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DIY RAISED GARDEN BEDS
This is going to be a super quick and easy post! I know many of you are wanting to try out building a raised garden bed for your garden this year so I thought I would share how we built ours last Spring!
Warning: they are not pretty! They are functional, they were quick and EASY to build, and the materials were cheap. I’m not trying to be Joanna Gaines (although that is the ULTIMATE dream goal one day!), right now I’me just trying to feed my family, plain and simple.
We chose to build six 4’x8′ beds for our garden but I’d like to offer encouragement to you all who may not have big yards, or yards at all – you can 100% grow a successful veggie garden in even just one of these beds or even in containers on your porch! You do not need to go big, especially if it’s your first time!
Without further adieu, here is what you need and how we built our quick and easy raised garden beds!
What is a Raised Garden Bed?
A raised garden be is a garden frame made of wood or other material and filled with soil so that it sits on top of the ground level. They are very useful and functional for a number of reasons and gardeners have been using them for years!
Benefits of Raised Garden Beds
- Creates a perfect soil composition if ground soil is too sandy, too rocky or has too much clay.
- Soil warms up earlier and stays warmer longer than the ground.
- Ideal drainage conditions.
- Gentler on seeds and delicate transplants.
- More ergonomic: easier to weed and easier pick veggies and cut flowers because the beds are higher up off the ground.
- Plants are able to send their roots deeper which means a stronger foundation and improved health.
- Easy to build.
- Keeps the space tidy and pretty!
Materials For 4’x8′ DIY Raised Garden Beds
Materials listed make ONE bed, we made six for our garden!
- Two 1″x12″ pine boards* ours were 12ft. long
- One 4″x4″ pine post, ours were 4ft. long
- Measuring tape & Pencil
- Power Tools (drill and saw)**
- Soil to fill the beds
Cost: $45 in lumber per bed
Time: Approx. 40 minutes to build each bed (we split it up between two days)
*We went with untreated pine because it’s cheaper but it does not last as long as cedar, redwood or black locust. We are not in our forever home so we didn’t want to invest a ton of money, but if you can I would recommend a nice hard, rot-resistant wood like cedar, redwood or black locust!
**If you don’t own power tools, check out this ingenious raised bed tutorial HERE!
How to Build 4’x8′ Raised Garden Beds
Alex did all the heavy lifting on this of course but I was a great helper, here’s how we built the beds!
PRO-TIP: If you don’t have a power saw, Home Depot will cut the wood for you for minimal extra cost! This saves a ton of time as well!
- Saw the 1″x12″ board into one 4ft. long piece and one 8ft. long. Do this for both boards.
- Cut the 4″x4″ post into 1ft. long sections, these will be used to anchor the corners of the beds.
- Stand the 1″x12″ boards up on their skinny ends, on level ground, and lay out the garden bed rectangle frame.
- At all four corners, attach the 1″x12″ pieces to the 4″x4″ pieces using screws and a power drill. The 4″x4″ pieces are going to anchor the corners of the bed to make it stronger, the long boards are screwed into these posts as opposed to each other for this reason!
That said, if you have the extra money and don’t want to “DIY” CLICK HERE for a ready-to-set-up raised garden bed kit from Amazon. It’s the same dimensions as ours but instead of $45 and some elbow grease per bed, it’s $165!
Laying Out the Raised Garden Beds & Prepping Your Soil
Layout & Prep
You can lay out your beds however makes sense for your location. One big tip, for vegetables and cut flowers you need A LOT of sun, ideally 8+ hours per day.
I recommend laying cardboard (any will do, just break boxes down flat) and lay the bed on top. The cardboard will help suppress weed growth which is something you will be thanking yourself for later in the season! If you want to get really fancy, read about what gardeners call “lasagna gardening.” Basically it’s layering cardboard, newspaper and organic matter to suppress weed growth, plus a “no til” philosophy. It’s super interesting and it works!
Once your cardboard is down and your beds are laid out it’s time to fill them with soil! Because you’re going to be growing veggies or cut flowers which suck up a TON of nutrients you’re going to want to start with a nutrient rich soil.
My suggestion is using a 50/50 mixture of top soil and compost. You can either buy these soils in bags from your local garden center or have them deliver it by the yard (which is what we did because we had 192 cubic feet to fill). On top of this mixture we usually throw in around 4 bags of manure per bed as well!
When filling the beds with your soil mixture leave a few inches at the top, you want the soil level to be about 3-4″ below the top of the bed so it doesn’t over flow when you go to plant. Next soak the soil deeply and leave for a couple days before planting!
That’s it! I hope you enjoyed this super quick and easy DIY raised bed tutorial, let me know in the comments if you end up using this guide and what you’re excited to grow this year!
Looking for more gardening posts? Check these out!
Gardening Supplies Favorites
How to Map, Plan & Plant Your Veggie Garden
9 Tips for a Low Maintenance Veggie Garden
Complete Guide to Growing and Harvesting Peonies
Cut Flower Garden Planning
Seed Starting for Beginners
Quick Tips for Long-Lasting Lilacs
Mums Tips and Tricks
And more coming soon! Sign up for my newsletter to stay up to date on new gardening posts!
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