The cheapest way to build a raised garden bed is DIY. Plans are very simple and materials are readily available at good hardware stores and garden supply centres. The choice of materials is up to you, however for a timber raised garden bed we recommend using Cypress Pine sleepers.
You will first need to determine the size of the bed, this will be determined by location, however if you take into account the sizes of timber available, you can minimise wastage and lower costs.
For our project we plan to build a raised garden bed that is 2.4 metres long and 1.2 metres wide. These dimensions mean that we will have minimal waste as the timber we are using comes in 2.4 metre lengths.
How to Build a Raised Garden Bed
Determine the length and width.
Determine the height, we suggest a a depth of at least 40 cm to allow for good root growth.
Make the width no more than 1.2 metres across. (this allows easy access for planting and weeding without needing to stand on the garden)
Peg out the position in the garden.
Level the area as best you can.
Materials for our 2.4 metres by 1.2 metres garden bed.
Six 2.4 metre Cypress Pine sleepers.
- 8 corner brackets plus 48 by 35mm Hex screws
- 16 Bugle batten screws (100mm)
- 6 Joining Straps plus 12 35 mm screws.
- Panda Lining 2.4m by 1.5 metres (or similar)
- Organic garden soil mix (around 1 to 1.2 cubic metres)
- Electric Drill
- Electric Saw
- Drill bits for Bugle screw and Hex screws.
- Try square ( a tool to allow you mark the timber so that it can be cut square.)
- Staple gun or hammer and tacks.
- Using at the Try square, make sure the ends of the sleepers are square. This ensures a neat finish.
- Square up one end of each sleeper with the electric saw if needed.
- Measure the sleepers and choose the four longest ones.
- Trim these tot the same length using the electric saw. This gives us our four sides.
- The remaining two sleepers need to cut to the same length, and then cut in half. This gives us our four ends.
How to assemble the garden bed.
- Attach the right angle brackets to the end of each of the fours sides. Using the 35 mm screws and the electric drill
- Place the sides of the raised garden bed in place.
- Using he 35 mm screws and the electric drill attach the ends to the sides using the brackets.
- Repeat this with the second layer of sleepers. This can be done in place with two people.
- Using they Joining straps, attach the second layer of sleepers to the lower layer with the 35 mm screws.
- Cut the Panda Liner to length and height of each side, allowing 75 mm extra to tuck under the base sleeper.
- Attach this with a staple gun or hammer and tacks.
- We like to line the bottom of the raised bed with cardboard, this help suppress any weeds that may be left in the soil.
- If needed level up the raised garden bed using some packing soil.
You are now ready to add the organic soil mix and plant your new DIY vegetable garden.