How to Build a Raised Garden Bed

I've been dreamily "window-shopping" raised garden beds, wishing I had the space and funds for what would be such a wonderful addition- not to mention improvement- to my summer garden.

But instead of having to buy one, my wonderful, talented father offered to make a 3' x 3' 10" deep raised bed himself with attached trellis.  It only took a little over two hours to build, was much more cost-efficient, and turned out amazing!  I am thrilled with the trellis, which is over 5' high!  

{click to enlarge}

The total cost to build the raised bed and trellis was $40.00.

If you look around, you'll see that the average bed is about $300.00, and that's not including the cost of adding a trellis to your order.  If you do find one less expensive, it's usually because it is only 6" deep- not deep enough for plants to grow large and healthy.

Here are the supplies you'll need to build your raised bed:

(4) 2x6x8 untreated douglas fir or pine boards (if you want to pay more, cedar is the best option)
(3) 2x2x6 boards for sides and top of trellis
(6) corner brackets
(1) length of 3x6 fencing wire (we chose the largest-sized openings and had it cut to size at the store)
(50+) screws
(8) eyelets 
(1) roll of string (eyelets and string are used for segregating your square feet.  Boards can be used for this as well.)

If your raised bed is going to be on wood or concrete like mine, you'll also need:

(1) 3x3 grow bed liner (or you can buy landscaping fabric to make your own)
(6) large bags of quality vegetable soil

Instructions (refer to photos):

Step 1: Taking two of your 2x6x8 boards, cut each one into two 3' pieces; that will give you four 3' boards and some excess.  Take the remaining two 8' boards and cut each one into two 3' plus twice the thickness of the board (about 3 inches) pieces.  You should have four 3' boards and four 3' 3" boards.

Step 2: Place two 3' pieces opposite one another and two 3' 3" pieces opposite one another, making a perfect 3' square (the shorter board goes on the inside of the longer).  Pre-drill a couple of holes at the end of the longer boards.  Screw the sides together to make a 3' box.  With the remaining four pieces, do the same.  You should now have two perfect boxes.

Step 3: Select your raised bed location and move your construction to the site if you're not there already.  Once the bed is build, you won't want to move it.

Step 4: Using four corner brackets and your drill, connect the two boxes together so that one is atop the other, but make sure the boxes are opposite one another (long board on bottom=short board on top).

Step 5:   Cut one trellis board ( the top one) to exactly 3'.  Either leave the other two or cut them to the desired height.  The bottom of the boards will reach the ground at the back of your box.  Pre-drill your holes and connect the pieces together to create the frame.  

Step 6: Using a staple gun, staple your wire fencing to the inside walls of the frame, securing it firmly and clipping off the excess length, allowing the trellis about 9-10" of "leg" room.

Step 7: Mount the trellis to the back of the box by pre-drilling the legs into the box and screwing on.  For extra strength we mounted corner brackets on each leg.   Make sure you place the trellis on a side where it won't shade the vegetables in the bed from the sun once everything is growing.

Step 8: Screw the eyelets 1' apart (two in each side) and 1/2" down from the inside top of the bed.  Wait until you add the liner and soil, then add your string, pulling it through the eyelets and tying to section off your nine square feet.

And you're done!  Your new raised bed is built and ready for you to plant!

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  1. Thanks for sharing these great instructions for building your raised garden beds. I love the photos! Following your advice, I am very excited to see how my raised bed garden will turn out this year!

  2. I would love for you to let me know how it turns out when you build it! I am loving mine!

  3. Thank you SO much for sharing! I've been wanting to build one of these for so long and the trellis is AWESOME! Can't wait to put my hubby to work on this :)

  4. I've been wanting to build a raised bed..thanks for these amazing instructions. I pinned this so I won't lose your post...and others can find it as well! Have a great day!

  5. Jessica- It was so quick and easy. I already have it seeded and am looking forward to harvest. Good luck with yours! I'd love to know how it turns out.

    4you-withlove- you're so welcome. I knew there had to be other ladies out there like me who wanted one but couldn't pay the price. Thank you so much for pinning!

  6. What a wonderful tutorial. I was contemplating whether or not to try this project this year. You may have encouraged me to do so. I'm your newest follower via the Skip to My Lou's link party. ~ Megan

  7. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful...I may have to attempt this project! Btw the photos are absolutely gorgeous♥
    Following you now & look forward to more posts! (I would love if you dropped by my blog & joined me too!)


  8. Megan- Thank you for the follow! I hope you decide to build a raised bed! It's so much easier than in-ground.

    Samantha- Thank you also for the follow! I've dropped by your blog and followed you back.

    As I said to the ladies above, I'd love to see your creations if you decide to build one!

  9. Great tutorial -- I've been dreaming raised garden beds too! I would love it if you would come link up with Busy Monday (open Monday through Thursdays) at A Pinch of Joy, a linky party for ideas that make life better, easier and more fun!

  10. Hey there, fantastic tutorial and your participation in our Pin'inspiration Party is greatly appreciated.

    You are a feature at this week's party.

    When you have a minute pop by and grab a button :0)

  11. excellent instructions. will file!!!

    I am actually coming to your site re. the Follower linky blog hop. I AM FOLLOWING YOU *** WILL YOU FOLLOW ME BACK ? Thank you so much when you do.

    There is also a link party on our blog, where you can feature 'your best creative work'. There are some great projects to see already, but we want to see your work!

    This url is both to FOLLOW and to PARTY:

    Hope to seeing you around!!
    Have a happy, creative day!

  12. I'm hoping we can build some this Spring as a family project. :)

  13. Very nice and detailed tutorial.. I am starting to warm up for gardening and needed this tutorial for my veggies.. :)
    Thanks for linking up at Friday fun party

  14. Great tutorial, thanks for sharing at So Creative! I featured this today, stop by some time and check it out.

  15. Congratulations!! Your raised garden bed is being featured for Busy Monday at A Pinch of Joy this week. Thanks so much for linking! Please feel free to grab a featured button from the button box! Can't wait to see what you have this week!

  16. Awesome!!! I was just checking into raised beds tonight. :) I've been reading One Magic Square and determined that this year, I WILL have a garden!


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