Tiered Herb Garden | a DIY Tutorial

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About: Husband, Father, Woodworker based in Wilmington, NC

Intro: Tiered Herb Garden | a DIY Tutorial

This easy-to-build DIY Tiered Herb Garden project took me less than half a day to complete. This is a simple design that is effective for adding more planting room for the vegetables and herbs you want to plant. Luckily I had some great helpers to fill them up when complete!

If you enjoy this tutorial please check out the full tutorial and video on my blog as well as a list of the tools I use in my shop.

Step 1: Pick a Location

I had this bare side of my deck that faced out into my back yard. I thought this would be the perfect spot to add the DIY Tiered Herb Garden along with a kind of raised bed along the remaining length of the desk just to clean it all up, add some color to the yard, and grow some great herbs and vegetables!

If you enjoy this tutorial please check out the full tutorial and video on my blog as well as a list of the tools I use in my shop.

Step 2: Decide on the Size

I’m not going to go into too much detail on the exact measurements I used, as you should just evaluate your space and decide on how big or small you want the tiered garden to be based on your needs and constraints. I decided to just utilized the space on the ends of the deck stairs for the tiered section of the garden and utilize the rest of the space extending to the end of the deck for a slightly raised planting bed.

If you enjoy this tutorial please check out the full tutorial and video on my blog as well as a list of the tools I use in my shop.

Step 3: Purchase and Cut Boards

A rough idea of measurements would be something like below:


Bottom box: 4′ wide x 3′ deep

Middle box: 3′ wide x 2′ deep

Top box: 2′ wide x 1′ deep

These measurements are close to what I used for the top and middle tiers, but I made my bottom box a little deeper just to utilize all of the wood from my two 8′ boards.

I used 2×12’s for the bottom box and 2×8’s for the middle and top boxes

I used 2×4’s for the cross bracing that the middle and top boxes rest on

I used pressure treated lumber from the local big box store, but you could use Cedar or another similar rot-resistant wood suitable for outdoor ground contact.

If you enjoy this tutorial please check out the full tutorial and video on my blog as well as a list of the tools I use in my shop.

Step 4: Build Your Boxes

If you cut your boards correctly, this should be a quick and easy process.

All boxes are joined with simple butt joints using 3″ deck screws.

After your three boxes are assembled, cut a 2×4 to the inside depth of both the bottom and middle boxes.

Place the middle box on top of the bottom box, mark where you need the 2×4 support brace and attach the 2×4 brace using decking screws again. Repeat this process for adding the support brace to the middle box that supports the top tier box.

I then cut small ~6″ pieces of the leftover scrap just to attach the boxes to each other, this may or may not be necessary.

If you enjoy this tutorial please check out the full tutorial and video on my blog as well as a list of the tools I use in my shop.

Step 5: Fill With Dirt

I used a combination of garden soil and compost to fill these up. Once full, soak the soil with water and tamp everything down with a rake or shovel. You will then likely need to add some more soil to each level. Once everything is full you are ready to plant.

If you enjoy this tutorial please check out the full tutorial and video on my blog as well as a list of the tools I use in my shop.

Step 6: Plant Herbs and Vegetables

We planted herbs, vegetables, and flowers in the new tiered section of the garden to give a variety of function and add some much needed color to the back yard. I am not gardener, so I left that part to my wife and daughters. They had a blast getting dirty and contributing to the project. A garden is a great activity to do with children that serves many learning opportunities throughout the year.

If you enjoy this tutorial please check out the full tutorial and video on my blog as well as a list of the tools I use in my shop.

Step 7: Add a Raised Bed to the Side

I came off the corner of the tiered herb garden and made a raised bed extending to the end of the deck. I then used decking boards to hide the under side of the deck. This part used to be the plastic white trellis material that I have always despised. There is still some on the other sides of the deck that I plan to replace as well one day.

I hope you enjoyed this simple project that can be completed in a half-day and involve the entire family!

If you enjoy this tutorial please check out the full tutorial and video on my blog as well as a list of the tools I use in my shop.

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    7 Discussions

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    ToolboxGuy

    Question 4 months ago

    What wood did you use? it looks like some kind of pressure treated lumber. I don't think I'd want to grow edibles where those chemicals could leach into the soil.

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    sgbotsford

    4 months ago on Step 7

    Before building something like this, build a mockup and try to work in it. From such garden's I've made in the past this one will be very unpleasant to work the back/top tier as being an awkward reach.

    Design considerations: A waist high bench has easy access to about 6" under arms length. At 2 feet high you can get the same reach kneeling. At under a foot, you are essentially on the ground, and you can use shaft tools.

    Greater depths than this can be made much easier to use with strategically placed locations to stand. Pairs of bricks, small pavers.

    Point 2.

    Put a double layer of weed barrier below the bottom. Grass is very good and infiltrating a bed even from feet underground.

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    BorkWoodsgbotsford

    Reply 4 months ago

    Good points all around. We designed this for our use and are all well above average heights, haha!

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    Babinator

    4 months ago

    This looks really amazing! I wish I had seen this BEFORE making mine... yours look a lot better!

    I recommend reading up a little on the hazards of pressure treated wood, ESPECIALLY if you are planning on growing anything edible in your garden. They used to treat wood with arsenic! They use other chemicals now, but they leach into the soil and get absorbed by some plants.

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    BorkWoodBabinator

    Reply 4 months ago

    I did the research on this. Arsenic hasn't been used in over 15 years. Now copper is one of the main preservatives, but tests have been done and I am comfortable with the minimal risks but recommend everybody do their own research and decide for themselves.