How to Build a Raised Bed Garden

Building a raised garden bed is easier than you think. All it takes is a quick trip to the home improvement store, a few tools, a couple of hours, and you'll be ready to plant your very own garden.

(Image: Mavis Butterfield)

Things You'll Need

  • (12) 4"x 4"x 10' wood posts
  • Variable speed reversing drill with grip
  • 7/8" drill bit
  • (4) 1"x 48" wooden dowels
  • Tape measure
  • Hammer
  • Extension cord
  • Skill saw
  • Pencil
  • Vacuum
  • Miter saw


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Step 1: Choosing Lumber

(Image: mavis butterfield)

Depending on your budget and the wood available in your area, you'll need to select the wood you will use for this project. While cedar is ideal, Douglass fir is a great alternative and about half the price of cedar.

Step 2: Cutting Wood For The Garden Boxes

(Image: mavis butterfield)

Using a skill saw, measure and cut the following pieces to length:

  • (8) 4"x4"x10' wood posts
  •  (8) 4"x4"x5' wood posts

Step 3: Assembling The Garden Box

(Image: mavis butterfield)

Assemble the garden box on an even surface using the 10' lengths on the sides and the 5' lengths on the ends. Stack the wood four pieces high, staggering the corners as you go.

Step 4: Stacking Wood

(Image: mavis butterfield)

Once you have your four layers of wood lined up, give your garden box a final check to make sure all the pieces are in place.

Step 5: Drilling Holes in the Corners

(Image: mavis butterfield)

Starting in the corner of your garden box, use a 7/8" drill bit to drill through all four pieces of wood. Be sure and keep your drill bit nice and straight as you drill through the wood.

Step 6: Vacuum Wood Shavings as You Drill

(Image: mavis butterfield)

It is helpful to have someone sucking up the wood shavings with a vacuum as you drill the holes into the wood. If you don't vacuum the wood shavings as you go, the drill bit could get stick in the hole you are drilling and become difficult to remove.

Step 7: Placing the Dowel in the Corner

(Image: mavis butterfield)

Once you have your corner holes drilled, insert a wooden dowel.

Step 8: Setting the Corners

(Image: mavis butterfield)

Using a hammer, pound in the dowel through all layers of the wood.

Step 9: Saw Remaining Dowel

(Image: mavis butterfield)

Using a miter saw, saw the excess dowel so it is flush with the top layer of wood.

Step 10: Rinse, Wash, Repeat

Dowels in the garden box corners
Dowels in the garden box corners (Image: mavis butterfield)

Once you have the corner holes drilled and a dowel in place, drill another set of holes about 4 inches away from the center hole and repeat steps 7 though 9 until all the corners are secure.

Step 11: Move Garden Box in Place

(Image: mavis butterfield)

Once your garden box is finished, place it in your yard and plant with vegetables.

(Image: mavis butterfield)


  • Find out how to build a custom trellis for your new raised bed here.

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