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How to Build a Garden Box That is Perfect for Square Foot Gardens

When building a garden box you want to do it in the most cost-effective way possible.  Be sure you check out your options and pick which is best for you.

Fastest and Easiest way to Build a Garden Box!

What is the best wood to build a garden box?

Building a wood box is a great way to save money.  You can get wood from many different places.  You can really use any type of wood as long as it serves the purpose of your garden box. Many people want to make the boxes tall so they don’t have to bend over as much and to give the roots ample amounts to grow. But it really depends on what you want.

If you find a builder, they may have scrap wood you can take and build a garden box out of it.  This type of wood is good to make smaller raised boxes out of or you can piece it together into a larger box but you would have to play a little Tetris to make it fit perfectly. The only thing to check when you use this type of wood is if the wood is treated or not.

You can also buy the wood at a local hardware store. most people who make boxes like to use cedar or pine to make their garden boxes.

If you are building a box for organic gardening you want to be sure to get wood that is not treated with anything. That will ensure that the chemicals don’t leach into the soil and cause the plants you add to be contaminated with them.

What do I put at the bottom of a garden box?

What to put on the bottom of your garden box is completely up to you. But it also matters where you will put the box after you build a garden box. If you are planning on putting the box on a deck or concrete area, I would reccomend putting a bottom on your garden box.

If you are not putting it on a hard surface you can put chicken wire at the bottom or nothing at all. I usually use nothing when I am putting my boxes on dirt so the plants can grow down into the dirt and have more space for roots.

If you are putting a bottom on I would use a wood bottom that would be easy to drill holes into. That way the box can have enough drainage so the plants don’t get swamped in heavy rains. You can use Plywood to cover the bottom. It is a good wood because it is thin but sturdy.

Should I put rocks at the bottom of my raised bed garden?

Again this is a personal choice but It can also matter which plants you are growing. It also matters the type of soil you have after you build a garden box.

The rocks allow the water to not pool in the dirt. If you are growing plants that don’t need a lot of water it is a good idea to use rocks. But if you have plants that need lots of root space and the roots need a continuous supply of water, it is not the best idea to put the rocks into the garden box.

It is best to look at the care labels on your plants before planting them to decide if this would be a best practice for you.

How deep should a raised garden bed be?

Each box needs to be at least 12 inches deep. This can be a mixture of the depth of the garden box you build and the dirt under the box. You can also build your garden box to be 12-18 inches deep. Most vegetables need that much root space to grow well.

As a word of caution, you will want to ensure the depth of the raised bed is deep enough for any plant you are going to plant in that box. So check your plants recommendations before building your box.

Do raised beds need special soil?

Yes! Raised beds usually have a type of soil that is between potting soil and ground dirt. It can also have lots of bark or small sticks. This is so their is enough loose dirt to give the plants the air the roots need.

If the soil is too heavy like ground dirt, the roots will get too compact. They will die and the plant will not grow or produce correctly. It is best to get soil that is specifically labeled for raised beds such as Miracle-gro raised bed soil or Organic raised bed mix.

What is the best soil for growing vegetables in raised beds?

The thing to look for in vegetable soil is soil that has the right mix for nutrients for the vegetables you are growing. My favorite soil to use in a garden box that is growing vegetables is Kelloggs Organic Garden Soil.

This soil is the best mix of soil for all the vegetables I have grown. We have used it for growing peppers, tomatoes, peans, beans, celery, lettuce and more. It is a great soil if you plan on growing a variety. You can also use this soil as an additive for ground dirt if you decide to dig under your raised beds.

What is the cheapest way to make raised beds?

There are lots of ways to cut costs on building a garden box. Some can make the box free and others can cut costs while still giving you the flexibility you need with your gardening style.

One of the easiest ways t cut costs is by getting wood from scrap wood. It can be from your personal stash or you could get in contact with a local builder and see if they have any leftover scraps that you can nail together to make your raised bed. Then you can buy dirt to fill it with and get planting!

Another idea is to get compost from your local city or county and fill the boxes with that. This is a great way to get starter soil. But if you are trying to do organic gardening, this will not work as well due to the fact that you can get soil made from anything in the green waste. That could mean chemically treated items. Most cities have this type of compost for free at least once a year. You can get as much as they will allow you.

If you combine these 2 things you could have free garden boxes and you could grow your own food or flowers for a cheap price!

How to build A DIY garden box with the step by step tutorial

Here is the step by step instructions on how to make the box:

Cut wood for the raised bed garden box

1. Measure and cut your wood to the size you want it to be.  I made my boxes 2 ft by 4 ft.  So I cut my wood to make that size of a box.  But you can make a box whatever size works for your space.

make a garden box

2.  Make the garden box by lining up the wood on a flat surface.

Support the garden box your building

Tip: Use a wall or some other solid surface to hold the wood in place when drilling

Drill Holes to build a gardening box

3. Drill holes in the wood for the screws.  Make sure the holes are drilled into both pieces of wood in the places you want them.

building garden boxes by Drilling In screws

4. Drill Screws into the holes you made

5. Repeat until all sides have screws in places.

6. If adding a bottom, screw bottom onto the box. (our box doesn’t have a bottom since it is on dirt that the roots can grow into) Make sure there are drainage holes in the bottom.

7. Place box where you want it to be and fill with soil.

Printable step by step tutorial for How to build a raised garden box

How to Build a Garden Box

Step by step tutoirial for how to build a garden box that can be made into any type of planter box.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time25 mins
Servings: 1 box
Author: Melissa
Cost: $10

Ingredients

Instructions

  • 1. Measure and cut your wood to the size you want it to be.  I made my boxes 2 ft by 4 ft.  So I cut my wood to make that size of a box.  But you can make a box whatever size works for your space.
  • 2.  Make the box by lining up the wood on a flat surface.
    Tip: Use a wall or some other solid surface to hold the wood in place and so you can up pressure on the wood when drilling
  • 3. Drill holes in the wood for the screws.  Make sure the holes are drilled into both pieces of wood in the places you want them.
  • 4. Drill Screws into the holes you made
  • 5. Repeat until all sides have screws in places.
  • 6. If adding a bottom, screw bottom onto the box (our box doesn't have a bottom since it is on dirt that the roots can grow into.) Make sure there are drainage holes in the bottom.
  • 7. Place box where you want it to be and fill with soil.

It is easy to build a garden box and make your own garden.  The best part is when you get to reap the rewards of your work. The reward of when you make your meals with the food from the plants!

Be sure to check out more information on raised bed gardens

If you don’t have the tools to make your own box, you could check out this premade square foot garden box as well.

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