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Beginner level building plans for cedar plank raised garden beds!
I really want to have a garden but I prefer to keep it contained and a reasonable size. I knew I wanted to make Raised Garden Beds but I had no plans other than a vision in my head. So my boys and I set out to Lowe’s to pick up lumber and then came home and got creating! This is what I came up with! I love them! Best part is they are super easy and only cost $30 each and takes only 1 hour to build!!
Why Use Raised Garden Beds:
Raised garden beds are great for growing small gardens of vegetables and flowers. Raised garden beds help create a barrier to keep animals and pests out, they keep out weeds, prevent soil compaction and provide good drainage.
Cedar Decking Planks :
I chose to purchase 5/4 x 6 x 8 foot long cedar decking planks. I liked these because of their nice rounded edges and they actually were cheaper than the regular pieces of cedar wood.
source: The Wood Database
Often times when wood is going to be used outdoors you chose a pretreated wood to withstand the elements and bugs. However, this kind of wood is treated with chemicals and since I will be growing produce in my boxes I wanted to ensure there were no chemicals on my wood. Cedar is naturally a bug repellant wood and also has a really high resistance to rotting. It is the perfect wood to use for garden beds!
How to Pick Your Wood:
Take each piece individually and look it over for any cracks or large knots. Once you find quality pieces extend it out in front of you, one end on the floor, one end in your hand help up high by your eyes. Look down each piece of wood to see if it is straight. You do not want warped pieces. You can see at the very end of this piece it is a bit warped. It curves to the right a bit. It may take checking several pieces of wood before you find the pieces to buy but believe me, your project will look much better if you have straight boards.
Supply List for One Garden Bed Box:
|Quantity||Wood Name/Size||Cut Dimensions||Cut Quantity|
|2||5/4 X 6 X8 Cedar (RED) Decking||4 feet||4|
|1||5/4 X 6 X8 Cedar (RED) Decking||2 feet||4|
|1||2×4 x8||1 foot||4|
2 1/2 Deck Screws
My cute little contractor helped me measure the wood for cutting.
I cut 2 of of the cedar planks at 4 feet each on the miter saw
I then cut four 12 inch long pieces from a 2×4 (ideally I should have also used a cedar 2×4 here). Rather than measuring each piece I only measured one time, cut and then used that as my template piece. You can do this by placing your longer piece of wood underneath the correct sized piece and then line up your blade right along the edge of the shorter piece and then cut! It’s all about time saving!
My other adorable little contractor helped with drilling. We started the screws in the 2×4 before attaching it to the cedar plank (seen in the top right picture)
Here you can see the two sides of the garden bed put together. Each side has 2 planks of cedar and 2 2x4s attached to each end. You want the 2×4 pieces to extend longer than the cedar planks because these will help you get your bed level when placing it on the ground. You can use a hammer to hit one corner of the bed or more into the ground to make it level. **That’s m y bit of genius folks! I was so proud of myself for coming up with that!..and guess what? It really did help!!!
Now it’s time to install your side pieces. Again, we started the screws before attaching them to the other planks as seen on the right hand side – don’t worry if your boards look goofy like my top one (not straight) it will straighten out when you install the other side of the bed wall.
This is what your corner pieces would look like – perfectly flush with each other – I’m not going to lie, I was pretty proud of myself for getting it so even! 🙂
Your bed is assembled upside down. So once you get all of the pieces attached this is what it will look like.
Flip it over and it’s perfect for playing in!
Even with all of the distractions I had while making these and with the help of 2 little kids it only took me 1 hour to build! They are super easy!! I chose to not use my Kreg Pocket Hole Jig to make them because not everyone has one and I wanted these to be duplicatable by everyone – beginner level or master level!
If you would like to purchase the Kreg Pocket Hole Jig that I have you can click this image:
I ended up making 2 and placed them underneath my deck stairs next to my patio. This area is usually just full of weeds regardless of weeding it several times per year. It receives a lot of sunlight so it is the perfect place to grow spices/herbs and peppers!! I can’t wait to get everything planted this weekend! My kids and I are going to make pretty pavers and place them in-between the boxes for a nice walkway 🙂
Hope you enjoy making these yourself!! They are super easy and only cost $30 each!!