Raised Garden Beds!

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About This Project

Yay! Here are my raised beds, motivated by Ana White's post. :) I decided to use 2x lumber rather than 1x lumber because I plan to add benches on the ends of each bed. I just love how these turned out! I used Hemlock rather than cedar because it was a THIRD less expensive. Orange told me hemlock would last roughly 5-6 years whereas cedar would last 7-9 year. I staggered the sizes too - first bed (with the strawberries) is 4' x 10', second is 4' x 8' and the third (with the stakes) is 4' x 6'. Hubby hauled in a bunch of pea gravel to surround the beds while the girls and I added rocks from around our yard to the perimeter. :)

Required Skill Level: 
Estimated Time Investment: 
An Hour or Two (0-2 Hours)
Finish Used: 


I am saving this idea. I don't always like the way gravel looks around beds but I really like yours. And I have been trying to think of a way to arrange different sized beds and never thought of doing it this way.

Thank you!!! I love the way it turned out too!

My only suggestion would be to lay down wire mesh before adding your soil... If you have moles, they'll LOVE your garden beds... The wire mesh would have kept them out. They ate some of my carrots last year and destroyed the roots of quite a few of my pea plants!

I love how these beds look... especially with the pea gravel!  I would have never thought to do that!  Makes it less likely to have grass and weeds come up.  I'm definitely going to give this a try this summer.  Do you have any issues with rabbits? Cause we have a nervy one that pretty much sets up camp in our backyard each summer. 

I love these and I really want to make them. This is my very first year having a garden and have decided I want raised beds. Money is a significant factor, so I'm looking to build them on the cheap. I've also never built anything, EVER. The only things I've never made are messes and babies. ;-)

Could you give some more details for a total newbie like me?

What size boards did you buy?

Ana's plans call for a table and circular saw. Did you use these? (I presently have no saw, need to get one I guess)

Any extra details you could give would be awesome.

Your garden looks so pretty. If my looks 1/2 as good, I'll be happy.

The beauty of buying your lumber is that you can have each piece cut to your specifications before you leave the lumberyard. Then you only have to assemble your raised bed when you get home, fill it & plant away! If you are using scavenged lumber like I am, you are going to have to have access to a saw unless you are very lucky & find the sizes of lumber you need! LOL

Honestly, these weren't a ton of work.  I had Home Depot cut all of the boards for me, so when I got home, all I needed to do was predrill the holes and screw them together!  That's seriously it!

I staggered the sizes of the beds - first bed (with the strawberries) is 4' x
10', second is 4' x 8' and the third (with the stakes) is 4' x 6'.  :)

I'm having problems telling from this picture, are the sides one board or two boards high? 

Would love to see updates if you put benches on! ;-)
DH and I are totally making these. I'm so excited for my first adventure in gardening!
p.s. I'm "Sativa" from above. I finally got around to creating an account.

One board high.  I've been way too lazy to add benches yet!  I definitely want to in the future, just haven't had time.  And the ground isn't level there AT ALL, so I'm not sure how to add benches without the feeling of leaning sideways!  LOL  Hoping to get that project sometime this summer.  I'll be sure to post updates if/when I do.  :)

I absolutely love these! I can't tell what size boards you used, 2x4 or 2x6? I searched on Homedepot's website and only found 2 x 4 hem studs. Your garden bed looks taller than 2 x 4s... thanks!

I honestly don't remember how much that cost.  We had some already, but the rest we got at a local nursery.  I put a tarp into the back of my minivan and we just drove loads back and forth - so we didn't have to pay for individual bags of soil or a delivery fee.  It worked out really well.  :)

Don't intend to make you feel bad BUT you'll never get plants to grow if your beds contain DIRT. I'm a beginning gardener and have built my own raised beds, too. I like yours. But you loaded them up with SOIL not dirt. Dirt has no nutrients and will do a good job of sitting there but won't grow a thing! :^) I'm a life science teacher and each year take 6th graders to an overnight environmental education camp that they talk about until they graduate from high school. Their parents sometimes sport bumper stickers that say, "My Kid Knows the Difference Between Soil and Dirt" (Multnomah County Outdoor School). Just sayin'!

Ummm...maybe my eyes are deceiving me, but aren't those really healthy, thriving plants in ferbits brag post pics? In the eventuality that your dirt does become nutrient deficient, (doesn't seem to be the case with your beds) all is not lost ferbit my friend! Just work in some nice organic compost and you will be good to go!

Dirt is Dirt, whether it's soiled or not, it's all dirt. That just seems like an awfully picky post. :)

Well anyway, the beds look good! I like the gravel. Did you put down landscaping cloth or something to help keep weeds from coming up through it?

I love these ideas especially using pebbles or rocks so that your feet won't get muddy when it rains. I need some help and ideas regarding our bad grasshopper problem in Texas and squash bugs. I know either you or someone can come up with a way to cover the raised garden beds. Maybe with screen material, but I have not clue how to make covers but with your help I know you will. I know wood would rot or attract termites, but using another material how would one cover it with screen. Ana help me here in Texas, I love your website!!! Keep the ideas coming.

what would u suggest putting on top of the raised beds for the intense heat and the birds here in okla. Would u place poles in each corner and tie material on top, would cheesecloth work. Also, would u plant okra in raised bed and how many pods need to plant for a family of 4. If i have a raised bed built 4 feet wide and 20 feet long, if i plant tomoatoes, okra, yellow squash and zunnchi, green beans, cukes, onions, how many tomato plants would i be able to plant and all the other itmes, also what brand names are good, i am a beginner as u can tell. also, have u planted using tires, what about using tire to plant watermelon. i read somewhere u need to use loam for soisl. thank u. carolyn

How do you decide what plants to put next to each other? My tomatoes last year overtook all the other plants around them (even though I left plenty of space).

I leave lots of room for them and let them get huge. I usually plant quicker growing plants around them so I can use the space before the tomatoes explode. Lettuce is great for this! By the time the tomatoes are starting to get huge, it's too warm to plant more lettuce, so the space isn't wasted anymore.

Gardeners.com has a great "Plan your own Garden tool" on their website to get you started.  Hope that helps!!

I am renting a house in which the entire back hard is paved or cemented. I would like to plant some grass for my dog and maybe add a bun y to our family. What do you think about using a few raised planter boxes with some screening on the bottom to keep the dirt in? Any other suggestions? Thanks!