The Best DIY Raised Garden Bed Ideas


A garden is a peaceful haven for relaxing, a colorful spot for birds and butterflies, and a productive place full of herbs and vegetables. Using raised garden beds helps to accomplish your goal regardless of the way you envision your landscape. Raised garden beds are not only one of the easiest landscaping projects to create yourself, but they also offer benefits for both the garden and the gardener.

Raised Garden Bed (pixabay)
Raised Garden Bed (pixabay)

If you have a flat, sunny place in your yard, a raised bed is a quick and easy option for you. Of course, these DIY projects take more skill and are more costly to build, but they are well worth it in terms of adding beauty to your landscape and value to your home. Here are some of the best DIY raised garden bed ideas to try.

Raised Garden Bed Plans (Jessica-Sara Morris)
Raised Garden Bed Plans (Jessica-Sara Morris)

See post: Jessica-Sara Morris|Raised Garden Beds - Easiest & Cheapest


How to Make a Raised Garden Bed

DIY Raised Garden Bed (Jason Lee)
DIY Raised Garden Bed (Jason Lee)

See post: Jason Lee|Super Easy DIY Raised Garden Bed


Build a DIY raised garden bed with simple tools and items from the hardware store. One of the easiest ways to build a raised bed garden is with a simple wood frame. Four ten-foot lengths of 10” x 2” boards can be turned into a 5’ x 10’ frame with just one cut, four 2” x 2” posts and a dozen or so screws. Choose your own soil mixture (using topsoil, peat moss, compost, and manure) and any combination of decorative or edible plants to customize your gardening experience.


While cedar is a popular (though more expensive) choice for raised beds, less-expensive untreated pine or even pressure-treated wood are generally safe for these gardens. The build also requires nails or screws rated for outdoor use. First, plan the size of your raised bed garden prior to your trip to the store, and keep the size of your space and the crops you’d like to grow in mind. For example, if you plan to grow melons or pumpkins, you want to be sure you have enough space for those crops. Keep your raised bed to less than 4’ wide, because any wider will make it difficult to reach the center. Make it as long as you like.


Some gardeners put several raised beds in the landscape so that they can plant appropriate companion plants together. Companion plants are plants that promote the health of the plants nearby. These companions are planted together in individual raised beds. Some examples are tomatoes, basil, and marigolds in one raised bed and potatoes and peas in another.


You can build your raised bed frame right on top of the lawn; there’s no need to dig up the grass. Putting down a layer of garden bed liner or weed barrier (also called landscape fabric) is the common way to keep weeds and grass from getting into your bed. Once you put your soil mixture onto the barrier, weeds are unlikely to sprout.

           


Adding Another Layer to Your Raised Bed

Incorporating other materials into your raised bed is a great way to add something interesting to your landscape. Pallet boards, metal sheeting, fencing, gates, and arbors are all elements that can be added to your DIY raised beds to create a personalized look as well as adding functionality.

How to Build a Raised Garden Bed (Laura, Pet Scribbles)
How to Build a Raised Garden Bed (Laura, Pet Scribbles)

See post: Laura, Pet Scribbles|Building a raised garden bed for our vegetables!


Use your favorite landscaping pavers instead of wood to build your frame. Purchase pavers at any big box hardware store, such as Lowe’s Hardware or Home Depot. Pavers are also available at places that specialize in landscaping materials. One of the great things about pavers is that you can create rounded shapes, which is not easy to achieve with boards. Position them in any shape you choose, and then line and fill as you would a wooden frame.

Raised Garden Bed Ideas (Ponds Patios and Waterfalls Co.)
Raised Garden Bed Ideas (Ponds Patios and Waterfalls Co.)

See post: Ponds Patios and Waterfalls Co.|Drystack Stone Raised Bed


Stacked stone or bricks is another material to use for enclosing the exterior wood to give a finished look to the outside of your raised bed. The use of stacked stone is particularly effective when used in large expanses. This is also a good choice if the exterior of your home is accented with stacked stone and you create continuity in the look.


Use pallet wood to cover the outside of your wooden frame to give your raised beds a rustic or mid-century modern look. Use a variety of woods in order to create visual interest, or you can stain the wood all the same color for a more contemporary look. Decking stain helps to keep the pallet wood, which is not generally treated for outdoor use, from rotting.

How to Build Raised Beds Using Pallets (Jen Morris)
How to Build Raised Beds Using Pallets (Jen Morris)

See post: Jen Morris|How to Build Raised Beds Using Pallets

Iron Raised Garden Bed (Carole)
Iron Raised Garden Bed (Carole)

See post: Carole|Another Corrugated Iron Raised Garden Bed


One creative Hometalker used corrugated metal she found at a construction site to create a tall raised bed in her yard. Corrugated metal lends a contemporary or industrial vibe to a yard, and has the added benefit of being impervious to rot.


Keeping Your Garden From Becoming a Banquet

One of the problems that arise with some gardens--particularly those that include treats like beans or lettuce -- is that they can be a banquet for rabbits and other visitors. If wildlife is taking advantage of your vegetables or flowers, building a fence or other barrier will help.


There are a number of Hometalkers who have some great ideas for keeping raised beds safe from marauders. These ideas include fences and gates to block entry or raising the beds on stilts to keep plants out of harm’s way.

           

Surrounding your beds with fencing material is one way to keep the critters out. Several tutorials on Hometalk offer suggestions for using metal fencing material to enclose your garden. These provide a necessary barrier in yards where rabbits and deer are problematic.  

DIY Raised Bed Garden Enclosure (Becky - Clover and Thyme)
DIY Raised Bed Garden Enclosure (Becky - Clover and Thyme)

See post: Becky - Clover and Thyme|DIY Raised Bed Garden Enclosure


Elevating your raised beds is another way to keep shorter visitors like rodents from getting into your plants. One of the added benefits to an elevated raised garden bed is that it keeps bending to a minimum. This helps with the back pain that gardeners frequently experience. In addition, elevated beds are a great way to improve drainage for those plants that like a drier soil.


Building your raised beds on legs is not as difficult as it sounds. Hometalker Made by Mitch has a great video tutorial for building a simple elevated garden bed out of cedar, wire mesh, and landscaping fabric. You can easily modify the size and height of this raised bed to suit your individual needs. Varying the heights of planters also adds interest to your landscape and can save on space, as well.

Elevated Garden Bed (Made by Mitch)
Elevated Garden Bed (Made by Mitch)

See post: Made by Mitch|Elevated Garden Bed


Personalizing Your Raised Beds

Incorporating architectural elements in your raised bed is a great way to customize your yard. Additions to your raised beds will help you create a space that works best for you and your plants.


Beans, morning glories, and other lightweight plants on vines need support in order to grow effectively. Systems as simple as bamboo poles tied together or as complex as trellis-and-arbor configurations can be added to the raised beds in order to give these climbing plants the support they need. 

Wood Planter Boxes (Diy Design Fanatic)
Wood Planter Boxes (Diy Design Fanatic)

See post: Diy Design Fanatic|Wood Planter Boxes


Make traditional bean poles by tying bamboo poles together at the top with weatherproof rope. Plant beans or other lightweight climbing vines at the base of each pole, and train runners to grow up around the pole. Tie plant runners at intervals as the plants grow higher, if necessary. For heavier plants, use poles with a larger diameter or more poles for more support. These structures are also great for decorative vines, providing a vertical mass of color and a sheltered space for birds to nest.

Building a Planter Box with a Trellis (Small Town Homestead)
Building a Planter Box with a Trellis (Small Town Homestead)

See post: Small Town Homestead|Building a Planter Box with a Trellis

           

Another option for climbing plants is a trellis. Purchasing lattice from a big box hardware store is one way to incorporate a trellis into your raised bed garden. However, Hometalkers are creative in their use of a variety of materials for trellises. From ladders to pallets to tree branches to a stripped-down mattress--all are choices Hometalk contributors offer for use! So don’t discount the ‘junk’ you may have in your garage or basement--many things can be utilized as material to build an interesting trellis.

Raised Garden (SteveAndrea Bourne)
Raised Garden (SteveAndrea Bourne)

See post: SteveAndrea Bourne|A Georgia Raised Garden


Arbors are another great way to add architectural interest to your raised beds. They provide both form and function, depending on your needs. Train flowers to climb onto the arbors for a fragrant addition to your garden, or string decorative lights to create ambiance. Arbors are also great for leafy vines, providing a shady canopy over your landscape. They give cover to nesting birds and, if flowering, they also attract butterflies.

How to Make a Raised Garden Bed Cover (Hoosier Homemade)
How to Make a Raised Garden Bed Cover (Hoosier Homemade)

See post: Hoosier Homemade|How to Make a Raised Garden Bed Cover


Creating a DIY cover for your raised bed garden will both help keep critters out and also extend your growing season. Use PVC pipe, clamps, and plastic sheeting to make the cover. Another way to extend the growing season is by building a cold frame cover for your raised bed. A bonus of extending the growing season is that you could have fresh herbs for weeks past the first frost!

Raised Garden Bed to Cold Frame in Minutes (Three Dogs in a Garden)
Raised Garden Bed to Cold Frame in Minutes (Three Dogs in a Garden)

See post: Three Dogs in a Garden|From Raised Bed to Cold Frame in Minutes


Raised garden beds are a simple way to add utility and interest to your yard. Basic frames are an easy DIY project for the novice, while the more elaborate raised bed plans are for folks with more building experience. While they vary in design, difficulty, and cost, the outcome is the same--a landscape that is both useful and beautiful. Solve a number of gardening dilemmas like keeping weeding and bending to a minimum with raised beds. For more raised garden bed ideas, check out Hometalk for some helpful tutorials. Then try one of them yourself, and share it with us!

Raised Bed and Trellis (Kerry)
Raised Bed and Trellis (Kerry)

See post: Kerry|Raised Bed and Trellis


Written for the Hometalk community by: Kirby C

Top Hometalk Projects

31 Amazing Furniture Flips You Have to See to Believe
These Herb Garden Ideas Will Make You Want To Start One Of Your Own
15 Genius Curtain Ideas To Instantly Upgrade Your Space
15 Genius Curtain Ideas To Instantly Upgrade Your Space
30 Essential Hacks For Cleaning Around Your Home
30 Ways To Use Old Jeans For Brilliant Craft Ideas
20 Easy Concrete Projects You Absolutely CAN Do!
If Your Stairway Walls Are Empty, Here Are 25 Ways To Change Them Now!
15 Pieces Of Furniture That DIYers Built From Scratch
Browse Through These Dream Bedrooms & Find Your Favorite!
17 DIY Projects You Can Start And Finish Tonight
30 Unusual & Helpful Gardening Tips You'll Want To Know
16 Ways to Showcase Your Herb Garden
15 Quick and Easy Gift Ideas Using Buttons
15 Fabulous Fire Pits For Your Backyard

Have a question about this project?

Join the conversation

2 comments
  • Tammy
    on Feb 20, 2019

    Hello, I am a big fan of raised garden beds. If you are going to build a raised bed for veggies, do not use treated lumber! The chemicals in the lumber leach into the soil and will contaminate it.

    • Allison Newby
      on Mar 23, 2019

      Hey Tommy. I agree with what you are saying and it true. But I wanted to share that I was recently told that nowadays they don't use as much chemicals nor as harsh of chemicals as they use to when treating wood. But yes I'd definitely rather be safer (by not using pressure treated wood) than be sorry for taking a chance with PT wood. ☺ have a good one!

Your comment...