You Can DIY These Inexpensive Raised Garden Bed Ideas


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The Gold Hive for Tilly

Unlike in-ground gardens, raised beds — also known as garden boxes that are positioned above ground — have a much longer growing season. They also don’t require the excessive tilling that can come along with a traditional garden, and they’re easier to implement than an in-ground garden. The best part? These raised garden bed ideas are fairly easy to build yourself, whether you go with a wooden, metal or brick design — or something more resourceful, like repurposing an old pallet.

To help you get started, we spoke with garden and landscape experts who share their tips for building a cheap raised garden bed that performs well.

What Are the Benefits of a Raised Garden Bed?

Rather than working tirelessly to keep your garden soil free of weeds and pests year after year, modern raised beds can act as a barrier. There are many benefits of a raised garden bed, including:

  • Improved drainage
  • Fewer weeds and pests
  • Reduced discomfort from bending and kneeling (great for seniors)
  • Better control over the soil substrate
  • Ability to be moved, depending on the setup

    What Plants Thrive in a Raised Garden Bed?

    “Anything can be grown in a raised bed, especially when you control the soil,” says Blythe Yost, co-founder and chief landscape architect at Tilly Design. Among the most common plants are:

    • Vegetables:Tomatoes, carrots, turnips, cucumbers, lettuce and radishes are popular picks.
    • Fruits: Opt for berries like strawberries and raspberries, or melons like cantaloupe and watermelon.
    • Cutting flowers: Go for pretty perennials (flowers that come back ever year) or easy-to-grow flowers like sunflowers or marigolds.
    • Herbs: Rosemary, oregano, dill and parsley are great choices. “Keep in mind that some herb types (like sage and basil) need more space than you’d expect,” says Rebecca Sears, CMO and resident green thumb at Ferry-Morse.

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Made from fir boards and secured with corner braces and screws, these DIY garden beds are simple to recreate. Once you’re ready to start planting, this blogger shares that some fruits and vegetables actually thrive when grown near each other.

Get the tutorial at Handmade Farmhouse »

Help your garden grow tall with supportive cages, which lift plants off the ground and give you more space to harvest. For protection from pests and animals, they’re a smart choice for lower garden beds.

SHOP CAGES

When building a raised garden bed, “try to weigh design and aesthetic with the amount of sunlight the area receives,” says Yost. Keep in mind: Most herbs and vegetables require full sun.

Fill an old wheelbarrow with fragrant flowers and you’ll add instant appeal to your backyard. You can even paint the wheelbarrow a bright hue for extra style.

SHOP WHEELBARROW PLANTER

Metal tables aren’t just for serving drinks on your patio. Give yours an entirely new look by turning it into a garden bed, which is great for housing Irish moss and succulents.

In a smaller space, consider placing your garden beds along the edge of your yard or up against the fence like Ashley Goldman of The Gold Hive does here.

If you have a wooden ladder that you no longer need, dress it up with a garden bed and an arrangement of potted plants. It’s an eye-catching arrangement for those who appreciate rustic-inspired looks.

Prevent your worn car tires from ending up in the landfill, and instead turn them into a unique garden bed. While you can sometimes use a tire to grow herbs or vegetables, it’s probably best to stick with inedible flowers.

The best part about raised garden beds? They don’t need to look overly polished to elevate your space. Go for raw woods and exposed metal braces to create a chic rustic design.

No one said garden beds have to be square or regular! Go for a five-, six- or eight-sided shape to mix things up. Just make sure you don’t try a design that’s too wide where you can’t easily reach the middle.

Save space around your garden bed for planting and harvesting. “The elevation of a raised garden bed can help reduce any discomfort that gardeners may experience from constant bending and kneeling,” says Sears.

SHOP KNEE PAD

Inject personality into an outdoor space (no matter how small) with bright red plant troughs, filled with everything from spinach to parsley.

SHOP RED TROUGHS

Double your function with a design that features a garden bed on top and a shelf for supplies on the bottom. Plus, add a few knobs to hang your everyday tools. This convenient setup is ideal if you’re lacking the space for a garden plot.

Get the tutorial at Inspired By Charm »

There’s no reason why durable bricks can’t be used as garden beds. You can even paint them in bold hues if you’re really up for showing off your creativity.

Embrace a uniform look by sticking with pairs of garden beds boasting the same style. “Symmetrical placement of raised beds can create a sense of balance throughout the garden, so consider placing them next to each other or on opposite ends of your space,” says Sears.

If you need a simple way to keep your tomatoes and lettuce separate, consider a wooden garden bed. Bonus: Add casters to the bottom, so that you can move them around your space all summer long.

You can never go wrong with a handmade wood design that’s ideal for growing vegetables (think zucchini or radishes) right on your porch.

Enhance a wood fence with repurposed crates, which will make draining soil a breeze.

SHOP WOODEN CRATES

A blend of style and function, galvanized steel buckets can make for brilliant raised garden beds. Add plant labels for an extra dose of charm.

SHOP STEEL PLANTER

Especially when you’ve got multiple garden beds, ensure your setup leaves enough space for walking. Use large stones and tiny pebbles to create separation between your beds.

SHOP LANDSCAPE ROCKS

If you live in a woodsy area (a.k.a deer, rabbits and squirrels are a risk to your garden), build a cage around your garden for added protection.

Read more at Inspired By Charm »

Balance a rustic wood box with vibrant flowers that showcase the colors of summer. It’s so beautiful, this bright display is a great choice for the front yard.


Senior Home Editor
Monique Valeris is the senior home editor for Good Housekeeping, where she oversees the brand’s home decorating coverage across print and digital.

Associate Lifestyle Editor
Alyssa Gautieri (she/her) is the associate lifestyle editor for Good Housekeeping, where she covers all things home and interior design.

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