How to Make Vegetable Box Gardens


Box gardens, also called raised gardens or raised planters, are ideal for gardeners with little or poor garden soil and those who wish to grow a variety of vegetables, as you can tailor the soil in each box to suit the needs of specific vegetables. Making vegetable box gardens is not difficult, and can also add to the aesthetic appeal of your vegetable patch by making the garden look ordered and neatly set out.

Things You'll Need

  • Lumber, 2 inch by 12 inch
  • Miter saw
  • Lumber, 4 inch by 4 inch
  • Corner clamps
  • Wood glue
  • Drill
  • 3-inch galvanized screws
  • 2-foot wood stakes
  • Mallet
  • Gravel
  • Potting mix
  • Cut lengths of 2-inch by 12-inch lumber to the size of your garden boxes. For example, if you want a 4-foot by 8-foot garden box, cut two lengths of 4-foot lumber and two lengths of 8-foot lumber. Miter the ends of these planks to 45 degrees with the miter saw.

  • Cut 4-foot by 4-foot lumber into four 12-inch lengths for each vegetable garden box you are making. These will be the corner posts of the box frame.

  • Form the mitered planks of the 2-by-12 lumber into frames, with the mitered ends mating to form 90-degree corners. Glue the mitered joints and leave in corner clamps to dry for two hours.

  • Drill four pilot holes sized to fit 3-inch galvanized screws through each glued joint, then secure the frame together with the screws.

  • Place each of the 4-by-4 posts into the corners of the frame then drill two pilot holes from each side of the frame corner into the 4-by-4 post and secure together with 3-inch galvanized screws.

  • Position the frame in the garden where you want the vegetable garden to go. Position two stakes on either side of each of the 4-by-4 posts then drive them into the soil with the mallet until the tops of the stakes are flush with the top of the frame.

  • Drive two more stakes into the soil along the long side of the box, and one more on each short side of the box. Secure the stakes to the box with two galvanized screws through the stakes into the side of the box, or the posts, depending on the stake placement.

  • Spread 1 inch of gravel over the bottom of the box, then fill it with potting soil to complete the vegetable garden box. It is now ready for planting.

Tips & Warnings

  • To make higher vegetable garden boxes, use two frames stacked on top of each other. Your posts and stakes will need to be double length.
  • Use cedar or other naturally hardy wood for the boxes -- avoid pressure-treated lumber as there is a risk that the preservatives from the lumber can leach into the soil and your vegetables.

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  • Photo Credit Comstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images
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