DIY raised GARDEN BED {square meter gardening}

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The idea of ​​starting a garden indoors has been taking shape for a while. I think I've caught the spring gardening bug, but over the weekend I finally decided to make a DIY raised garden bed.

I have easy to follow printable PDF plans in my shop, hope it makes your construction easier.

Why raised garden bed?

1. It is cheaper than store bought.

2. It is more comfortable to bend over (no need to bend over and hurt your back)

3. It looks very aesthetically pleasing.

4. It can protect from small animals (let's see if it will protect the garden from squirrels – I'd love to hear your ideas in the comments)

Getting Started with Square Foot Gardening

I read book “Square Foot Gardening” It was made by Mel Bartholomew and he was hooked immediately. He is very impressive and has many great ideas.

Growing up, we had a garden where I spent most of my childhood summers. We had a land of 600 square meters, and I was not very happy with my grandmother making me work outside, doing jobs such as planting, weeding, and watering.

It's a bit ironic that after 15 years since I last visited our summer house, I still miss this connection with the land ;D

When I started gardening, I already had some knowledge, but I needed to refresh this knowledge by reading the book.

Mel explains everything simply and it's an easy book to read.

If you are planning to start your garden or build a raised garden bed I highly recommend reading this book.

Building a DIY elevated raised garden bed

I used plan on this website I made a few changes to make this DIY raised bed.

MATERIAL COST: $110 + $50 for soil

Time Spent: 5 hours

LEVEL: Beginner

Choosing lumber for a DIY raised garden bed

First about lumber. After extensive research I chose to use pressure treated lumber. Cedar seems like a great option, but my store didn't have many options in sizes and it was way out of my budget.

We're renting this house and I'm not even sure if we'll be able to take it with us when we move, probably not, so I didn't want to invest in something I could leave behind.

There is some debate about pressure-treated lumber, but it is also true that companies stopped using chromated copper arsenate (CCA) in pressure-treated lumber after 2003 and replaced CCA with alkaline copper quaternary (ACQ). It is also a chemical, but it does not harm humans in the amount it leaks into the soil. Great article to read more on this topic.

Note: When working with pressure-treated lumber, be sure to wear protective clothing and avoid breathing sawdust.

Be prepared to ask for help as it is very heavy. It's stable so it's great for structure but bad for your back, so a helping hand couldn't hurt.

If you're more of a visual person, here is the VIDEO VERSION of this blog

Materials and timber

  • 2” deck screws
  • 1-⅝” deck screws
  • 2 – 2 x10″ x 8' (for frame)
  • 4 – 2 x 2 x 36” decorative railings (for soil retaining plates)
  • 2 – 2×6″x6′ boards. Cut these boards in half to create part of the leg (about 36 inches long).
  • 2 – 2×4”x6’ boards. Cut it in half to make another part of the leg (about 36 inches long).
  • 4 – 1×4”x 6’ boards. (Top plates for finishing square meter garden)
  • 4 – 2×6″x8′ board. Cut these boards to 46-¼″. (for flooring)
  • 1 – Roll or piece of fiberglass screening to cover the base of the Square Foot Garden. This prevents dirt from clogging the holes at the bottom of the square foot garden.
  • 3 – 1x2x8 (for grill)

Instructions

Step 1 – make a box

Take two 2×10″x8' and cut them to 48″. Build a box using 2 ½” deck screws. You can also use a Kreg jig but I find screws work fine. Be sure to use a square to ensure a perfect 90 degree angle.

Step 2 – make the legs

Cut four 2×6″ at 36″ and four 2×4″ at 36″. Attach 2×6″ to 2×4″ using 2 ½” deck screws.

Step 3 – attach the legs to the box

Put the box on the base and attach the legs to the four sides. Drill pilot holes and secure with 2 ½” deck screws on all sides.

DIY RAISED GARDEN BED

Step 4 – add support for the bottom

Cut two 2×2″s at 36″ and attach them to the bottom of the box.

Step 5 – add boards for the bottom

Cut eight 2×6″ at 46 ½” and insert into the base. Arrange them with ¼” space between them for drainage. This way you can avoid drilling holes.

Step 6 – add fiberglass screening

Cut the fiberglass screening to the size of the base. And add it to the bottom of the garden box. Use staples to attach it to the wood. This will prevent soil from falling through the gaps.

Step 7 – add the top

Cut 1×4″ at 49 ½” and attach them to the top of the box using 1 ¼” deck screws. I used 1×4″x4″ on my garden bed and the plan for the decorative top was to add square balls. They were $9 each so I figured I could pass on that and ended up with the board I used the leftovers.

DIY garden bed

Step 8 – add sand (optional)

The store I went to didn't have a cage so I had to improvise. I used 1x2x8 to make dividers and just used screws to connect them.

In my humble opinion, it turned out divine! I can't wait to grow lots of veggies in it!

You need to place your raised bed in a sunny location with at least 6-8 hours of sun per day.

I encountered the problem of uneven ground. We don't have a lot of space in our backyard, and anything flat is often in the shade.

I needed to dig 2 holes for the hind legs and remove the front legs.

Once it was super stable it was time to add soil.

Adding soil to your DIY elevated raised garden bed

After reading the book “Square Foot Gardening” I became very determined to make Mel's mix, which is ⅓ part vermiculite, ⅓ peat moss, and ⅓ compost (5 different types).

Frankly, I went to the store thinking I would buy it all and make my own mix, but since the store didn't carry vermiculite, I figured it was much easier to use organic raised bed soil. Since my garden is not very big, 4 – 1.5 qt. The bags were sufficient. I also added ⅓ of 2qt. A bag of peat moss. And I added a 40-pound bag of cow manure.

Get your printable PDF plan here

Garden Bed plan

I plan to grow tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, beets, radishes, some salads and herbs. If you would like to follow my gardening adventures, Instagram stories about my progress and the obstacles that come my way! (Just like the squirrels who dig up my seeds after planting them. ahhh! I think it's going to be a fun summer! ;D) See you there!

UPDATE: (7/20/2020) This is what my garden looks like now. There are a few things I'd like to suggest. If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen how I go to war with squirrels. At one point they came and took ALL my tomatoes!!! I also learned that tomatoes and cucumbers grow very tall and it is not convenient to tend to them when they are that high. Next year I plan to build something like an indoor greenhouse so the squirrels can't get to my tomatoes!

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xoxo,

April

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