Growing vegies at home has come back into fashion and where there’s a market, there’s a product.
One product I’ve seen a lot of recently is the raised garden bed. The great thing about one of these is that they’re portable, so you can just plop one down over cement or anywhere in the yard, courtyard, or even patio and take your garden with you when you move. And a raised garden bed can be easier on the back.
But why spend $60 or more buying a raised bed, when you can easily build one yourself for less than half the price. And of course, if you make it yourself, you can customise the size to exactly suit the space that you have and what you want to plant.
Hubby built my garden bed. We purchased all the materials for under $20, but you can do it cheaper if you scrounge recycled timber. As ours is practically on rock so we built it to be quite deep to make sure we could grow carrots and spuds, but actually I don’t think it needs to be so deep. Next time we will only make it three palings high. We used the soil that we had in the yard and supplemented it with purchased compost and mulch. Of course buying soil adds to the cost of the garden.
If you can, make sure you get wood that is untreated. We used treated pine anyway because it was all we could find. The downside to treated pine is the potential that the chemicals used to treat it will leach into the soil and be absorbed into the food that you grow. We decided that it would be minimal enough not to worry, but to be safe try to go for untreated wood. A wooden garden will eventually rot, but we’re talking years of use.
Below is the instructions for making a raised garden bed similar to the one we built, care of DH. The materials are for the dimensions below, so adjust the material amounts to suit the size garden that you want. Our garden is divided into two boxes, the middle support makes it more stable, but if you want one long garden, leave the middle cross section out.
To make a box 1500mm long, 750mm wide and 400mm deep
- 14 plain wooden fence palings (1.5m x 0.1m)
- 2-3 wooden garden stakes
- Box of screws
- Hand or electric saw
- Screwdriver and drill
- Cut 6 of the fence palings in half for the short ends and the middle supports
- Cut the garden stakes into 400mm lengths, but don’t use the pointy end – cut these off.
- To make the 2 longer sides, lay 4 palings together on top of three of the cut stake uprights, one stake at each end and one in the middle. Screw these securely in place.
- Screw four of the shorter palings to the middle stake uprights for the box divider (this is optional but it makes the box more sturdy) and to each of the end uprights to complete the box.
If you have any questions on how to make the raised garden bed, please leave a comment below. We use the no-dig layer method of gardening – you can find out more info on the no-dig method here and keeping weeds at bay using the no-dig method here.