Celebrate the culture of agriculture & share skills (Growing! Cooking! Eating!)

container-garden-boxOh, contain yourself! My garden plan for this year consists of three 4x4' raised bed containers, which means I needed to build two more boxes. Here's my simple "how to" for building raised garden beds.
Supply List (for each 4x4' box) 2x6 boards* - 40 feet total (if you have to load them in your car you'll want five 8-foot pieces, or you could cut them in the store) 4x4 post* - 6 or 8 feet long
48 3-inch or 3.5-inch nails (or screws)

* Most people recommend using cedar or redwood but I happened to have a bunch of lumber sitting around so I used plain old 2x6s - probably fir. True, they won't last as long and they're already a little beat up, but free is a pretty good price! Any wood will work as long as it's not treated.

Tape Measure
Power saw (I used a circular saw, but a table saw would be ideal)
How To:
  1. Get out your tape measure and mark cut lines every 48 inches on your 2x6 boards. I recommend leaving about 1/16" for the cut or measuring after each cut.
  2. Power saw time - make the cuts so you end up with 10 pieces that are 48 inches long.Container Garden Box
  3. Measure and cut your 4x4 post so you end up with four 16-inch pieces.
  4. Set two of the posts parallel on the ground, four feet apart and lay two of the 2x6 boards across them, even with the top.
  5. Nail two nails into the end of each board. Repeat with the second set of posts and two more 2x6s.Building Container Garden Boxes
  6. Turn your new contraptions upside-down and position them parallel on the ground, four feet apart. Place one of your remaining 2x6s between them and nail it in place. Repeat with another 2x6 and then with the other side.
  7. Grab a friend and flip your box over!Completed Raised Bed Container Garden Box
  8. Nail the last two 2x6s to the top of your box to be used as benches or "knee rests." I think it gives it a nice, finished look without spending time making precise diagonal cuts for an "all the way around" border.
  9. Dig four holes in the ground for the corner posts.
  10. Position your box and make sure it is level before filling in the holes.
Now all you need to do is fill your new container garden with dirt and get planting!

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Views: 3235

Comment by Trell Johnson on May 28, 2009 at 5:14am
Love it!. Can i suggest lining the base of this box with 2-3 layers of cardboard or with commercial ground barrier? Saves a ton of weeding time.
Comment by Powered by Tofu on May 28, 2009 at 1:33pm
Thanks for the feedback. I was also told that newspaper works well as a barrier too. Any experience with that? Cheers!
Comment by William Carr on June 22, 2009 at 8:12pm

I waterproof the soil boxes I build using a mix of melted paraffin wax, gum turpentine, and boiled linseed oil.

After a day, it soaks in and dries to a waterproof finish.

BTW, you could skip the 4x4 posts by overlapping the 2x6's in an "L" configuration and screwing into the ends in a "butt" joint.

I normally only use one layer of 1x6's; according to Square Foot Gardening you only need really deep boxes like these if you're planting root crops like carrots.

When I do want to plant carrots I stack two boxes by making the second one just a bit smaller so it nests on top of the first.


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