Super Easy Raised Garden Bed

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Introduction: Super Easy Raised Garden Bed

IMPORTANT!!

I hear that pressure treated wood is toxic. I also hear that it's not. To be on the safe side, I recommend going the safe route and using regular wood.

This is an easy backyard raised planter bed which only takes the skill of cutting a plank of wood. I did not think this idea up myself but I did build it.

NOTE: The original design was for 2 x 4 boards, 5 x 3 in length, us using one block in each corner. But I wanted a higher bed so used a second set of 2 x 8s for a higher edge and I used three blocks on each corner. I used stacks of three blocks because with two blocks the 2nd tier of wood was wobbly.

Also, it's portable!

Supplies

  • Twelve Planter Wall Blocks(Available at Home Depot or Lowe's, etc.)
  • Two 2 x 8 pressure treated redwood planks (use whatever wood you wish)
  • circular saw
  • 1/2' rebar 4' long
  • Level
  • Hammer

Step 1: Measure Garden Bed Length, Width, and Placement

Measure the length, width, and placement of your desired size bed. Measuring in exact feet is recommended, makes cutting the planks to the right size easier.

Make sure you check for a location with proper sun coverage for what you want to plant!

Step 2: Place Planter Wall Blocks

Place one planter wall block at each corner of your planned bed. The planter wall blocks are available at places like Home Depot and Lowe’s in the garden sectioning for about three dollars each.

Step 3: Cut Planks for Bed

Cut boards to fit the bed size. For example, if you want your bed to be 5 x 3 feet, cut the board to the same lengths, five feet and three feet.

Fit the boards into the slots on the blocks as shown. You'll have to do a little jiggling around of boards and blocks to get them to be (or at least look) level and straight. I'm still doing that.

Because I wanted a higher bed, I used an extra set of boards with three blocks on each corner instead instead of one. I used three blocks on each corner because with only two, the top plank was was wobbly.

My bed is 5‘ x 3‘, but you can make your bed any size.

Don't fill with soil yet!

Step 4: Insert Rebar, But No Soil Yet

When your bed is level and square to your liking, take off the top block from each corner and drive rebar into the center hole of the blocks on each corner. This will prevent the blocks and wood from being pushed apart by the pressure of the soil that will go inside the bed.

Make sure the top end of the rebar is below the top side of the 3rd block. The photo shown on the right is with the top block removed.

Drive the rebar down far enough so that it is firmly stuck into the ground.

Replace the block on each corner.

The first photo is of the block being twisted and moved before I put in the rebar.

Step 5: Level, Square, Add Soil

Level and square the bed planks

Add soil

Happy gardening!

2 People Made This Project!

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29 Comments

1
orionsbelt88
orionsbelt88

1 year ago

In case any Canadians are around, the blocks cost 5.48 + 13HST =$6.20.... at Home Depot July 2020.

0
pemazzei
pemazzei

1 year ago

Hi, any ideia where I can get instructions in how to make this kind of Planter Wall Blocks? I live in Brazil, we never saw them here! Best, Paulo

0
pemazzei
pemazzei

Reply 1 year ago

Hi, thank you very much!Nice idea and I will go to analyse it. Best, Paulo

0
ingriddayton
ingriddayton

Reply 1 year ago

Hi Paulo from Brazil!
I bought them at Home Depot, but I've seen some online that are made of metal, but they are more expensive than the ones I have.

corner.jpg
0
pemazzei
pemazzei

Reply 1 year ago

OK, thank you.

0
Alex491
Alex491

1 year ago

Brilliant!
I could do with one of those for the wife!

0
JohnC430
JohnC430

1 year ago

amazing. my daughter just made this a few days ago and she does not read Instructibles.
looks like this design has been going around for a while now. she put wire mesh under it to deter gophers etc and fabric mesh over it to stop her cats from using it as a little box.

0
shalnachywyt
shalnachywyt

Reply 1 year ago

As I noted above, I use composit decking which is more expensive but lasts forever and doesn't have the problems with even copper-based treatments. Also the blasted borer bees aren't attracted to it.

0
shalnachywyt
shalnachywyt

1 year ago on Step 5

Glad to see everyone realizes that even the so-called "copper"-treated wood is still toxic.
I've used composit decking instead of real wood as that lasts forever and the real wood I used (cedar) didn't last even 4 years here in NE TN. I would suggest lining the beds, especially if you've raised them three or four high, with landscape fabric so the soil doesn't wash out between the boards.

0
mlaiuppa.
mlaiuppa.

1 year ago

I already have these blocks and boards stored waiting to be put in place. I have to dig up some old PVC irrigation and reconfigure for the new beds first but almost there.

Just a note. Locally the boards are cheaper at Home Depot but the blocks are cheaper at Lowe's. They are called Old Castle.

They recommend using 2x6 boards as that is the same height as the blocks. Also putting rebar in the holes in the center of the blocks for stability. I'll be using three blocks and then putting a board flat across the top to finish and provide a seat when I garden. I'll be building two 4x8 beds and two 4x10 beds in my front yard as a Victory Garden. I want to run PVC under them to come up in the beds and then transition to drip irrigation so I can run them under one timer. I'll have a mix of vegetables and native flowers for the bees and butterflies. With four beds there will be a pathway between the four and I'll have a birdbath at the intersection. I'm hoping to be done with the fourth by the end of the summer but the first bed should be in by the end of the month. With the PVC in the next three should go faster.

While I am taking out the grass underneath I've read it isn't entirely necessary. You can place cardboard down, then some weedcloth on top and a layer of compost. Then fill with dirt. I'm skipping the cardboard.

I love these blocks. The moment I saw them I knew they were what I was looking for for my raised beds. Ease and sturdiness of construction, plus low cost, was what I wanted but the fact I can take them apart, move them, reconfigure just makes them all the more perfect for my needs. Can't beat the convenience and price.

0
therder
therder

Question 1 year ago

Would you recommend this as a maximum height or could you go up to 6 blocks high. I'd like to use the back wall as a retaining wall feature.

0
charlessenf-gm
charlessenf-gm

1 year ago

USA-LOWES $2.98 Oldcastle Planter Wall Tan Retaining Wall Block Item #1514085 Model #16202336
USA-HOME DEPOT $3.18 Oldcastle Tan Brown Planter Wall Block Buy 60 or more $2.86

Note: On one of the (several) U-tube videos, I noted the HD prices was shown as $3.67 US. So, shop around! Also, looks like Permacon recommends Rebar and adhesive!




2
mikesmithfl
mikesmithfl

1 year ago

It's probably not good to use pressure treated wood if you're going to be growing 'organic' vegetables. The chemicals used for pressure treating can leech into the soil and into your plants. Research has shown it's in very small amounts, but if you're sensitive it can still make a difference. And if you're shooting for real 'organic' you'll need to use something to isolate the boards from the soil like heavy plastic or rubber pond liner.

That said - what a great idea!
I haven't seen those cement planter wall blocks before.
Thanks!

0
ingriddayton
ingriddayton

Reply 1 year ago

Hi, I went ahead and edited the Instructable to include a heads up to probably use regular wood.

0
leahiniowa
leahiniowa

1 year ago

Hi, what did you do to the grass that was originally there? Dig it up, cut it and roll it or dig it up and turn it upside down?

0
ingriddayton
ingriddayton

Reply 1 year ago

There wasn't much grass there so I went ahead and left it there. I'll probably get weeds but with other two beds my husband built for me I haven't had a problem with that and they were placed right on grass.

2
Rodh64
Rodh64

1 year ago

As mikesmithfl said, it is not a good idea to use pressure treated wood for a vegetable garden. The wood is treated with many toxic chemicals only one of which is usually arsenic. The vegetables can take up the chemicals leeching out of the wood. I'm also curious: your items list says 9 blocks. If 3 blocks a corner wouldn't that be 12 blocks?

0
ingriddayton
ingriddayton

Reply 1 year ago

*head smack* fixed it.