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How to Build a Simple Raised Garden Bed

A simple DIY tutorial on how to build a raised garden bed for your home.

There is a joy in growing your own food and to do this you do not need a huge garden, you can use the easier method of garden beds. We decided to make two garden beds for our backyard and the size of these raised boxes is 3ft x 8ft. We, also, wanted the option of placing solar lights on the posts to light up the backyard.

garden boxes with plants planted

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DIY Raised garden boxes


MATERIALS:

Supplies and instructions for two beds:

  • (6) 2″x12″x8ft Redwood boards
  • (1) 4″x4″x10ft Redwood post
  • (1 box) 2-1/2″ outdoor screws
  • (8) Solar Lights (optional)
  • bags of soil
  • plants

TOOLS:

  • Miter Saw
  • Tape Measure
  • Drill
  • Pencil
  • safety glasses
  • face mask (for dust)
  • ear protection
  • shovel
  • rake

You can print the material list and instructions below.

Before we get started, make sure to follow me on Instagram, Youtube, and Pinterest to keep up with all my latest projects and builds!

I read a lot on what wood to use and everywhere said the two best options for outdoor use was Redwood or Cedar. Do NOT use treated wood because this can affect your plants.

supplies for raised garden box of redwood and soil

THE PLANS:

To help you with this project, I have created some free printables. You will have to subscribe to my newsletter to receive the FREE PDF. If you have questions, please visit the Q&A page on free printables/plans.

Raised Garden Bed – FREE Plans

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STEP 1: Cut the wood

CUT LIST for two garden boxes:
(4) – 36″ from 2″x12″ boards
(8) – 15″ from 4″x4″ post

Start by cutting the wood to the cut list. You will only cut two 2″x12″ but the other four are already cut to size.

boards cut to size for raised garden boxes

SIDE NOTE: We had to flip the boards on our miter saw to cut the full 12″ board.

cutting board with miter saw

STEP 2: Mark the boards

Now take your pencil and mark your 4×4 legs. Mark 2″ down from the top of each post. Turn every post one direction (rotate once) and mark 2″ again. This line is where your 2″x12″ boards will line up on the leg.

4x4 legs marked

These next marks you do not have to make but it will give you a more finished look. Mark the end of the 2″x12″ boards for where the screws are going to be placed, follow the photo below for where to place the marks.

UPDATE: On the longer side- 8ft, place two more marks (where screws will be placed), closer to the edge of the board where the two boards meet.

placement of where screws will be placed on boards

Next drill a hole into each mark, make sure the drill bit is smaller than the screw. Doing this will help the boards from not cracking when placing the screws.

STEP 3: Assemble the sides

Take a 36″ board and place it on two leg pieces, lining up the edges and the line you marked earlier. Make sure the other line is facing the side where the other board will go. 

Then drill in the 2-1/2″ screws where you pre-drilled for both sides of the board. Complete this step for each 36″ board.

Here is an example of what the side piece should look like.

screws installed on 3 foot side of raised garden box

STEP 4: Assembling the garden box

Next is adding the 8ft board to the side pieces. Stand the side piece up and place the 8ft board on top, making sure the mark on the leg is facing where you place the 8ft board.

SIDE NOTE: It is helpful to have another person to hold the boards.

On one side of the 8ft board, line up the board to the marked line on the leg but have the end flush with the side board.

After lining up the boards, attach the boards together with the 2-1/2″ screws.

attaching side of garden box with outdoor screws

Do the same thing for the other side of the 8ft board.

assemble of 8ft board side of garden box

After you have both sides of the 8ft board attached, flip the boards so that the just added 8ft board is on the ground. Then repeat the step by adding the other side with another 8ft board.

Complete this step again to create your second box.

garden box assembled

STEP 5: Place your garden boxes

Decide where you want to place your garden boxes then dig in that location where the frame of the boxes will be in the ground. You want to box to be under the dirt by about an inch.

digging in yard for placement of garden boxes

After you have dug for where the frame will sit, place box into the hole and level the box.

SIDE NOTE: I read that you should have your boxes at a slight slope. This way the water can drain easier. But you can decide what you want to do.

placing raised garden boxes in yard

Fill in around where you dug for the frame then place your gardening soil into your boxes.

TIP: Place a weed barrier first to help prevent unwanted growth in your garden boxes.

Next add the solar lights to the posts to give your garden boxes some light.

raised garden bed with corn planted

The raised garden boxes are now complete and you can plant your favorite plants.

two raised garden beds in a backyard
Yield: two garden boxes

How to build a raised garden bed

two raised garden beds in a backyard

Making a garden bed doesn't need to be difficult. Follow these steps on how to build a raised garden bed to create your own 3ft by 8ft gardening space. Visit the post to get the plans.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Active Time 1 hour
Additional Time 1 hour
Total Time 2 hours 10 minutes
Difficulty Easy
Estimated Cost $60

Materials

  • (6) 2"x12"x8ft Redwood boards
  • (1) 4"x4"x10ft Redwood post
  • (1 box) 2-1/2" outdoor screws
  • (8) Solar Lights (optional)
  • bags of soil
  • plants

Tools

  • miter saw
  • Tape Measure
  • Drill
  • Pencil
  • safety glasses
  • face mask (for dust)
  • ear protection
  • shovel
  • rake

Instructions

  1. Cut (4) 36" pieces from the 2"x12" boards and (8) 15" from the 4"x4" post.
  2. Mark the side boards and predrill holes for where the screws will be placed.
  3. Also mark the legs 2" from the top.
  4. Assemble the 36" pieces to two legs with the 2" mark above the 36" pieces and attach each post with three screws.
  5. Assemble the 36" pieces and legs to the longer 8ft side boards using five screws per side.
  6. Place your garden beds into the ground. Then fill with dirt and plant your plants.
how to build a garden bed