See how we made a DIY raised garden bed using just $40 in wood and what we decided to plant. LOVE having fresh veggies for the Summer!
DIY Raised Garden Bed
This is a post I wrote several years ago as we were creating our DIY raised garden bed. For just about $40, we made our own from wood purchased from Lowe's, and then had fresh veggies all Summer long!
I am super excited about our penny pinched garden that we're starting this year!
We've had a garden for years in the ground, but last year just got too busy to get started and missed a season of fresh veggies. So, when I saw this great raised garden bed idea on Pinterest last Saturday morning, I begged my husband to consider it.
Since I'm pretty sure he's a farmer at heart, he happily complied.
While I really wanted to use the beautiful cedar planks that were used HERE, but when he got to Lowe's the cedar boards were $60. (That would have cost us $300 ~ yikes!)
Instead, he settled on untreated wood. So, for $43 (after using a $10 off $50 Lowe's coupon) one box is finished, and I'm pretty sure we're going to do another one this weekend.
I see fresh tomatoes, peppers, onions, beans and maybe even potatoes in my future!
How to Make Your Own Raised Garden Bed
If you're looking to make your own raised garden bed, you'll need to have GOOD instructions – especially if this is your first time building something like this. The type of soil and the type of wood you use is important, so be sure to follow those guidelines.
We followed these directions almost to a tee, and James is hoping to hook up a watering system to the garden so we won't have to worry over the watering.
(Since we didn't have a watering system for the crazy Alabama heat, he created a direct dripper system a few summers ago that waters every hanging basket and flower pot in our yard. It saves a ton on water, and all of my baskets look fantastic all summer long. . . I'll show you pictures of that one of these days because it's amazing!)
What to Plant in a Raised Garden Bed
There are SO MANY plants that you can put into a raised garden bed. The type of plants you use can also depend on the depth of your soil. For most plants, 8 – 12 inches is fine – but if you're planting a lot of different vegetables, plan on trying to have at least 18 inches of soil.
Basically, as long as you have the space, you can plant whatever you would like in your garden.
We decided to try out the square foot gardening method (which we've never used before), and I'm shocked at how many vegetables it looks like we'll be able to grow in such a small space.
Here are the plants we decided to put in our DIY raised bed garden:
- Green Peppers
- Red Peppers
- Red Onions
- Sweet Onions
- Red Potatoes
- White Potatoes
- Sugar Snap Peas
While I'm so excited about our garden, my favorite part of the weekend was getting our ferns on the front porch . . . I love “Hanging of the Ferns” Day around here!
Until moving to Alabama I really didn't love ferns, but something about living in the South and seeing a slew of ferns on the front porch just makes me happy these days. And I'm telling you what, the ferns at our local nursery were just incredible this year.
I'd love to somehow keep ferns through the winter and not have to re-purchase them this year, but we don't have anywhere to keep them in the winter. If you've ever tried keeping ferns indoors over the winter months I'd love to hear your suggestions.
We also bought several plants to start working on our planters, but haven't quite gotten them planted yet . . .
If you're considering starting a raised bed garden at home but don't want to build one yourself, you may want to check out this Best Choice Products Raised Garden Kit.
You can also get the All New Square Foot Gardening Book for around $10 (regularly $19.98), and if you're here in the South and love flower gardens, our favorite gardening book is Harvey Cotton's Easy Gardens for the South.
He's a local author and the book is incredible . . . not all that penny pinched but a must have for serious Southern gardeners!
Have you started Spring planting at your house? I'd love to know what vegetables or flowers you're trying out this year, and if you have any tips for us as we go I'd welcome those too! Take a minute to leave a comment to share.
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Susan Kay says
Beautiful garden! I'd put more snap peas in for a family your size. We grow yummy Blue Lake bush (not pole) green beans & need several short rows to get enough for the 3 of us to eat regularly. We tried limas once, but only made a cup at a time after they were shelled! Next year bury your tomato plants 80% of visible plant -the stem will become lots more roots giving it better support & nutrient pulling power. Our tomatoes went in today! Potatoes are up. Trying cucumbers for 1st time… We've already been growing & eating asparagus (perennial). Our garden is 4 ft by 16 ft raised bed (twice your size). Yes you get a lot of yummy veg for small space.
Wow Susan – you have a ton in your garden! We’re trying to figure out how we’re going to stake the tomatoes…. since we’ve always had them in the ground before (rather than a raised bed) I’m worried that they’re going to struggle with their root system. I need to see if we can hunt down some of the Blue Lake beans because those are our favorites to buy… didn’t even think of them. Thanks so much for the tips (I appreciate it!) 🙂
Hey Laurie I keep meaning to ask you I have several sweet corn plants that I just can’t use in my garden. Do you want them. They need a good home. Let me know.
I don’t *think* corn will work in a raised bed (especially in our soil in AL?) We had it in KY but you need more space to get it to grow…. are you all trying it? I’m pretty sure there’s no hope in our little garden, but I’d love to know if it works for you! (It blows over easily so you need a bunch of it to stand together to survive storms at all I think…
Did you guys put a lining of plastic sheeting on the floor of the bed. I see it sticking out in the photo’s. I assume that would help keep the weeds out.
We did! We covered only the sides with it… wanted to leave the bottom open for drainage but we’re hoping it will help protect the wood also. (We did trim it down finally after we were done planting, but I didn’t take any pictures after we were finished!) 🙂