Introduction: Easy Raised Garden Bed

We live in a townhouse with a small yard and were looking for a better way to expand our vegetable garden without having to have lots of small pots! These containers are really simple (and inexpensive) and have worked out quite well for us so far.


  • Large heavy-duty storage containers (17 gallon)
  • Electric drill with twisted drill bit - 7/32" (5.56 mm)
  • Sticks or rocks (optional)
  • Compost (optional)
  • Raised bed soil
  • 2 cinder blocks or pavers per container, ~2 inches tall (optional)

Step 1: Get Your Containers

Get some 17 gallon heavy duty storage containers from your local garden store or superstore. We planted 2 types of plants per container, keep this in mind when deciding how many containers to buy.

Step 2: Drill Drainage Holes

Use your electric drill to make several drainage holes in the bottom of the container.

This is very important because root rot can be a real problem in water-logged soil.

Step 3: More Drainage

I added sticks to the very bottom of my raised beds in order to help keep the soil from filling the drainage holes, preventing adequate draining (small-medium sized rocks would also work). I would stay away from gravel because water can sit on top of it and keep the soil waterlogged.

Step 4: Adding Soil

I added a thin layer of raised bed soil on the sticks before adding in some home-made compost and lawn debris (kitchen scraps, lawn clippings, dust from vacuuming, etc.), lightly water this layer.

I placed the partially full container on 2 stone pavers, to enable more drainage and air flow to the bottom of the container.

I then filled the rest of the container with the soil, about 2 inches from the top of the container, and again lightly watered.

Step 5: Plant Away!

We transferred some of our potted plants to the new beds and planted 2 rows of seeds in the other ones.

These have worked really well for us so far and have tidied up our patio quite a bit, in addition to giving us room to plant some vegetables! (carrots, beets, radishes, spinach, lettuce, etc)

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