Outdoors

Building a Raised Garden Bed

June 10, 2015
Looking for a DIY build project to kick-start your summer gardening? Here are some easy to follow instructions for building a raised garden bed along a shed (or fence, or whatever!) that you can easily adapt to your space.

I knew I had wanted to build some raised garden beds for a while, and I was/am planning on using them for veggies.  They would be going to the left and right of our shed, and I figured that maybe in the future we could do some planters along the fence as well?  Either way, I hope my instructions on how to build a raised garden bed along the shed will also apply to any other structure you might want to build your garden beds against!

Materials we Used:

  • 2″ x 6″ x 8′ Pressure Treated Lumber, x 4 lengths (cut in half)
  • 2″ x 6″ x 12′ Pressure Treated Lumber, x 11 lengths
  • 4″ x 4″ x 12′ Pressure Treated Lumber, x 1 length
  • Deck Screws (I think 2-1/2″ long?), lots
  • Tools: Level, Measuring Tape, Miter Saw, Drill, Sledgehammer, Clamps

This is what is needed for 1 box that measures 4′ x 12′ long, so if you are making a smaller box, make sure to use the material in lengths required for your measurements.  Also note that we did use pressure treated lumber for our veggie garden (gasp!), so if you’re worried about any chemicals seeping out, you can substitute cedar instead.  We just happened to have a lot of leftover 2x6x8s, and are not that worried about any contamination.

Step 1: Install Corner Posts

Looking for a DIY build project to kick-start your summer gardening?  Here are some easy to follow instructions for building a raised garden bed along a shed (or fence, or whatever!) that you can easily adapt to your space.

We had a 12′ length of 4×4 pressure treated wood sitting in our garage, so we cut it into four even sections.

Looking for a DIY build project to kick-start your summer gardening?  Here are some easy to follow instructions for building a raised garden bed along a shed (or fence, or whatever!) that you can easily adapt to your space.Looking for a DIY build project to kick-start your summer gardening?  Here are some easy to follow instructions for building a raised garden bed along a shed (or fence, or whatever!) that you can easily adapt to your space.

To help the wood go into the ground better, we angled our miter saw to 45 and cut an edge on each side.

Looking for a DIY build project to kick-start your summer gardening?  Here are some easy to follow instructions for building a raised garden bed along a shed (or fence, or whatever!) that you can easily adapt to your space.

This created a stake that helped drive the posts into the ground (vampires beware!).

Looking for a DIY build project to kick-start your summer gardening?  Here are some easy to follow instructions for building a raised garden bed along a shed (or fence, or whatever!) that you can easily adapt to your space.

We dug out a little hole for the first pole about 1′ away from our shed and hammered in the post about 6″ deep to start.  The hole actually did NOT help, it was much easier just to hammer the posts into the grass (with a sledgehammer).

Looking for a DIY build project to kick-start your summer gardening?  Here are some easy to follow instructions for building a raised garden bed along a shed (or fence, or whatever!) that you can easily adapt to your space.Looking for a DIY build project to kick-start your summer gardening?  Here are some easy to follow instructions for building a raised garden bed along a shed (or fence, or whatever!) that you can easily adapt to your space.

The second post was placed 4′ from the shed (about 3′ from the first pole) – because I had wanted my planters to be 4′ x 12′.  Anything wider than 4′ would not have been easy to reach across (when you’re gardening).  We took our long level and placed it across the tops of the two posts to make sure they were even; and hammered the post(s) down until they were level.

Looking for a DIY build project to kick-start your summer gardening?  Here are some easy to follow instructions for building a raised garden bed along a shed (or fence, or whatever!) that you can easily adapt to your space.
Tip: You’ll also want to make sure your posts are level on all angles (ie: upwards from the front and side – aka Y and Z axis).

Step 2: Adding Boards Across the Top

At this point you should only have three posts in.  The two closest to the shed (or whichever structure you’re building against), and only one of your outside corners.  We left the last one out at this time so we could make sure they were all even and squared.

Looking for a DIY build project to kick-start your summer gardening?  Here are some easy to follow instructions for building a raised garden bed along a shed (or fence, or whatever!) that you can easily adapt to your space.

We butted up one of our cut 2x6x4 boards to the shed, lined up to the top of the post.  After screwing that piece in, we clamped the long piece along the other side.

Looking for a DIY build project to kick-start your summer gardening?  Here are some easy to follow instructions for building a raised garden bed along a shed (or fence, or whatever!) that you can easily adapt to your space.

The photo above shows a better angle of what I mean (for the short piece lined up against the shed).  Never mind the wood on the bottom for now, they are just sitting there for later!

Looking for a DIY build project to kick-start your summer gardening?  Here are some easy to follow instructions for building a raised garden bed along a shed (or fence, or whatever!) that you can easily adapt to your space.

Make sure your board is level before you screw it into the post.  You may need to hammer the posts in again, depending on your yard.

Looking for a DIY build project to kick-start your summer gardening?  Here are some easy to follow instructions for building a raised garden bed along a shed (or fence, or whatever!) that you can easily adapt to your space.

Once your three posts are all in and set, it’s time to put in the last one.  Again, make sure the boards are level from the top before you screw them into place.

Looking for a DIY build project to kick-start your summer gardening?  Here are some easy to follow instructions for building a raised garden bed along a shed (or fence, or whatever!) that you can easily adapt to your space.

From there, you can put in the rest of your 4′ boards on the short ends.  DIY/Pro Tip: we always use two screws as a spacer, and if they get stuck after, you can just drill them out!

3. Build a Ledge

Looking for a DIY build project to kick-start your summer gardening?  Here are some easy to follow instructions for building a raised garden bed along a shed (or fence, or whatever!) that you can easily adapt to your space.

Remember how we put our first board a foot away from the shed which left a gap between the planter and the wall?  We could have continued putting the long boards on the same side, but it would have been too hard to screw into.  And we would still have that gap!

Looking for a DIY build project to kick-start your summer gardening?  Here are some easy to follow instructions for building a raised garden bed along a shed (or fence, or whatever!) that you can easily adapt to your space.

To solve this problem, we installed another two pieces of 2×6 across the top of the planter, along the wall.

Looking for a DIY build project to kick-start your summer gardening?  Here are some easy to follow instructions for building a raised garden bed along a shed (or fence, or whatever!) that you can easily adapt to your space.

This photo above shows my planter idea “doubters”: my Papa on the left, and the Husband on the right.  My Papa especially thought these planters were excessive, and wanted us to build some that were only a foot high… bah!

Looking for a DIY build project to kick-start your summer gardening?  Here are some easy to follow instructions for building a raised garden bed along a shed (or fence, or whatever!) that you can easily adapt to your space.

Anyways, back to the box building!  The shelf adds a nice feature on our raised garden beds; I was even thinking that you could put some flower boxes across the top to add some nice colours to the space.

Looking for a DIY build project to kick-start your summer gardening?  Here are some easy to follow instructions for building a raised garden bed along a shed (or fence, or whatever!) that you can easily adapt to your space.

We continued the walls on the inside of the box, and it butted up nicely against the top ledge.

Looking for a DIY build project to kick-start your summer gardening?  Here are some easy to follow instructions for building a raised garden bed along a shed (or fence, or whatever!) that you can easily adapt to your space.

From there, we just had to add the rest of the 2×6 boards across the long sections in the back and front.

Looking for a DIY build project to kick-start your summer gardening?  Here are some easy to follow instructions for building a raised garden bed along a shed (or fence, or whatever!) that you can easily adapt to your space.

And there you have it – some large (and in charge!) raised garden beds.

Looking for a DIY build project to kick-start your summer gardening?  Here are some easy to follow instructions for building a raised garden bed along a shed (or fence, or whatever!) that you can easily adapt to your space.

There is a bit of a gap along the ground at the center of the raised beds, but we’ll be able to fill that in with dirt when we get it delivered.  Speaking of dirt… filling these things took almost as long as it did to build them!  But that’s a story for next week…

Looking for a DIY build project to kick-start your summer gardening?  Here are some easy to follow instructions for building a raised garden bed along a shed (or fence, or whatever!) that you can easily adapt to your space.

In the end, it took approximately 5 hours for 2.5 people to build two of these in an afternoon (I say 2.5 because we didn’t always have three people working, not that we had a child help us or anything!).

So what do you think?  Have you planted yet this year; and if not, how about building a raised garden bed for your veggies?  I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments, and remember to check back in next week for tips on how to fill your beds!

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4 Comments

  • Reply Tony July 30, 2016 at 3:58 pm

    Great pics and concept, but you shouldn’t use pressure treated lumber for raised bed gardening, as the chemicals used to pressure treat can “leak” into your garden plants. Use cedar or non-treated wood to stay safe.

    • Reply Nicole July 31, 2016 at 9:24 am

      You’re right! I did mention that at the start of the post (we only used pressure treated because we had some on hand). Next time I build these I would definitely use cedar, thanks for reminding everyone :)

  • Reply Jennifer August 28, 2016 at 4:51 pm

    Eh, it will probably be ok if you line the inside with landscaping plastic which will also help prevent the wood from rot. Looks great though! I think I’m going to do something like this against the fence line.

    • Reply Nicole August 29, 2016 at 2:28 pm

      We did line the inside with landscaping fabric actually :) Our growing season is pretty short, so the plants aren’t really in there a supppperrr long time (compared to people who can grow things all year-round). I want to add some along our fences too, good luck!

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