Ever since we moved into our new home in September 2018, I knew I wanted to try to grow some herbs and veggies. I have to admit I have never had a green thumb, but I love cooking and I really wanted to try to grow some of my own ingredients. After talking about building some garden beds over the last year and a half, I finally talked my husband into helping me build them while we are stuck at home.
At first I was going to do a single deep bed, but after listing out everything I wanted to plant I decided on making two 4’x3′ raised beds. I did a lot of research as well to ensure that the beds were going to have proper drainage, and I would have enough space to spread the plants out based on what they required.
If you are going to build two beds like I did, below is what I used. If you only want one, cut the number of boards and pickets in half.
- 4 – 2 in. x 10 in. x 8 ft. Lumber (I used Red Wood, but you could also use this Better Kiln-Dried Hem Fir)
- 6 – 5/8 in. x 5-1/2 in. x 6 ft. Fence Picket (I used Western Red Cedar #2 Dog-Ear)
- 1 – 2 in. x 2 in. x 8 ft. Furring Strip Board Lumber
- About 40 – #10 x 3-1/8 in. Multi-Purpose Wood Screw (I used these)
- About 24 – #13 x 2 in. Steel Finish Nails (I used these)
- Some sort of barrier (weed barrier, plastic, etc.) with a few holes poked in it for extra drainage. (I used leftover Weed Barrier Landscape Fabric)
The Main Bed
- Start by cutting the 2 in. x 10 in. x 8 ft. boards.
- Cut one in half (4′ each) for your 4′ sides.
- On the second one, measure out two 3′ segments and cut them (You should have about 2′ scrap wood remaining. Save those pieces for later).
- If you are making 2 boxes, go ahead and repeat steps 2 and 3 with the remaining 2 boards.
- Measure out the pickets and cut them in half (cut length should be 3′ each)
- Taking one 4′ board and one 3′ board, put them together to make a 90 degree angle. The 3′ board should be inside the 4′ board (see photo below). Use a square edge, if available, to make sure the edges are in proper place.
- Take 2 screws and screw the two boards together, drilling through the 4′ board and into the 3′ board.
- Repeat on the other side of the 4′ board with the second 3′ board.
- Place the remaining 4′ board at the end of the structure you have built to create a rectangle.
- Repeat step 7 for each side.
The Bottom Support
- Take the remaining scrap wood from step 3, and measure out a length of 45 in.
- Cut the board to 45 in.
- Measure out 2″ strips, that will serve as the ledge for your picket pieces (the base of your raised bed that allows for proper drainage)
- Measure and cut the 1 – 2 in. x 2 in. x 8 ft. strip board to 45 in, which will be the center support for your picket pieces.
- Screw the first 2 in. x 45 in. scrap redwood piece to the inside one of the 4′ boards, at the bottom.
- Repeat with the second scrap red wood piece.
- Repeat with the strip board, but it should be placed in the middle, and screwed into the 3′ board.
- Lay the 6 picket fence pieces across the ledges you just place in.
- Use a nail to tack each piece into the red wood ledges.
- Measure and cut your barrier/liner so that it isn’t being stretched.
- Tack all of the sides in of the barrier about 2 inches below the ledge with nails
- Repeat for the second box if you are making one.
- That’s it! You can stain your boxes if you want, but at this point you can add the soil and compost and plant what you want!