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How to make a DIY Raised Garden Bed

August 26, 2015 by Scott - Saws on Skates

Hey there my fellow veggie lovers! Today I’m sharing new DIY outdoor plans to make a DIY raised garden bed. The raised garden bed is easy to build and I’ll show you how to do it in this tutorial!

how to make raised garden beds free plans

For your convenience this post contains affiliate links to products or tools I used to complete this project. Click here to visit my site policies.

While other kids were playing video games, I was watching Mel Bartholomew’s Square Foot Gardening show on PBS. Yup, I always was a strange kid, and probably to most, a strange adult 😉 Are you familiar with the Square Foot Gardening? Using Mel’s method, plants are properly spaced in a 12″ x 12″ area to maximize the space in the garden. For instance, you can plant 16 beets in a square foot garden as opposed to a long row that takes up a lot more space. As a kid I thought this was fascinating. And I still do as an adult.

When my friend Linda mentioned that she wanted to start a garden, I knew she needed a square foot garden. I found this square foot garden layout idea awhile ago. I would love to give credit for it, but I’m not sure where I found the pic or who designed it. I had been plotting a raised garden bed in my head that would be adorable in a layout like this. Linda was on board with the idea, so it was finally time to sketch my idea and build it.

square foot garden

Here’s my pet peeve about raised garden beds… the corner post used to connect the sides of most raised beds usually sits inside the box. I know it doesn’t take up much space, but it is space that I could be growing something. Plus, they aren’t very attractive. Those inside posts drive me crazy! My plan puts the posts on the outside which allowed me to add another board on the outside to give the raised bed a tiered effect. The lower tier is great for Marigolds, salad greens, herbs, etc. I love the way it turned out. It’s functional, decorative and best of all, the posts aren’t sitting the garden bed!

I made these raised beds with cedar. Please be careful when working with cedar. Some people, like myself, are allergic to cedar dust. You can build your raised beds with cedar or any other nontoxic, rot resistant wood. But I would avoid pressure treated wood. Pressure treated wood isn’t a good idea because it contains formaldehyde. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to eat formaldehyde veggies.

This plan is really easy, so let’s get started. Be sure you have your soil, seeds and plants on hand, because this goes together quick.

Raised Garden Bed Plan

raised bed ISO sos

Printed Plan
Click here to download a pdf of the Raised Garden Bed plan

(2) 1x8x8 cedar
(2) 1x4x8 cedar
(1) 4x4x8 cedar
1-1/4″ exterior screws

Miter Saw or circular saw
Black & Decker Jig Saw
3/4″ drill bit
Counter sink drill bit’
Speed Square
Kreg Multi-Mark

Step 1
Cut the Sides. Cut 4 pieces of 1×8 to 44-1/2″.

raised bed side sos

Step 2
Layout and cut slots (see diagram in Step 1). Using the Kreg Multi-Mark measure in from each end 4-1/4″ and 3-1/2″, then measure up 3-3/4″.

raised bed step 1

Shade this area on the same side of each end of the board with pencil or chalk. The shaded area will be removed and will form a slot to lock together with the other boards.

raised bed step 2

Using a 3/4 drill bit, drill a hole in the end of the shaded area.

raised bed step 3

Using a jig saw, cut up to the hole you just drilled.

raised bed step 4

Clean up the area to form square corners.

raised bed step 5

Step 3
Cut the Posts. Cut 4 pieces of 4×4 to 9″ long. Measure up 8″ on each side. Cut a 45 degree angle at the 8″ mark.

raised bed post sos

raised bed step 6

Step 4
Assemble the Box. Set two boards with the slots facing up. Take the other two sides and slide them into the slots to form a box. Set posts and clamp in place. Using a countersink bit drill holes in the ends of the boards to attach the posts.

raised bed step 7

Check for square and attach boards to posts using 1-1/4″ screws.

raised bed step 8

Step 5
Cut the Short Sides. Cut 4 pieces of 1×4 to 44″. Measure 1/4″ on top end of each board and cut a 32 degree angle. Drill countersink holes on each end, center on box (this piece sets in about 1/4″ on each side) and attach using 1-1/4″ screws.

raised bed short side sos

raised bed short side close up sos

raised bed step 9

Fill with soil, drop in some seeds or plants, water and enjoy your harvest!

raised bed step 10

raised bed finished


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