Inexpensive DIY Raised Garden Bed Design
Follow this easy tutorial on how to build raised garden beds! This DIY is cheap and will last for years! The tutorial will give you some great ideas on the best designs and layout.
The Benefits Of Raised Garden Beds
Raised garden beds are a great way to create an organized garden space, especially when you have limited space for planting a garden. Building raised garden beds yourself will save you money, and this DIY tutorial will show you exactly how!
The raised garden beds also provide easy drainage and help to keep pests out. We built 4′ x 8′ raised garden beds and they work GREAT! This tutorial will show you how to build raised garden beds that will last for years.
Ready to build your own raised garden beds? Below is the exact tutorial on how we made ours! (Short on time? Pin this post to reference later!)
How To Build Raised Garden Beds
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Building Materials & Tools
- 2″ x 10″ Lumber
- Swanson Speed Square
- Carpenter’s Pencil
- Tape Measure
- Dewalt 60V Circular Saw
- Dewalt Drill
- 3.5″ Deck Screws
We chose to use untreated 2″ x 10″ construction lumber but build the frame for the raised garden beds. The untreated lumber is cheap, contains no unwanted chemicals, and will last 5-10 years depending on climate. In a drier climate, the wood should hold up for 10+ years. In wetter climates, the wood may need to be replaced in as little as 5 years.
Many people chose to build raised garden beds with pressure treated lumber. While the treated lumber does last longer, it also costs about double! In addition to the added expense, chemicals used in the pressure treating process can seep into the soil.
We love eating home grown vegetables, so we used untreated lumber to minimize any risk of contaminating the plants with chemicals. Each of the 4′ x 8′ raised garden beds require three 2″ x 10″ boards.
How To Build Wood Frame
Only the boards for the short sides of the garden bed frames needed to be cut. The long sides of the frames are 8ft, so we were able to use full length, un-cut 2″ x 10″ x 8FT boards. To make the boards for short sides of the frame, we needed to cut the boards down to 4FT.
To get started, we used a Swanson Speed Square to mark the boards at 4′. Next, we cut the boards using our favorite Dewalt 60V Circular Saw. Battery powered tools are great, but they tend to be expensive. If you are looking for a cheaper option, then checkout this cheap circular saw on Amazon.
Once all of the cuts were made, it was time to assemble the raised garden beds. We placed three 3.5″ deck screws along each corner to secure the frames into place.
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Moving The Raised Garden Beds
After the raised bed frames were finished, we moved them to the back yard to fill them up. Some gardeners recommend placing cardboard or landscape cloth at the bottom of the raised garden bed frames before filling with soil.
This step only seems to be necessary if you are using shorter frames that will not hold as much soil to choke out the grass or plants at the bottom. We used a Dewalt weed trimmer to cut the grass down extremely short and left the clippings as our base.
We will see how well this method works and may opt for something different next year. (UPDATE: this method worked great for us, there was no need to add an extra barrier.)
Filling The Raised Garden Beds
How Much Soil To Fill A Raised Garden Bed?
Each 4ft x 8ft raised garden bed (10″ tall) has a 24.22 cubic foot capacity, or .9 cubic yards.
We were able to get some free top soil from a friend to fill in the bulk of the capacity. After doing some gardening research on Better Homes and Gardens, we decided to try to improve the quality of soil by adding some bags of All-Purpose Garden Soil Plus Fertilizer. The mix is specially blended for the soil in garden beds and can continuously feed for up to 9 months. We used 4 bags per raised bed.
(Don’t forget to pin this post to your Garden Ideas board on Pinterest!)
Planting The Raised Garden Beds
After the two beds were filled, it was time for the fun part – planting!
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Looking for more outdoor inspiration? You’re gonna love these posts:
How to Build Cheap Raised Garden Beds
Best Crops for Raised Garden Beds Cheat Sheet
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