Want to make raised garden beds on a budget or even for free? Every smart and practical gardener knows this trick to maximize growth while minimizing expense. If you are intrigued by this raised bed project, read on for the step-by-step guide!
DIY Raised Garden Beds You Can Do For Free
Shaving dollars off my grocery budget was one of the top reasons why I got into vegetable gardening. While I do harvest and enjoy fresh and free vegetables, the whole idea can easily be overlooked when the price of compost, fertilizer, and gardening materials come in. Luckily, I avoid all those as much as possible with homemade compost, homemade fertilizer, and inexpensive garden equipment such as these DIY raised garden beds. Whether you're a gardening beginner or don't have enough gardening space, you can grow your own vegetables in raised bed gardens. Learn how to make a raised garden bed and how you can even build one for free!
Let's Get Started!
Tools And Materials For DIY Raised Garden Beds
- Wood Pallet
- Hammer and Claw
- Nails and Screws
- Hand or Electic Saw
- Measuring Tools
- Safety Gears (safety mask, safety goggles, and working gloves)
- Bin Liners
How To Create Beautiful Raised Garden Beds
Step One: Get Wood Pallets For Free
I'll let you in on a secret. Although you can buy wood pallets in garden stores, supermarkets, construction workshops, and industrial supply stores, they mostly end up in the dump or recycling centers for free. So you might as well take advantage of this and get them there. Find out more about where to get wood pallets and how you can get them for free here.
Step Two: Take Your Wood Pallet Apart
Dismantle your wood pallet. Check first if your pallet is safe to use, and always have proper work and safety gear on. Using a claw and hammer, carefully take the pallet apart and you may also keep the nails for later.
Step Three: Build A Base Frame
Set three wood panels over a brace and nail the panels and brace in place. Three wood panels from the pallet will give you a raised bed approximately 10 inches tall. You may also add one more panel depending on your preference.
Step Four: Build Complete Frame
Using brace supports as corners, keep building side panels until you have a square raised bed. You can use either nails or screws or you can use both to secure the assembly.
Step Five: Add More Support
You can add support on the longest sides by adding an extra piece of pallet across the three panels. Use a hand saw to cut extended wood parts and give your raised bed a uniform height.
Step Six: Add A Spine Column
Lastly, add a spine column at the base of the raised bed to give the raised bed added support and strength. Set the raised bed in the area in your garden designated for your raised bed vegetable garden.
Step 7: Finishing Touches
Take out bin liners and set them in place along the inner sides of the raised beds. Staple the bin liners in place to protect the wood pallets.
How To Grow Vegetables In Raised Bed Gardens
You Will Need:
- Purchased bag compost or your own homemade compost
- A piece of tarp
- Your choice of plant seedlings
- Gardening tools (Trowel and fork, watering can, garden gloves)
Step One: Add Soil To Raised Bed
Lay a tarp at the bottom of the raised bed or you can use the compost or soil bags as a substitute to waterproof the base. But make sure to add drainage holes to the tarp or the compost bags.
Step Two: Start Vegetable Seedlings
Start seeds of vegetables you like, taking into concern the season, and growth requirements. Grow cool season vegetables in spring or in fall and if you're a gardening beginner, start with easy to grow vegetables like lettuce and spring onions. Grow sun-loving vegetables in summer or you can check out this guide on what vegetables to grow in different seasons.
Step Three: Transplant Seedlings To Raised Bed
Pick crops that grow well together to grow in one raised garden bed. Dig holes as deep, as wide, and spaced according to each plant requirements. Transplant the seedlings, water as needed, and watch your food grow in your raised bed vegetable garden.
Follow the step-by-step guide on how to make raised garden beds for free in this video:
Now you know how to make easy and inexpensive raised garden beds for a vegetable garden. Definitely no more excuses for growing your own fresh and free vegetables. Next time you have troubles with small space, bad soil, or just want to grow more, make raised garden beds!
Don't forget to download, save, or share this handy infographic for reference:
Don't you find these DIY raised garden beds easy and feasible? Let me know your thoughts by leaving a comment in the box below.
Want new vegetable gardening ideas? Why not give this unconventional gardening method a try and find out more about hydroponic gardening here.
Editor's Note: This post was originally published in December 2015 and has was updated in April 2020 for quality and relevancy.