How to Make a Raised Garden Bed

Looking for plans or ideas to build your own raised garden bed? Look no further! Complete plans and a video tutorial are linked to in this post. I reached out to a local non-profit named Sage Gardeners in Bozeman, Montana as a collaboration for this project. Sage Gardeners builds and donates raised flower beds to seniors in our local community. What a cool idea! I wanted to share their mission with others in hopes you or someone you know might be inspired to do something similar in your town.

The raised bed is perfect for planting flowers or vegetables. This garden bed measures 4 feet wide by 6 feet long. The actual plantable area is roughly 3 feet by 5 feet. Sage Gardeners came up with this design and I love it. The top frame is perfect as a bench or to set a cup of coffee or tools while you garden. The height is right around 2 feet and so you will not need to get down on your knees to dig and plant. I think you’ll like the design, and it can easily be modified to any size you’d like. Pictured below is Jonquil Nelson, founder of Sage Gardeners. These raised garden beds were donated to our local cancer support community.

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Here is a look at a finished garden bed.

How to make a raised garden bed

Garden Bed Supplies: Total approximately $252

Qty: 10 ­ 2×6 by 10 foot long boards $14/board ( $140 total ) ­ I used Redwood Qty: 2 ­ 4×4 by 8 foot long boards $20/board ($40 total)
2 pounds of 3 inch wood screws $17 total
Wood glue $4

Weed Mat: $7
Dirt: Approximately 1 yard of soil/compost mix $44 Seeds/flowers

Tools Needed

*Please note ­ By using these links to purchase tools you are helping support DIYPete.com.

Miter Saw– I’d recommend a 12 inch miter saw
Circular Saw (Optional)
Drill
Impact Driver (Optional)
Orbital Sander Ryobi makes a nice one
Kreg Jig – Optional)
Speed Square
Tape Measure, Ruler, Pencil, Ear protection, Dust Mask, Work gloves

Raised garden bed plans
Start by making your cuts according to my free raised garden bed plans. You’ll need 2×6 boards and 4×4 boards.

DIY Pete miter saw
Cut the 4 boards that create the top ledge or frame for the diy raised garden bed. Miter each board with a 45 degree angle. If you’d prefer not to do a mitered corner you can always do straight cuts with non-mitered corners.

45 degree miter cut
Lay out the 2×6 boards to create the side walls. Start with the longer sidewalls. Measure 5 inches in from each end to determine placement for the 4×4’s. If you are building a fairly large box I’d recommend putting a 4×4 in the center of the sidewall as well. I did for this project.

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Attach the 4×4 boards which will face toward the outside of the box. Use 3 inch wood screws. You will not see the screw holes since they’ll be the inside area of the garden.

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Create the shorter sidewalls. Center the 4×4 and attach.

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Place all four sides on a flat work surface and attach them to each other. Pre-drill and then connect using 3 inch wood screws.

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Create the top frame out of 2×6 boards. Use good glue and a couple screws at each corner. 3 inch wood screws will work. Longer screws are helpful if you can find some at your local hardware store. However, we’ll be attaching the frame from to the base with screws which will continue to strengthen the raised bed to make it super sturdy.

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Attach the frame from the top with 3 inch screws.

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I didn’t get photos of this final bed installed, but the remaining steps include putting the garden bed in place, using a weed liner/weed mat to protect weeds from growing into the bed, filling with soil, and then planting flowers. This raised garden bed took about 1 yard of soil. Pictured below is our good friend Marge who has a raised garden bed that was donated by Sage Gardeners.

marge-sage-gardeners

I’d love for you to build your own raised garden bed or to gift one to a friend, family member, or to someone in your own community. The Free Raised Garden Bed Plans can downloaded here.

Raised garden bed plans

Pictured below is Jonquil with her pickup that is used to deliver all the raised garden beds.

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Please share project photos of your raised garden bed below. Good luck and have fun with the projects!

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  • Angela Hendricks

    Love the design of these raised beds. The ones I planned on building are a lot shorter, after seeing these I think I might try them instead.

    • Very cool Angela! Have fun with your build 🙂

  • Dave

    Two recommendations for this project. 1. DO NOT use pressure treated wood if it is being used to grow vegetables. This is because of the chemicals in the wood. 2. To keep critters (groundhogs, moles, etc.) from digging up from the underneath, I used a heavy wire mesh and attached it to the bottom. Hope this helps!

    • DIYPETE

      Hey Dave! Thanks for chiming in! Yep, thanks for pointing out for folks not to use pressure treated or stained wood. And yes, the wire mesh is a great idea for folks putting their beds in the yard and not on a concrete or gravel surface. Thanks!! Cheers man.

      • Rachael Thomas

        Would the wood be rotten within a year due to bugs and termites if it’s not pressure treated? I ask because I’m a newbie and am about to build one of these! 🙂

    • Typical

      Chemicals in the wood are only unsafe if you’re using pressure treated from 30 years ago. It’s fine for modern pressure treated wood. Arsenic is no longer used.