Moving into a house with a big yard last year, we knew we wanted a dedicated space to garden. I’ve been getting by on container gardens and houseplants to soothe my gardening urges these past several months, but now thanks to my studly guy and help from my awesome mom, we now have a raised garden bed in our yard.

My boyfriend, Josh, and my mom, Tamra , unloading soil into our garden box.

After getting some inspiration from YouTube and a community garden class we attended, Josh designed a 4’×8’×20″ garden bed. Our thinking was that the depth should ideally be between 12-24″ since we are planning to plant tomatoes, and tomatoes like to set deep roots.

Here’s a run down of the supplies we used:

  • Four 2x10s at 8′ in length
  • Four 2x10s at 4′ in length
  • Four 4x4s at 15-18″ in length
  • Two 2x4s at 8′ in length
  • Two 2x4s at 4′ in length
  • Box of 3 1/2″ deck screws
  • Power drill
  • Square
  • 1″ mesh wire” enough to cover the bottom of the bed, 32 square feet
  • Staple gun w/ staples
  • Cardboard or weed cloth to line the bottom
Our supplies from Home Depot.

We purchased our supplies from Home Depot, and cut most of the boards at home with a chop saw. We decided to construct the garden bed on our covered patio to be on a flat surface. Josh pre-drilled the holes for the screws to help prevent splitting the wood and to make each screw easier to put in.

We constructed the short ends first. We used two 4′ 2x10s and two of the 4x4s. The 4x4s are the stabilizing posts at each corner of the box.

The first 4′ 2×10 attached to the 4×4 posts.

We then attached the 8′ long 2x10s making sure everything was square as went.

The first 8′ 2×10 connecting the two end pieces.
All of the bottom corners have been connected.
All sides completed!

After the construction of the garden bed, we took a pest management measure and lined the bottom of the garden box with wire mesh. This will help prevent ground squirrels and other burrowing creatures from digging into the box from below.

My mom and Josh attaching the wire mesh with an electric staple gun.

In lieu of weed cloth, we lined the bottom of the garden box with cardboard. The card board will eventually break down, and it will hopefully help slow weeds down!

Mom fitting the cardboard to the box. This was a step to measure how many boxes we needed.
We then moved the boxes out to the lawn and turned the box over on top of them.
FYI: It was very heavy to move after constructed. It took three of us plus a handcart to move into place. Building it in place could’ve been another way to go, but we wanted to be close to a power source for the tools we used

For the soil, I found a local rock and soil yard that delivers in our area. I ordered 1.5 cubic yards of their planter mix- a 50/50 blend of topsoil and compost. The compost will lend nutrients and structure to the soil while the topsoil helps keep the soil a looser consistency.

Dumping soil into the garden box.

The finishing touch was to add a lip to the box with the 2x4s. This was an optional step, but the lip on the box will give us a place to sit and lean into the box or to set things around the edge. It also polishes the garden bed off aesthetically.

Our finished garden bed!

In addition to the garden bed, Josh designed a lid to keep larger pests such as birds, cats, and large rodents out of the garden bed. It is an experimental design, and it will hopefully provide our plants some protection while still allowing light, air, and water through. The lid will fold out from the center of the box on a set of hinges. Still in the construction phase, but I’ll let you know how it goes!

Me posing with the garden box and half the lid.

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