Raised Vegetable Garden

I couldn’t help but repost this raised garden that we built last year. We got more veggies from it than we expected last year and are in the process of replanting for this year’s harvest!

I wanted to build something substantial but small enough to easily maintain. I also wanted something kid and wife friendly so I made sure there was a nice bench top and a sprinkler head nearby (wife kills plants).  This was a great family project, my son had a blast building our garden and planting vegetables. So here is how I built my Brayden and I built our vegetable garden.

Doing some gardening

Doing some gardening

Ready for day 2!

Ready for day 2!

Helping hands

Helping hands


Required Tools



Materials


  • 6x     4 x 6 x 8′  pressure-treated wood (YellaWood)
  • 3x     2 x 10 x 10′  pressure-treated wood (YellaWood)
  • 4″ Exterior Wood Screws
  • 10 cubic feet topsoil
  • 10 cubic feet compost
  • 12 cubic feet garden soil
  • Weed Barrier

Note: Using pressure treated wood for a vegetable garden…

Some people freak out about using pressure treated wood to build vegetable gardens. I have done my research on this topic and I am fine with using pressure treated lumber for my vegetable garden. Now, if I had access to cedar or cypress and the cost wasn’t absolutely ridiculous I would have gone that route but in most parts of the world this stuff is hard to find and expensive when you do. Rather than detailing everything about the subject, I will list a couple of sources. Here’s where YellaWood claims their pressure treated lumber is safe for vegetable gardens.

“YellaWood® brand products are gentle enough to be used in raised vegetable gardens and durable enough to provide long-term protection.”

But if you want to learn more about the subject from an unbiased source the check out what Fine Gardening has to say about it.


Cut List


Cut List


Raised Garden Bed Plans


Step 1:

Determine a location for your vegetable garden. You’ll want something that gets good sun; at least 6 – 12 hours of full sun each day. If you already have an irrigation system in place then make sure to use that to your advantage and place your garden where you will get adequate watering from your irrigation. If you don’t have irrigation then consider the distance to the water spigot and my advice is to invest in a programmable timer with a soaker hose. (Note: make sure to place your timer at the faucet to avoid water pressure on the hose.)

Once you’ve determined your location, lay out the 4 x 6 timbers in a lap joint pattern as shown. Pay attention to how they are laid out so that the best looking sides are facing out. After getting them arranged how you like then screw the lap joints together for both levels, using 4 inch exterior wood screws. (And yes, I know I’m not wearing the proper footwear.)

Check for square and level. Dig out soil as necessary to achieve level.

Screw together lap joints

Screw together lap joints

Raised Garden Bed - Assembling Lap Joints


Step 2:

After checking for a flush exterior, attach the two levels together using 4 inch exterior wood screws on a 45 degree angle from the inside-top level to bottom level, as shown.

Step 2: Attach top and bottom levels together

Step 2: Attach top and bottom levels together


Step 3:

After assembling the base you should install your weed blocker using a staple gun not only to keep out the grass and weeds but to keep in all that lovely soil you’re about to add in the next step.

Install weed blocker

Install weed blocker


Step 4:

Time to install the cap/bench top! After setting everything in place so there is an even overhang all around, screw the cap down to the base using 4 inch exterior wood screws. As you move to the next board, screw them together with two horizontal screws at each corner as shown in the picture.

Installing cap

Installing cap

Including the kids

Including the kids

Checking for level

Checking for level


Step 5:

Finally you can fill your garden with soil. You’ll need about 32 cubic feet of it. The blend that I used was 10 cubic feet of topsoil as a base layer the a mix of about 10 cubic feet of compost and 10 cubic feet of garden soil for vegetable gardens.

Fill with garden soil

Fill with garden soil


Step 6:

Plant your veggies, water and enjoy!

Garden DONE!

Garden DONE!

Watering Veggies

Watering Veggies


As always if you have any questions don’t hesitate to comment below and especially don’t forget to post pictures of your finished products in the comments! ENJOY!

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  • JamieElizabethRantz

    First veggies picked from the garden. Proof that I may actually have a green thumb 🙂

  • Seat around the top edge…GENIUS!

  • Pingback: My Done-In-A-Day Square Foot Garden | Little Home Happiness()

  • Shantanu Dhawan

    Hey Jamie… Loved it !! This is exactly what i had been searching for – step by step guide to build a raised bed vegetable garden. Thank You !! 🙂

    I got 2 questions here –
    1) Drainage – i saw you covered the whole of bed with lining sheet – so the water will be trapped and wouldn’t drain out, is it? Isn’t drainage of water required for plants to flourish? Sorry if this question sounds like a silly one but I am no expert in planting- and curious to learn it these days. 🙂

    2) I plan to make the same one on my apartment balcony – can I do this on a solid concrete floor as well?
    I stay on 5th floor and have a big balcony – so really want to make something similar in there.

    Looking forward for your guidance 🙂

    Regards,
    Shantanu

    • Thanks Shantanu! As far as drainage, the lining is just a weed blocker so it drains perfectly fine but keeps the weeds out. As far as putting it on a balcony, I’m not sure. I would be concerned about the weight (it is very heavy). But you say you have concrete floors so it may be okay. The other issue would be drainage. Mine drains out of the bottom into the ground. You having a concrete floor would not allow for that. You could add some weeping holes at the base though.

  • Kyle Smith

    Hey, I just found your site and am loving it so far! As I was reading through this, I noticed your Amazon referral links have an extra space between the backslash and ASIN, thus not correctly redirecting to the listing. I know this probably helps pay for the upkeep on the site so I wanted to let you know.

    Outside of that, this is my favorite garden bed plan I’ve found so far. When my backyard is ready I think I’m going to try this out. Thanks for all the work you put in to making these!

    • Kyle, thanks so much for pointing that out. I am going to look into that. I appreciate you looking out for me, and glad you are going to try building from my plans!

  • Melissa Hamline Gilstrap

    Hello! Love the site and these plans. My hubby and I built these a few weeks ago and they look great. Only issue we’ve had is that the top boards are separating. Any ideas on how to fix this?

    • This looks awesome. One option would be to add a metal bracket to help keep the corners from separating.

  • I like this design. I built a raised bed a few years ago, but used 1 inch cedar boards from Home Depot. The thicker stock you’re using will work much better. I also had a deer problem which may not be a problem everywhere. I looked into getting a small electric fence. After a little more research I decided to add 3 rows of 30 pound monofilament fishing line around the bed (supported on metal posts), leaving a small inner buffer for me to walk. So far, I haven’t had any problems with the deer. Downside, is it does detract from the look of the raised bed. But it works.

    Great tutorial! And great you got your little helper involved.

    • Thanks! We built these raised beds at our old house and luckily since it was in a neighborhood we didn’t have a deer problem! However, we now live out in the country and planted a big garden this year. We have learned a few tricks to help keep the deer away, along with a fence around the garden we have a motion activated deer deterrent. We also have tired a couple other things, like human hair around the garden edges (ask your local barber) and cut up irish springs soap and tied in a cloth and hung on the fence posts. Something about the smell is supposed to keep deer away. It’s hard to say what is working, but we haven’t had a deer problem so far!

      • I don’t know if the fishing line is the solution or not. I’ve been told that they can’t see the monofilament but they bump into it. Supposedly it creates an uncertainty about what they are jumping over and into. I think this probably works best on smaller raised beds. My dad has a large garden and he uses an electric fence which seems to work. But if the fence goes out for an extended time they quickly adapt and don’t hesitate to jump over.

  • Michael Lewis

    I just started the build to surprise my wife, I have all of my boards cut and I am struggling with screwing them together as shown in Step 1. If the boards are 4×6 and the screws are 4″, I am not sure how they screw together? Thanks for the help and enjoy the site. I can see many projects in my future.