Consistently seeing the raised garden bed square-foot method being touted as a beginner-friendly method online and in books made us decide on just that. I had even found some 4′ x 4′ cedar kits available at Home Depot. Only down side for us was the price; we really didn’t want to spend too much on the garden bed when we really didn’t know how well our gardening would work out. My husband was great in selecting the supplies to make us an inexpensive and effective garden bed. Once we gathered all our supplies, including organic soil, we paid a little under $180 at Home Depot.
Supplies Purchased at Home Depot
- 6 Landscaping Timbers -each 2.5″ x 2.5″ x 8ft long ………..$3.27each
- 8 Hot Dipped Galvanized Spikes – 3/8″ x 12″………………….$0.70 each
- 8 Cut Washers – 1/2″ ..(my store was cheaper than online)..$0.20 each
- 1 Element SoakerPRO System …………………………………….$24.97
- 9 Miracle Gro Nature’s Care 32Qt Organic Potting Mix ….. .. $10.99 each
- 1 Miracle Gro Nature’s Care Organic & Natural Vegetable, Fruit, and Flower Food ……………………………………………………………………..$11.98
- 2 Metal Pot Trellis 48″………………………………………………..$9.97 each
- 1 Black Metal Fan Trellis 48″………………………………………..$9.97
Supplies At Hand
- Work Gloves
- Garden Tool Set (Pruning shears, cultivator, and trowel)
- Water hose
- cardboard boxes (used in place of a weed barrier liner )
- Power Drill
- Long Drill Bit
- Power saw (to cut two timbers into 3ft pieces for the end)
Building Our Garden Bed
Building our garden bed from start to finish took us roughly an hour and a half. And that was with two little bugs helping out when possible. If you’re handy with tools it may only take you an hour, but if you’re a newbie with tools take your time and plan on working the afternoon.
- We decided on a 3ft x 8ft raised bed so my husband spaced on the timbers. Notice how the area I chose is sloped; you want to start out with a level area if at all possible. You’ll see our fix after he places the end pieces he leveled out the bed; we can’t have a lopsided garden because the rain would wash away all our hard work.
Before moving on, my husband cut the remaining two timbers into 3ft pieces for the ends. Unfortunately I did not get a picture of that since I was working on assembling the soaker hose at that time.
- He then pre-drilled holes in the ends of the long timbers. The hole was only made halfway through the bottom timber to make nailing the stake easier. The end walls were staked in the middle; take a look at at the picture with the cardboard for a better view of what I mean.
The stakes you see on the outside of the timbers are just to keep them temporarily in place until all four ends have been pre-drilled.
- We placed the washer on top of the timber and then the stake through both the washer and pre-drilled hole; this is to keep the stake from going straight through the timbers.
My Little Ladybug had fun helping her Papi hammer while our Bug did well on his own.
**Kids should be supervised at all times during this project. We recommend they only help with a knowledgeable adult.**
- Once the frame was complete and leveled, we put cardboard all along the bottom. I forgot to take a picture, but we wet the cardboard to keep it from moving while we poured the soil.
- Here is what the garden bed looks like after the soil and the soaker hose was dug in about 1/2″ deep long oval. I have since dug up the soaker hose and reworked it to have three hose running down the bed similar to the image from the SoakerPRO’s instructions. Save yourself and follow their directions.
- In this picture below you can see how we used pieces of scrap wood we had from another project to level out the right side of the garden bed. We temporarily placed additional pieces of wood to keep the soil from pushing out the soggy cardboard. So far we haven’t had any issues with the integrity of the walls.
Once the soil was evenly watered and damp I transplanted some of our veggies and herb seedlings. In the left back corner with the fan trellis I have tomato, basil, and tomatillo. I also transplanted some cucumber seedlings to the right back corner with the metal pot trellises.
- Ta-da! What our garden looks like from our side patio.
- A few days later I created a grid for easier tracking and planting. If you space out nails every 12″ you can get 24 square plots for gardening. Since I wanted the back corner plants to have more space I made those squares 1.5ft instead of just 12″ which gives me a total of 21 plots. For my garden I tied yarn on opposite nails to create the grid lines. I even made sure to hammer the nails over so no one accidentally gets hung up on a nail while gardening. You could use something more sturdier like thin synthetic rope.
Please post your comment below if you have any questions and I’ll get back to you as soon as I get a chance.
Disclaimer: In no way am I sponsored or compensated by the companies mentioned above. Their identification is solely for my tracking purposes and in the spirit of full disclosure.