DIY Raised Garden Beds

I finally finished my raised garden beds. Took a bit longer than expected. But, I also realized I started my seeds late, so it all worked out in the long run.

raised beds

  1. Posts In: I reused the spindles from the old pool deck railings. Typically you’re not really supposed to use pressure treated wood in gardens…it does something weird to the plants I guess. But the spindles were so old and weathered that I figured using them for support posts would be fine…Cost: reusing old materials = $0
  2. Frame Work: The walls of the raised beds were built using wood pallets. I got them for free from one of my print vendors who just stacks them up outside when they’re done using them…But, they are pretty easy to find all over the place for free. Turns out that wood pallets are only about 3′ long and I needed them to be a little over 4′ to hit the posts, so I ended up overlapping them. Which I actually think I like better. Creates a more rustic handmade feel to it. The planks were attached to the posts with a nail gun. Cost: maybe about $4 in nails…if you’re gonna get technical.
  3. Finished Off the Beds: I filled the beds using a technique called lasagna gardening. This saved me some money, as I didn’t have to buy as much dirt to fill the huge beds and it is also said to be very beneficial to vegetables. Basically you layer different materials to create a nutrient rich soil for your plants. My layers included: Newspaper (which also deters weed growth), Dead Leaves, Grass Clipping, Compost (which my neighbor picked up for me for free), and topped with Organic Compost Garden Soil (which I got on sale for $3/40lb bag – bought 12 bags – YEAH Memorial Day Weekend Sales!). Then I strung cotton twine across the top so I could easily divide up the space for my square foot gardening planting technique (more on that next time). Cost: organic soil and twine = $38
  4. Started My Very First Garden: Then it was finally time to plant some vegetables! I just hope that after all my hard work I actually get to eat something.
  5. Bonus Strawberry Planter: I had old rain boots that I couldn’t throw away because: 1) I love them so much and 2) I hate throwing anything away. I found an awesome tutorial on Pinterest that made a strawberry planter out of old rain boots. So my hoarding paid off and they came out super cute. Plus, I still have 3 more boots I can fill! Cost: $9 for strawberry plants; $2 for a bag of potting soil.

Later on I may trim down the support post spindles. They make the beds look a little messy. But, I’m going to see how this planting season goes. I have a feeling they may come in handy for staking the plants, so it might end up to be beneficial to have them…we shall see…

So, I built 2 unique looking raised vegetable garden beds for about $40. Not too shabby. Next year I’m going to add 2 more beds (assuming that I can actually get this year’s crop to grow) and see if I can get that cost down to $0!

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