Ya’ll know we love our little cabin on the lake life but truth be told we don't have much space here.
A few weeks ago we decided we wanted a garden and while we’re still trying to find a solution for where to store the rake, we dove head first into making ourselves a place to grow the goods….aka vegetables. Because vegetables are good ya know? Oh I know ya know.
Annyyywaaayy, we can’t put anything permanent into the ground so building a raised garden bed for our patio became our mission. After a little inspiration from our friends at Bear Creek Organic Farms (also the place where we got all of our BEAUTIFUL plants) and a whole lot of Pinterest magic we came up with an “L” shaped design that is big enough to call a proper garden but small enough to not take up our entire patio.
And while Pinterest really is magic, I swear, it can be hard to find exactly what you’re looking for and so, I wanted to give you a step by step guide of this exact design if you wanted to dive into a little DIY project for your own raised garden beds.
I'll admit the raised beds came out even better than we thought they were going to and were simple enough to build in a single day but we ran out of screws so it actually took us two days to complete them.
It would be easy to change this design if you’re looking to build different sized beds that fits your needs. With some simple math and buying the boards you're going to need for your own design, you can easily create your own raised garden beds!
THIS DESIGN WILL MAKE:
1- 6 ft. x 2.5 ft. raised garden bed 14.5 inches deep. It is 8 inches off the ground and 22.5 inches tall.
1- 4 ft. x 2.5 ft. raised garden bed 14.5 inches deep. It is 8 inches off the ground and 22.5 inches tall
2- 1 in. x 8 in. x 12 ft. non-treated wood board for the sides
2- 1 in. x 8 in. x 8 ft. non-treated wood board for the sides
2- 1 in. x 8 in. x 10 ft. non-treated wood board for the ends
3- 2 in. x 2 in. x 10 ft. non-treated wood board for the legs
5- 1in. x 4 in. x 10 ft. non-treated wood board for underneath
1.5 lbs of 2 in. wood deck screws
3- 1/4 in x 3 ft x 5 ft steel hardware cloth (like chicken wire)
1- 4ft x 50 ft weed control fabric (this is the smallest length we could find. We only needed about 14 feet but 50 was the shortest they had)
Drill bit for pilot holes
Drill bit for screws
Saw: circular/chop box/hand
Step 1: Measure and make all of your cuts
We found it easiest to write down the boards and what we needed to measure and cut them to be.
Here is the cut list:
4- 6 ft boards for sides of 6 ft bed cut from the 2- 1 in x 8 in x 12 ft boards
4- 4 ft boards for sides of 4 ft bed cut from the 2- 1 in x 8 in x 8 ft boards
8- 28.5 in boards for ends of both beds cut from the 2- 1 in x 8 in x 10 ft boards
12- 22.5 in boards for legs of both beds cut from the 3- 2 in x 2 in x 10 ft boards
20- 2.5 ft boards for underneath of both beds cut from the 5- 1in x 4 in x 10 ft boards
Step 2: Drill and attach the ends to the legs
Putting a leg flush with an end board, drill* the two together. Repeat this on the other side with a different leg. Then, attach a second end board above the first attached end board because the beds are going to be two boards tall.
Repeat this for each of the end boards (8 end boards and 8 legs used).
Note: the garden bed frame is built upside down.
*To prevent cracking in wood, drill a pilot hole before inserting the screw
Step 3: Drill and attach the sides
Take one of your side boards and put it flush with the end board at a 90 degree angle. Drill and attach the side board to the associated leg. Do this on the other side using the same sized side board.
Then, attach both of the side board to the opposite end board.
Repeat and add a second side board so each side is 2 boards tall.
Do these same steps for the other garden bed.
Step 4: Drill and attach a middle leg
The frame of each bed should be together now, with the beds still upside down and the legs sticking up.
For extra support, drill and attach an additional leg in the middle of the two side boards. Do this on both sides for each garden bed. You will attach 4 middle legs in total when you are finished with this step.
Step 5: Drill and attach the bottom support pieces
With the garden beds still upside down, space the bottom boards about 2 1/8th in. apart from each other and drill and attach to the sides. The space between each supporting bottom board doesn't have to be perfect because you'll be using the hardware cloth to keep the weed fabric from sagging and slipping through the cracks. They are just to support the weight of the soil.
For the 6 ft bed we used 12 bottom supporting boards total, 6 per side (using the legs as the middle point and working around them) and for the 4 ft bed we used 8 bottom supporting boards total, 4 per side.
After this step, you can flip the beds over in the place that they're going to be!
Step 6: Cut and staple steel hardware cloth
Make sure you're wearing gloves for this part, the wire is sharp!
Using a staple gun, staple and attach the steel hardware cloth to the bottom of each garden bed. This is to prevent your weed control fabric from sagging through the bottom cracks so make sure you have extra that allows you to go up each of the sides and ends of the beds.
Cut any excess wire with a wire cutter.
Step 7: Cut and staple weed control fabric
Now that the hardware cloth is attached to the bottom to prevent the cloth from sagging through, you're going to attach the weed control fabric in the same way. The cloth is going to hold all of your soil but allow for proper drainage.
This is important: You want to make sure there is PLENTY of fabric and it's not stapled tight in the garden bed. The weight of the soil will rip the material if it's too tight so give yourself plenty of fabric to work with.
Ta-da! Your raised garden beds are complete and ready to be filled with soil and of course, alllllll the goods.
You're going to need 25-ish cubic feet total of soil and other good stuff to fill the two beds. We used a mix of potting soil, garden soil, peat moss, and veggie-doo compost to fill ours.
We've heard nothing but good things about Bear Creek Organic Farms and ended up getting all of our plants from there.
Gibson was busy enjoying the catnip while we planted in the rain...
We'll be adding a little tomato plant terrace to the back left bed.
I'm amazed even with our limited space we were still able to make some pretty substantial garden beds without taking up our entire patio.
I can't wait to watch it all grow this summer and show you more!
If you have any questions, let me know!
Happy planting my friend,
Hey, before you go, I really think you might enjoy these other blogs I've written:
What's so great about crockpot freezer meals (I'm in love!)
5 of my go-to vegetarian recipes (chickpea carrot burgers are a staple in our house...)