Are you considering growing your own food? If so, we are here to show you how we built our cheap DIY raised garden beds. For less than $200, we were able to build a 12 x 6 u-shaped raised garden bed.
There are many great choices when planning for a garden. From a unique garden bed to an eye-catching arrangement or rustic-inspired looks, a garden can fit into your outdoor space.
After looking for inexpensive raised garden bed ideas, we decided to combine a u-shaped raised bed with traditional feed containers.
To get started, grab your FREE step-by-step printable guide to build your raised garden bed!
Throughout the post, you will find the materials needed and directions. There are affiliate links throughout which means I will get a small commission if you purchase from them.
Benefits of a Raised Garden Bed
Raised garden beds offer several benefits for a beginner gardener or experienced gardeners, including:
- Better Soil Quality: Raised garden beds typically have loose, well-drained soil that’s enriched with compost and other organic matter. This allows for better root growth and helps prevent soil compaction, which can limit plant growth.
- Improved Drainage: The raised sides of a garden bed allow for better drainage, preventing waterlogging and improving aeration. Landscape experts say this is beneficial for plants that prefer well-draining soil, such as herbs, vegetables, and some fruits.
- Easier Maintenance: Raised garden beds can be easier to maintain, as they can be constructed at a height that is comfortable to work with, reducing the need for bending or kneeling. This can be especially beneficial for gardeners with physical limitations.
- Pest Control: Raised garden beds can also help with pest control, as they provide a physical barrier to crawling insects and pests. They can also be covered with netting or other protective coverings to keep birds, rodents, and other animals from eating your crops.
- Aesthetically Pleasing: Raised garden beds can add a neat, organized look to a garden. They can also be constructed from a variety of materials, including wood, stone, and metal, allowing for customization to fit your personal style.
- Longer Growing Season: Raised garden beds can also extend your growing season, as the soil in the beds tends to warm up faster in the spring and stay warmer in the fall. This can allow for earlier planting and later harvests, giving you a longer growing season overall.
Overall, raised garden beds can make gardening easier, more productive, and more enjoyable, and can help gardeners grow healthier plants with higher yields.
Materials Needed for a Cheap Raised Garden Bed
Before heading out to buy your materials for your DIY garden beds, make sure you know the exact measurements of what you need. If you fall short on lumber, you’ll spend your lunch time going back to buy more. That, friends, doesn’t sound fun at all.
Other than doing a traditional garden, or in-ground garden, this is the cheapest way we found to build a raised garden bed.
The elevation of a raised garden bed is based on your preference You could go with a 12″ height from ground level if you like lower beds.
We decided on a 24″ height from ground level.
Building materials needed for the u-shaped raised garden bed.
- 11 12 ft. boards (get untreated if you don’t want the chemicals to seep into your garden soil)
- 18 8 in Tan Concrete Retaining Wall blocks
- Miter Saw
- Measuring Tape
These materials are also listed in your free printable guide!
You have many options when it comes to purchasing the lumber for your planter box or raised garden. In other words, the kind of wood you purchase is up to you! For example, you can choose between untreated wood, cedar boards, rot-resistant wood, or pressure-treated lumber.
How to Build Raised Garden Boxes
Whether you are planning to build a herb garden, vegetable garden, or grow fragrant flowers, this is a simple way to get started.
The first step was choosing where to put our raised bed garden. Make sure you have enough space for the wooden box size that you wish to build. If you have a smaller space, make sure to leave enough room to walk around your garden.
It’s a good idea to walk your land, know where the excess water flows to, and watch the sun pattern throughout the day. The amount of sunlight is a very important factor.
We choose a location that allows gets full sun throughout the say. As the seasons change, the sun/shade ratio will also change. The spot we chose will be great for growing our favorite herbs, our own salad greens, and a handful of delicious vegetables.
Travis drew up the basic design on a piece of paper, then headed to our local hardware store.
Next, Travis measured and laid out the concrete blocks. These blocks are made so the boards can just slide right down into place. As you can see, this concrete block is different than tractional cinder blocks. They have 2″ cuts on every side that allows boards to be easily placed.
The exact spacing measurements are included in the free printable guide for building a raised garden.
We particularly like these blocks because they don’t require corner braces. Metal braces are fine, but if you are keeping your list of inexpensive materials to a minimum, these are the way to go.
Once we got the lumber out of his truck, he was ready to start cutting the boards. For this project, he used his Dewalt miter saw.
We choose to make our u-shaped raised bed 24″ high. The measurements for each board are in your free printable guide.
As I recorded the process, he began cutting and placing the first set of boards into place. He measured twice every step of the way.
There were a couple areas where he had to dig up a little grass to make the boards level. When gardening, it’s always a great idea to have a shovel on hand.
It took just a few minutes to get the bottom layer of boards into place.
Then, it was time to put the second layer down.
First, we went around, and laid the second layer of blocks at each corner. After he and I got all of the boards into place, he went around and made sure everything was level.
To finish building the raised bed, he choose to put a flat board on all edges of the bed. This way, we have a flat surface to kneel on when (if needed) while gardening. This step isn’t needed, but it does give it a more finished look.
Here is the final look of the cheap DIY raised garden beds. As you can see, this wooden garden bed was a cheap DIY project.
If you’re ready to give it a try, grab this free step-by-step instruction guide to get started!
The daylight was coming to an end, so we decided to wait on filling it until we had more time.
Before going heading in for the night, we placed the container garden beds into their placement. I will share more about those on part 2 of this blog post.
We will share how we fill our raised beds on part 2 of the Cheap DIY Raised Garden Beds post. (Stay tuned) `
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