How To: Raised Garden Bed

One of my 2013 Home Goals was to build a raised planter box for my vegetable and herb garden. I read a lot of tutorials on how to build a planter and I liked this one the best. I had every intention to have it built and ready to accommodate a spring garden, well needless to say I just finished it this month. Just in time for a fall garden, lol! Come take a journey with me while I show you how I built a raised garden bed.

This project should take a weekend to construct but it took me a whoopin' 4 months to complete. Don't judge! :) Despite it taking me 'fo life' to finish, it was an easy build. This post is picture heavy which is abnormal for me so bear with me.
Materials Needed:
1 - 4x4x6 cedar post ($20)
6 - 1x6x8 cedar board ($92)
1 - 1" by 10' PVC pipe ($2)
2 - 1/2" by 10' PVC pipes ($4)
8 - 1" PVC conduit clamps ($3)
32 - 2-1/2" exterior screws (had on hand)
16 - 1/2" #8 wood screws ($2)
1 cu. yd. soil mix ($50, use a combination of topsoil, peat moss and compost)
organic garden fabric and pins ($15)
bird netting ($5)
cedar mulch ($5)

I did a lot of research on what type of wood to use. I landed on cedar cause it is rot resistant and is not chemically treated so it is food safe. You can always use cheaper untreated wood but it will rot. Cedar is not cheap and the price varies depending on the market.

Cuts Needed:
I had our big box store cut my cedar boards to size but if you have a table saw you can have at it. Cut the 4x4 into four 16" tall pieces, this will be your corner posts (we used our circular saw and had to make several cuts to go through the entire 4x4). Cut two of the 1x6's in half. Cut the 1" PVC pipe into four 12" long pieces. Cut the 1/2" PVC pipes into 6' long pieces.
Make sure you assemble your pieces on a hard, flat surface. I assemble ours on our back porch. Build bed upside down or it will be just plain awkward. Set a 4' 1x6 on its edge on your flat surface and place a 16" post at one end. Secure post with two 2-1/2" screws. Repeat.

Join short sides with an 8' board and secure with screws. Add second layer of boards. The assembly process took only about 30 minutes tops.
Since this garden bed will be for my veggies|herbs I needed to find the sunniest spot in my yard that will be out the way when the wild rumpus starts. My kids play soccer, run, chase, jump and my yard has seen many sword fights, hula hoop contest and cops and robbers have been known to frequent my yard as well. So I needed my bed to be out of their way. I chose a spot near the fence line that is the only spot that gets the most sun, I have a really shady yard.

Now the fun part starts, I had to enlist my hubby for sheer man power. Mark off the area and remove all of the grass or weeds. He also removed about a foot more of grass around the perimeter of the box. When your area is grass free mark off the post location and dig a 5" deep hole for each post.
We lined the entire area with organic garden fabric to prevent weeds. I like this product because it is 100% biodegradable and food safe. We secured it to the ground with pin and cut out squares where the post will go. We then lowered the bed into place and mulched around the bed.
Attach Pipe:
This is completely optional, to hold hoops for bird netting, attach the four 12" pieces of 1" PVC pipe inside the bed on the long sides. Place 2' from each ends and secure with two clamps and four 1/2" screws for each pipe. Repeat.
Time to fill the bed with soil. We got ours from a local company and we bought a cubic yard. After my hubby did all that back burning labor of hauling the dirt from the truck to the bed I realized I did not like the quality of the soil so instead of removing it, I added peat moss and compost to it.
Oh, hi Mr. Lego Man! He came out to join in the fun!
Insert the Hoops:
To cover newly planted seedlings with bird netting or to keep of those pesky squirrels, bend two 6' pieces of 1/2" PVC pipe in form semi-circles and slip their ends into the 1" pipes we installed earlier. This sounds easy but one the ends popped back out and flung in the air and hit me square in my knee. OMG, it hurt so bad and it bruised. Once again the hubby came and fixed it for me. If you look closely you will see my hoops are not perfect semi-circles, he bent them to relieve some of the tension. Thanks Bay!

After you plant your seeds or seedlings, drape with bird netting.
Now that was a long post, at least for me, now I am tired and need a nap! I will hopefully share soon what I planted in my fall garden. My plants are really little and I want to wait a bit to see how they do. This is my first attempt at gardening and I think I am off to a good start with this awesome bed. Have you ever built something and did it take longer than expected to complete? Do tell!

See ya soon and enjoy your Labor Day weekend!


  1. Awesome! I would so love to have room for a raised planter box too.
    Have a great weekend.

  2. Awesome post Darnetha...I like the lego Man, he helped me out


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