Raised Vegetable Garden

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 vegetable garden 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, when he got to Lowe's and found cedar boards were $60 (which would have cost us $300 ~ yikes!), he settled on untreated wood. So, for $43 (after using this $10 off $50 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!

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 don't have a watering system in this crazy Alabama heat, he created a direct dripper system a few summers ago that waters every hanging basket and flowerpot 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!)


 Our local Radio Rewards gift certificate today was a $50 credit at our local nursery for just $25, so we'll be using that to buy dirt and get plantingJames keeps telling me it's already too late in the season for lettuce, but I'm praying that we'll be able to get a little started before it gets too warm around here.

If you're new to gardening and don't know where to start, Amazon has the book Vegetable Gardening For Dummies right now for just $13. Our absolute favorite flower gardening book is Easy Gardens for the South, and while it doesn't talk about vegetable gardening much, it's a great resource for flower gardens if you live in the South.



Do you plant a garden during the summertime, and have you ever done a raised garden? I'd love to hear your tips . . . please leave a comment with any suggestions as we get started!

You can also check out my garden board on Pinterest . . . oh to pinch enough pennies to buy everything there! 😉



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  1. Judy hart says

    Yeh! James.

    • He learned to garden from the best Judy! 🙂 (I asked him what his favorite vegetable gardening books were and he informed me that he’d learned from 40 years of experience…)

  2. Did you seal the inside of the raised bed? There may be concern with leaching chemicals from the sealer into the soil and then ultimately into your vegetables.

    • We thought about that – I need to double check, but there will be at least a few weeks before they’re planted, and the outsides will be covered with fabric netting to keep weeds and everything else out. I’m not positive and need to read more… not sure if we’ll keep it untreated or if there are any other options (we figured it had to be better than buying pressure treated wood…..) If anyone has any other tips, I’d love to hear them!

      • it is usually advised not to treat the wood with anything. i wouldn’t seal or paint, unless its only intended for non-edible plants.

        if you want to get some plants in early, you can create a nice greenhouse with some some pvc pipe. i don’t have any examples off hand, but i know there are some out there. depending on how you make the canapoy, you can have it so you can tip it open to work on your plants. early planting means early crops!

  3. You really don’t even have to buy boards to make a raised bed – anything you can put soil in will work! I’ve used old kiddy pools with the bottom cut out, tires, cinderblocks, etc. unless you’re going for a certain look most things with work. Filling the beds is usually more expensive. Also I think there are concerns about waterproofing treatments leaching chemicals into the soil, so do so at your own risk (even after a few weeks). It’s why most places suggest cedar. Raised beds are great! Less weeds, more compact planting with proper soil (square foot gardening), etc.

  4. You will love your raised bed so much. I now have 8 of them and plan on adding one more for blueberries and blackberries.
    You should definitely check on the sealing part. When we built ours, I had read that untreated wood was best as the chemicals from treated wood will leach into the plants and soil. Just a thought.
    Enjoy your garden.

  5. Hi Laurie, I wanted to let you know that I went to Lowe’s today to use the $10 off $50 coupon you had posted about last week. I was told that this was a fraudulent coupon. My Lowe’s even had signs from corporate on the doors about it (it wasn’t just a grumpy cashier telling me this! ;)) They discovered the problem on 3/20 and have not accepted the coupons since. The sign has instructions for the store to leave it posted until 5/18/13, which was the expiration date on the coupon. Customer service explained to me that the coupon was released without Lowe’s permission. I wanted to let you and your readers know to save them the aggravation!

    • Really Linda? It came directly from Coupons.com (a fairly safe coupon site…) so I’m going to send them an email at least to check in about it. While I know there are tons of fraudulent coupons out there, I haven’t seen ones like that going through a legitimate site. Thanks so much for letting me know – I’m curious about what they’ll say (and so sorry it didn’t work for you -ugh!)

      I’ll update the post… and let you know if I hear anything back!

      • I hear you Laurie, I was surprised as well since as you said, the coupon was from Coupons.com. But they were very nice about it. They explained the situation, showed me the letter from corporate and even scanned the coupon to show me it came up as an invalid coupon. I will be curious to hear what you find out.

      • I didn’t see this post until just now, but I tried to use my coupon at Lowe’s in Hartselle today and they told me it was fraudulent also. That stinks!

  6. Im reading Square Foot Gardening.

  7. William Rovito says

    The problem with using treated wood is that it contains arsenic and formaldehyde to preserve it. It will eventually leach contaminants into the soil and be absorbed by the vegetables. Not a good idea. Look it up.

  8. Missy Evans says

    I love my raised beds for gardening. They do hold a ton of soil and we’ve bought bag after bag which costs way too much, last year a friend suggested going to a nearby farm and getting a truckload for $25 (cattle farm which added to the nutrients) Needless to say the soil was black and rich and produced the best crop ever. Also putting in leaves in the fall helped add nitrogen back into the soil. We used wood chips to cover and “mulch” the entire beds after planting. It prevents evaporation and we barely had any weeds to pull and it breaks down over time adding back to the soil. Make sure your wood chips are untreated as well as your boards. Good luck, you’ll love gardening this way!

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