DIY Raised Garden Beds

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.

The Plan

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.

The Material

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 Process

The Main Bed

  1. Start by cutting the 2 in. x 10 in. x 8 ft. boards.
  2. Cut one in half (4′ each) for your 4′ sides.
  3. 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).
  4. If you are making 2 boxes, go ahead and repeat steps 2 and 3 with the remaining 2 boards.
  5. Measure out the pickets and cut them in half (cut length should be 3′ each)
  6. 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.
  1. Take 2 screws and screw the two boards together, drilling through the 4′ board and into the 3′ board.
  2. Repeat on the other side of the 4′ board with the second 3′ board.
  3. Place the remaining 4′ board at the end of the structure you have built to create a rectangle.
  4. Repeat step 7 for each side.

The Bottom Support

  1. Take the remaining scrap wood from step 3, and measure out a length of 45 in.
  2. Cut the board to 45 in.
  3. 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)
  4. 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.
  5. Screw the first 2 in. x 45 in. scrap redwood piece to the inside one of the 4′ boards, at the bottom.
  6. Repeat with the second scrap red wood piece.
  7. Repeat with the strip board, but it should be placed in the middle, and screwed into the 3′ board.
  8. Lay the 6 picket fence pieces across the ledges you just place in.
  9. Use a nail to tack each piece into the red wood ledges.

The Barrier

  1. Measure and cut your barrier/liner so that it isn’t being stretched.
  2. Tack all of the sides in of the barrier about 2 inches below the ledge with nails
  3. Repeat for the second box if you are making one.
  4. 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!

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