It's time to build those garden beds! I am so excited to share this DIY with you! I read and researched at least 30 blog posts about how to build your own garden beds, and I finally pieced together a plan that I liked for my garden and yard.
My beds are each 6 feet long x 3 feet wide x 16 inches tall. I originally had a plan to build 6 beds, then I remembered that I've never gardened before and it could be terrible, so taking it down to 2 beds felt like a good place to start. ;)
I'm sharing my detailed plan with exact measurements and will explain things as if you have zero clue what you're doing...because I didn't when I first started!
- Deckmate wood screws (made for outdoors!) these are 2.5 inches long. If you use a different thickness lumber, you may need longer or shorter screws.
- lumber: 2" x 8" x 12 ft. untreated pine boards - 3 of these per bed
- lumber: 2" x 4" x 12 ft. untreated pine boards - 1 of these per bed
I chose to use pine because of the cost. Everyone recommends cedar, but I don't need these beds to last 100 years. I still went with untreated lumber so there aren't any chemicals in my garden. There are *so* many different styles of beds you could make and different ways to build each one. My goal was so use the smallest amount of materials per bed...lumber is expensive right now and all of the posts that advertised "raised beds under $30" were from 10 years ago, so I tried to adjust and keep things trim!).
2 hours for lumber and making cuts
30 minutes to assemble
It's a two person job just because of the size of the beds.
I had someone at Home Depot make the cuts for me using their store saw. It's huge and it's not great at precision cuts, but for a project like this, it's great. Selecting then cutting lumber is, by far, the most time-consuming part of this project. My husband came with me to Home Depot to help me load/unload lumber; all in all, we were in the store for about 2 hours, mostly waiting on the cuts of lumber. I recommend tipping the employee that helps you! Here are the cuts that I made for my beds:
- long sides: from the 2" x 8" x 12' lumber, cut two 6 foot pieces. Each long side of the bed is two of the 2" x 8" x 6' boards stacked on top of each other.
- short sides: from the 2" x 8" x 12' lumber, cut four 3 foot pieces. Each short side of the bed is two 2" x 8" x 3' boards stacked on top of each other.
- supports: from the 2" x 4" x 12' lumber, cut eight 16" lengths. Your short sides will have one support beam in the middle; your long sides will have 3 supports - on either end and in the middle.
LAY IT OUT
I laid everything out in the garage before assembly. Assembling both beds took about 30 minutes, with me stopping to take photos and videos along the way ;)
Lay out your long sides: 2 of the 6 foot lengths side by side.
Lay out your short sides: 2 of the 3 foot lengths side by side.
Then add your supports.
ATTACH THE SUPPORTS
Attach the short side supports first. You don't need to measure, unless you're going for perfection. That's not my move, so I eyeballed it, and attached the support using my drill and two Deckmate screws. It's helpful to use a clamp here to hold your boards together while you attached the support OR ask your building buddy to please hold them together while you drill the second screw.
Then attach the supports to the long sides: one in the middle, and one on either end. On the ends, I left space (above photo: I used a piece of scrap wood to see how much space to leave) to insert my short sides between my long sides so it would be flush when I assemble the sides. When you stand your long sides up, your short side will fit nicely in between them. (two photos below)
Stand up all four sides (they should stay up on their own) and fit all four of your pieces together. You can see in the photo below how the short side fits nicely into the corner of the long side and it's support. Then you drill into the short side, through the long side's support beam.
Done and done! I plan to add a ledge on the top so I can sit on the beds when I garden. I also plan to add decorative boards on each corner to cover where the ends meet, but those two items are purely decorative, so I wanted to share this DIY as-is.
I just filled my raised beds this morning on the day that I'm writing this post, so this is Day One of my garden! I'll share in another post how I built this wire trellis out of a cattle fencing panel! I love how it turned out and cannot wait for my little veggies to grow all over it!
Up next: pea gravel, backyard landscaping beds, patio furniture, painting the house, and installing our bee hive! No problem ;)