With the cost of construction materials cruising near an all time high, it is still a great time to literally save money and your back by building your own DIY elevated garden beds.
Last year our family used our traditional garden plot and fought the weeds and rain all year. Our garden harvest results were dismal at best; however, our plants around our carport in flower beds did extremely well producing cherry tomatoes into September.
So, this year have decided to build our own elevated garden beds.
To determine how much room we need for our home use, we took the square footage of last year’s so-so plot which was around 350 square feet.
Based on the outstanding production of our flower bed plants, we decided to build 4 – 18 square foot plots – (3 x 6 feet) – 72 square feet total.
We believe this will allow us to better manage and produce higher quality garden fare.
- 3 – 2”x 6”x 12’ #2 Boards
- 2 – 4”x 4”x 6’ Pressure Treated Posts
- 1 – 2”x 2”x 6’ Pine Board
- Roll of Landscaping Fabric (3 ft x 25 ft)
- Roll of ¼ Inch Screen Wire (3 ft x 10 ft)
- Box of 3 Inch Outdoor Screws
- Box of ¼” Staples
- Box of Roofing Nails or Fencing Staples
- Circular Saw
- Screwdriver or Drill
- Tin Snips or Wire Cutters
Step 1 – Make your cuts
With your materials ready to go, cut 2 of your 12 ft 2×6’s in half. These will provide the side boards for your bed.
Measure and cut your 3rd 12 ft 2×6 into 33-inch boards – you will have a little bit of that board left over (approximately 12”).
Step 2 – Cut the Legs
Then mark each of your 4x4x6’s at 31 inches and make the cuts on those legs pieces. With most circular saws you will have to mark the front and back of the 4×4 and make 2 cuts for your posts to separate.
Step 3 –Cut a Shelf for Bed on Legs
Measure and mark 7” on one end of each 4×4 31” post you cut earlier. This will create a shelf for your garden bed side boards to set on which will add some stability to the bed. Photo 7 – Setting Saw Depth to 2”
Check the depth setting on your circular saw and set it to 2” of blade depth (unplug your saw and measure the amount of blade below your saw base plate). Be sure to unplug your saw as it is very easy to trigger the saw when handling it – blades and fingers don’t mix well.
With your blade set at 2” make a series of cuts along the 7” marks on the 4×4 31” board and using your hammered gently break them off creating a 7” long, 2” shelf on the top end of each 4×4” 31” board.
Step 4 – Assembly
Using 2 each 3” Wood Screws, assemble your side boards and end boards using butt joints. With your end boards placed flush inside your side boards your outside width will be 36”.
Verify each level of your box is square – simple method is to measure from corner across to the other corner (in an “X” pattern)- both measurements should be the same if your box is square (as long as it is close you are good to go for your elevated garden.)
Using the left over 12” 2×6 pieces, rip (cutting along the length or with the grain) a two 3” wide sections.
Cut each 3” piece down to 11” long and use them to secure the two levels together by placing two screws in each piece.
Step 5 –Install Wire on Bottom of Bed
The top of your garden is really the bottom level. Un-wrap the 1/4” wire roll. With the bottom level setting flat, roll out enough wire to cover the entire bottom of the boards. (with cuts of the end boards at 33” and using butt joints to attach the side boards, your garden bed should be 36” wide, perfect fit for the 36” wide wire you are adding to the bottom.)
Staple the wire into place and add a few fencing staples or roofing nails to further secure the wire in place.
Step 7 – Adding two bottom Supports
To increase the support of the side boards and take the strain off the nails and staples holding your wire on – measure and cut a 2”x2” at 33” and add to the bottom of the bed.
Measure 22” in from your end board and insert your cut 2”x2” board – attaching each end to your side board with 3” screws.
Then using roofing nails or staples (I use staples) secure your wire to the bottom of the boards.
Step 6 – Secure Legs
Now with your wire facing the up and secure each leg by setting the leg shelf directly on top of the wire 2” inside your end board. Use two 3” screws in each level to secure the legs.
Once all four legs are in place, flip your garden onto its legs and we are ready to add the landscaping fabric.
Lay the landscaping fiber in the bottom of the bed, covering the side and folding over in the corners to cover the 11” inside of each board. This will require two runs of fabric, overlapping in the center. Cover the side and end boards with fabric and staple in place.
Move to your garden location and add soil to your desired depth.
Plant and enjoy.