Tis the season for gardening!
This spring, Chad and I are embarking on a backyard transformation. We’re doing our best and learning as we go, starting with a dedicated garden space that we inherited, nicely tucked into a corner of our yard.
Our very first project was to build a raised garden bed by ourselves, which will later be filled with veggies. We’d like to eventually add another one into the mix, but we’ll likely wait until lumber prices calm down.
Here’s how to build a DIY raised garden bed using our (Chad’s!) methods.
How to build a raised garden bed
- Wood from Lowe’s (we got four treated planks, 8’x10″x2″ and one post (no clue the wood type), 8’x4″x4″)
- Miter saw (we have this one)
- Wood screws (we opted for 2.5-inch ones)
- Drill (we have this one)
1. Buy your lumber
We chose four cedar planks from Lowes, measuring 8-feet by 10-inches, with 2-inch thickness (8’x10″x2″). We also got a thicker post (we technically inherited it from the neighbor), which was 8-feet by 4-inches, with 4-inch thickness (8’x4″x4″, typically called a “four by four).
This was enough lumber for one raised garden bed.
Note: we don’t have a truck, so we’re limited to what we can carry in our pretty small-sized car, which is about 8-feet long, MAX. It’s a bit of a tough squeeze. Rumor has it that they can cut the wood for you at Lowes, but we’ve never tried that option.
2. Sketch out dimensions and cut the wood
Chad sketched out his plans and made the following cuts:
- Cut each 8-foot plank at 5 feet and 3 feet. You will have eight total pieces, four of each size.
- Cut the 4″x4″ post into four equal sections, measuring 2 feet each. (The final dimensions of these will be 4″x4″x2′.)
This was the first time we’ve used our miter saw (a purchase I was initially against—”when would we use it?!” However, I’m definitely on board now with several DIY wood projects in our pocket). Chad said it went smoothly!
4. Bring the cut wood to your garden to build
Alternatively, you could build your raised garden bed on a flat surface (in a garage) and carry it out to your garden when it’s finished. That sounded more laborious to me, but to each their own.
While you’re here, lay the wood in the correct formation: it helps to put the wood in the piles you need. Two planks on each side, with the posts at each corner.
5. Use a drill to build
To build, start by putting the 4″x4″ post in the corner. Pre-drill two off-set holes into the post. From here, lay the first plank flush against the post (standing upward) and screw it to the post using those two holes and wood screws. Once that piece is connected to the post, stack the other plank on top and repeat. Each corner will have four total screwed holes.
Repeat this process, moving from one corner to the next, until all four are done and secured to each post.
And that’s it!
Ready, set, garden
The next steps in the process will be the actual gardening. More information to come! For now, Chad and I have put a layer of netting down underneath the bed and added some leaves and sticks in the base to act as mulch and compost. Next, we’ll get soil and seeds.
I’m excited to see where this space leads us!
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