How I built 3 big raised garden beds for under $100!

12:37 PM

I really wish I could have posted this content earlier so that if anyone wants to follow my tutorial that they'd have ample time to buy the materials and do the work before planting time. The truth is, I've only JUST finished getting them filled with soil and getting my own plants. So, as quick as I could, here is my tutorial for building THREE big raised garden beds - made of CEDAR! - for under $100.

P.S. How worth it is this?
If you spend $30 this year, on seeds or seedlings, you'll easily save $30 every week on groceries until October. The raised bed itself keeps the soil warmer so your season is longer, and the plants you grow are more successful, and it keeps the soil nicely watered but drained. It's also easier on your back for leaning down to plant, weed and harvest. And it looks cleaner! And the weeds can't get in as easily - nor the little bunnies or neighbourhood cats. I am huge lover of raised beds!!



Step one: hit your local Home Depot or favourite building supply store and get the following:
- 18 cedar boards that are 5 feet long x 1" thick x 6" tall - have 6 cut exactly in half lengthwise (so now you have 12 long boards and 12 short boards)

- Cedar screws long enough to go decently into your corner posts (I got 6 x 1 5/8's)

- If you want, you can get mending plates & shorter screws for holding the side boards to each other, but this is just extra

- Corner posts (my dad had some kicking around but these are 4x4's and we cut them to be 12" tall - i.e. the height of 2 cedar boards stacked on top of each other) - you will need 12, because 4 corners for 3 beds

Here are the corner posts after we cut them. I didn't use cedar but certainly it's the best (and what I used for the rest of the beds) because it lasts a long time!



Step two: Screw your short boards (2 1/2 feet long) to your corner posts. When one is one, stack another on top, so it's two boards tall. Creating a rectangle, screw your longer boards, two tall, to the corner posts.


I used the mending plates to make sure the boards stay together even if they begin to warp a bit. One screw on each side. Make sure to use short screws (these are 8 x 5/8's) so that it doesn't go all the way through.

Here is the finished product - so easy! I prefer them without a bottom because being open to the earth is better for drainage. Just remember to pull up the grass first, and any weeds that are hanging around. Keep the worms!


After pulling up the sod under the entire area (not exactly hard, our house is newly built so the sod is pretty fresh and simple to pull up) I leveled the ground and then placed them. If it wouldn't make mowing the lawn so hard I would have left space between them to walk but I can't be trusted to use a weed wacker often enough. Then I purchased organic 3 in 1 veggie soil (I only used 3 bags per bed but I'm sure 10 would easily fit if you wanted it filled to the top) and began planting right away.
 

Not a huge amount of work, or expense, and such pay off. I love my raised beds.

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