt saw we use here.
  • Optional: Sandpaper. We do not sand our boxes since the weather will wear at them natural.

 

DIY raised garden beds

Steps for assembling the 4×4 DIY garden boxes

  1. Once you have your wood cut into the lengths above, lay everything out.
  2. Begin by screwing in the bottom boards first to the 4×4 corner posts
  3. Once all bottom pieces are attached, screw in each of the top boards to the 4×4 corner posts

 

DIY raised garden beds

Supplies needed for the 4X8 DIY garden boxes

  • (4) 4×4’s cut to 12-inches long
  • (4) 1-inch x 6-inch cut to 4 feet long
  • (4) 1-inch x 6-inch cut to 8 feet long
  • (2) 2×4’s cut to 12-inches
  • (24) 2.5-inch deck screws
  • Hand drill. You can find the Milwaukee Cordless Hand Drill we use here.
  • Miter saw or a table saw – If you don’t have one of these home improvement stores will often cut wood for you. You can find the Dewalt saw we use here.

 

DIY raised garden beds

Steps for assembling the 4×8 DIY garden boxes

  1. Once you have your wood cut into the lengths above, lay everything out.
  2. Begin by screwing in the end 4-foot long boards
  3. Once all bottom pieces are attached, screw in each of the bottom, 8-foot side boards to the 4×4 corner posts
  4. Then screw in the bottom 4-foot end boards.
  5. Then screw in the top boards in the same fashion.

 

What’s next?

Before filling your garden beds with soil, I’d recommend killing the grass in the box area. You don’t need harsh chemicals to do that with either. You can see how we do that naturally – and for almost no cost – here.

 

Once that’s done, you can fill them in with multiple different kinds of soil. I’ve found that what works best is often a mixture of compost, topsoil and sand. I like mushroom compost the best but I’ve also used “dairy doo” too.

 

When your beds are filled, follow the depth and spacing instructions for your specific plants. And, if you’re going to plant multiple kinds of vegetables in one box, make sure you know what grows well together.

 

Grow some goodness this year, friends. <3

 

Thank you so much for visiting today! We hope to see you again. If you want to learn more about our garden plans for the season, click here or watch the YouTube video here. You can watch the DIY raised garden beds YouTube video here.

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27 Comments

  1. Jamie

    So beautiful!! I love my raised beds…makes gardening so much easier! 🙂

  2. Heather

    These look awesome! Someday when I have a yard that I’m free to play with, I want to do raised beds like this! Nice job!

  3. Meagan Ivie

    How cute! We need to make our garden bigger. These garden boxes are a great idea.

  4. Lisa Joy Thompson

    Raised garden beds make such a huge difference. It’s so much easier to garden with raised beds, plus they’re aesthetically pleasing.

  5. Sherrie

    We just started working on our yard last week and raised beds are definitely on the list. Great to have these tips!

  6. Carissa

    I love the look of this! I hope once we move I have enough land for a garden like this!

  7. Aditi Wardhan Singh

    This looks so well done. I have wanted to try this for the longest time. our garden will work best with tin boxes though, I think . Have to think of better wyas to try it.

  8. Courtney Pies

    Your garden beds look so nice! We have one, but I’m thinking of adding on one more this year.

  9. Kathy

    These turned out great. I’ve been wanting to do this as well. I hope that one of these summers I’ll be able to.

  10. Cyndi Buchanan

    I love these! I so want to make some raised garden beds now that I have more time to work in the yard.

  11. Diana

    My husband made a couple years back for our old house. Our new house doesn’t get good sunlight, unfortunately, so we’re thinking of trying growing plants in pots on our deck which gets the most sun.

  12. Bella

    Ahh i wish I had a yard, I only have a small deck but i have a lot of plants!!! your yard looks great

  13. Toni

    This is such a great idea! I think it would be great to start on this project now that we’re in lockdown.

  14. Ainsley

    Love these! We’re going to DIY these ourselves next weekend! Bring on the gardening!

  15. Catalina

    I think my parents need these garden boxes. I will show them this diy tutorial. It’s so easy!

  16. Marysa

    These look great! I have some raised beds but the wood is all rotted out, so we will have to redo them. Raised bed gardening is such a great way to go!

  17. Tisha

    I absolutely love these! As soon as I buy a house this is what I’m doing!

  18. Fatima Torres

    We are looking to do something similar in our backyard. This would be perfect to avoid the dogs from getting to the plants.

  19. These are a great idea! I wish I have a garden.

  20. Jasmine Hewitt

    this is exactly what i planned on doing this spring to grow some vegetables and flowers!!

  21. Roshini

    Wow looks so clean and organized. M learning new things here . You are so dedicated and hardworking . Keep up the good work.

  22. Claudia Krusch

    Love the idea! I can’t wait to show it to hubby! We’re going to try to make one!

  23. Flossie McCowald

    Thank you for this great and simple tutorial! We had planned to expand our raised beds this year anyway, but are def doing it now that we plan to grow even more of our own food because of the pandemic. Instead of wood this time, though, I’m going to try using some leftover pavers we have in our backyard from a walkway we ripped up.

  24. Erin

    These look so good and I’d love to do this in my yard!

  25. lauren

    We just made raised beds for the first time this year (thanks social distancing! LOL).

  26. Aliya

    I love it. So beautiful. I definitely want to get more into gardening but I need a bigger backyard first. But, as soon as we move I’m planting myself a garden. Thanks for sharing.

  27. Sonia Seivwright

    If only I had a garden, I would have done this.


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