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How to Build A Raised Garden Bed

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Raised Garden BedAbout a year ago I made a raised garden box and it turned out so great that I decided to make another one.  This is a really easy project that you can build in just a few hours and is relatively cheap.  I made this one out rough sawn, untreated cedar.  Whatever lumber you make yours out of I would definitely recommend that you use untreated wood so no chemicals can leach into the soil.  Cedar is a great outdoor wood and should hold up for many years.  I made this 4′ x 8′ and 11-1/4″ deep.  These dimensions are easy enough to keep all the math simple as you can simply cut three – 8′ boards in half.  For the posts I used 4″ x 4″ cedar and whole thing is held together with 2 – 1/2″ screws.  Depending on your soil (and what you intend to grow) you may want to put a weed barrier on the bottom.  If you opt not too, then be sure to remove any growth and turn the soil a couple of times.

If you make one of these be sure to post a picture of it over on the WoodLogger Facebook Page.  I’d love to see how yours turns out.


Material List

  • (9) 2″ x 4″ x 8′ Untreated Cedar (I used rough cut cedar)
  • (1) 4″  x 4″ x 8′ Untreated Cedar (I used rough cut cedar)

Cut List

  • (6)  Ends – 2″ x 4″ x 4′
  • (6)  Anchors – 4″ x 4″ x 11 1/4″ (Check the actual width of (3) 2″x4″ to ensure the length of the anchor)

Milling & Assembly

Raised Garden Bed Supplies For the lumber I used (9) 2″x 4″x 8′ untreated cedar boards and (1) 4″ x 4″ x 8′ untreated cedar board.  I also used rough sawn cedar boards, but that is strictly a preference.  Whatever lumber you choose be sure it’ll hold up well outside and be sure it’s untreated as you don’t want any chemicals leaching into the dirt.
Raised Garden Bed MeasuringRaised Garden Bed MeasuringRaised Garden Bed Rough Cuts To get started on the rough cuts for the raised garden bed I measured (3) of my 2 x 4’s and cut them in half giving me my end boards.  Next I measured out my 4 x 4 posts to a length of 11 – 1/4″ (which is the same length as three 2×4’s).
Raised Garden Bed AssemblyTo get started on the assembly I attached the end boards to the posts using 2-1/2″ screws.
Raised Garden Bed AssemblyRaised Garden Bed AssemblyAfter I had the end boards attached I then attached my 8′ boards to the posts.
 Raised Garden Bed AssemblyHere is my raised garden bed; basically complete.  I attached center posts in the middle of my 2 x 4 x 8’s.  This might not be necessary but I wanted to avoid any warping in my boards.
 Raised Garden Bed Supplies Weed BarrierRaised Garden Bed Assembly Weed BarrierRaised Garden Bed Assembly Weed BarrierRaised Garden Bed CompleteNext up is an optional step.If you have good soil or want to use the soil under the box you don’t need to do this step.  If however, like me you have not so great soil and want to use the soil in the box a weed barrier is an excellent item to add.To attach this, simply roll out a weed barrier cloth and cut and attach it to the box.  I used staples to attach mine, but brads would work just as well.
 Raised Garden Bed CompleteAfter I completed the Raised Garden Bed, I positioned it in my yard and flipped it over.  All that’s left is to add dirt and grow your plants.


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  1. My husband and I just bought our first home and I’ve been looking for a decent tutorial to build raised planter beds for our backyard. Thank you so much for the clear instructions and photographs! I can’t wait to try this out!

  2. Could you recommend modifications to accommodate sloping ground? Can cedar be partially buried on the high end of the yard to keep it level? Thank you. Great site

  3. This is going to be my project for the fall when it cools down around here. I have been wanting to build some of these for awhile. I guess I need to get off my butt and start building.

  4. You can use wood decking screws. And cedar is often used because you have less issues with rot from water/rain. I used it on my home made sandbox

  5. Ran across this tutorial, decided to give it a go (my first project) and make 3 that look great! Thanks so much for putting this up for others to see and use.

      1. Hi Hilary… here’s a simple solution to your question. Gi ahead a put your landscaping cloth on as described. Once you have your box in place simply visit any fishing supply store that sells worms and pick up a few. Then just add them to your box and you’re all set. They will also provide excellent casting that are full of nutrients for your soil. You can also dig up some worms if you have an area where they are and just add them.

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