Cedar Raised Garden Beds made from Fence Pickets - Single Width

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Submitted by Ana White on Thu, 03/19/2020 - 11:35
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Easy and inexpensive DIY cedar rasied garden beds with free plans by Ana-White.com!  Uses cedar fence pickets to keep costs low and basic tools.  Beginner friendly.

You can find the double width plans here.

cedar garden beds

Photo by JESSICA9777 

Why Raised Garden Boxes?

We love raised garden boxes because it's less to weed, brings your working height upward, and uses less soil. It's also great for soil drainage, preventing soil compaction, and keeping unwanted pests out.

We love that raised beds warm up earlier in the spring (so you can plant earlier).

How Much Do Raised Garden Beds Cost?

The downside of raised garden beds is they can be expensive - in the hundreds of dollars depending on the size.  Multiply that by an entire garden worth of raised beds and the cost just becomes prohibitive.

The Secret: Use Cedar Fence Pickets

For a planter, you want to use natural wood because treated lumber releases odors and chemical that you don't want mixed in with your food.  And cedar naturally resists rot and insects, so a great choice for planters.  But standard cedar boards can be expensive.

Cedar fence pickets are made of real cedar and are designed to last and last in the exterior elements.  They cost less than $2 for a 1x6 board, 6 feet long - just a fraction of the cost of a standard cedar board.

I used six boards to build this cedar raised bed, and spent righyt at 10 dollars in lumber (the screws will add a little to the cost)

This exact cedar planter has lasted over ten years without any issues.  We have been very happy with this project and are planning on building more for our garden at our new house.

Pin For Later! 

Cedar Garden Beds


dimension diagram of cedar raised beds
Dimensions are shown above.


Shopping List

6 Cedar Fence Pickets

1x2 Cedar boards for corners (if you don't have a tablesaw)

1″ Screws

2″ Screws

Wood Glue

Finishing Supplies

Garden stakes or concrete stakes (we used a couple of stakes on each bed just to keep the bottoms in place)

Cut List

4 – 1×6 Fence Pickets @ 72″ (Side Panels, you can trim the dog ear off and work with a 71″ Fence post)

8 – 1×2 Fence Pickets @ 11″ (Corner Posts)

4 – 1×6 Fence Pickets @ 17 3/4″ (End Panels)

Optional Top Trim - CUT TO FIT

2 – 1×2 Fence Pickets @ 72″ (Top Trim, I used the non-dogeared ones from the center of the cuts)

2 – 1×2 Fence Pickets @ 19″ (Top Trim, Ends)

Cutting Instructions

Considerations for Size Modifications

If you alter the dimensions of the cedar beds, work with your materials to make sure you have the least waste (and more cedar beds!)  For example, make your end panels a fence picket cut in half for a 6 foot by 3 foot garden bed.

Tape Measure
Speed Square
Safety Glasses
Hearing Protection
Circular Saw
Table Saw


Step 1

Optional: Rip your Corner Posts

I’ve done the math, and by ripping one fence post into 4 – 1 1/4″ wide strips, you are saving quite a bit of money (well, that is, if you intend to build a garden full of planters). So set your tablesaw to 1 1/4″ and rip one of the fence posts to 1 1/4″ wide, as shown above.


Or Use 1x2 Cedar Boards

If you don’t have a table saw, you can use 1×2 cedar boards.

Step 2

Side Panels

Use your 1″ screws and glue to put together your side panels as shown above. The post will overextend the sides by 5/8″ as shown above.

I also used my Kreg Jig™ to join the boards together in the center (optional) or you can use a 1x2 in the center.


Step 3

End Panels

Build your end panels exactly like your side panels.

Step 4

Assembling the Panels

The panels should fit together like a puzzle. Fasten with 2″ screws and glue. Check for square.

Step 5

OPTIONAL: Measure and cut your top trim to fit.  Attach to the top.



Sun, 09/25/2016 - 00:08

I would like to know how this would be about putting legs on them to make them portable if i need to move them around? Would this DIY be stable above ground?


Thu, 03/02/2017 - 20:15

You. Are. A. Genius!  Need to make some raised beds for my 94 year-old mother, who will probably spend her last summer at her home.  I looked for cheap wood, but didn't think of cedar fencing - you are right!  Is is the cheapest  wood available, and cedar, to boot!  Plan is simple, qick to assemble and easy to transport.  Thank you!



Sat, 12/08/2018 - 10:48

I can’t find anywhere on the web for the setup for joining 5/8” depth boards. What is the placement of the mini kreg jig on the board, the collar settings, and screw length?


Mon, 03/16/2020 - 12:51

Super beginner here!

Do you need to finish cedar for outdoor use or can you leave it natural? If you need to finish it, what is the easiest option that holds-up well?



Tue, 05/05/2020 - 06:09


I've been building my raised beds out of composite decking from Home Depot. This year I am switching to cedar. While I have not seen any data on whether or not the composite decking leeches poisons into the dirt or not, I don't want to take that chance. We are adding two new boxes this year. A 6' X 2' long box and a corner 4' X 4' box.

This is the design we are working off, https://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=https%3A%2F%2Fi.pinimg.com%2F736x%…. Each year we are adding two or three new boxes to the layout. We restarted this new layout last year with three boxes. This year is two new boxes. Next year might be 3 or 4 to complete the outer layout. The following year would be the internal multi-tier flower box to attract bees. The flowers will be designed to pollinate throughout the summer at different times to keep the bees coming back as different vegetables pollinate. I'll also replace the three boxes that I made out of composite with cedar. Most likely this fall, or next fall. Just depends on how bad I think the chances of toxins leeching out of the composite.

The box design I was using puts the 4" X 4" pine posts inside. Your design is much more elegant, and I'll be using your design this weekend when I build the two new boxes. I'll need to change the dimensions and cut list to suit my needs, but the overall design is what I am shooting for here.

Thank you

Jason from RI


Sun, 05/22/2022 - 00:15

Hey Ana! Thanks for this plan! It is officially the first thing on my "real" build list (because the first thing on the build list in my head is a boyish play kitchen for my 14 month old). Just wanted to let you know the PDF isn't up for some reason. I like to save them just in case :). denver acupuncture

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