Cheap Garden Raised Beds (DIY)

Caitlin holding garden tool in her garden, and raised beds in the back

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I’m excited to finally share with you my cheap garden raised beds project! I wanted my garden beds to look great, but I didn’t want to spend a fortune. Therefore, I came up with the best way to create these raised beds affordably at home!

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How to make Cheap Garden Raised Beds?

  1. Buy the potting soil

    First of all, in order to make some Cheap Garden Raised Beds, you will have to buy some potting soil in bulk. This is definitely cheaper than buying smaller bags of soil. I got some from a mulch place down the street and paid about 25 USD for a cubic yard. 

    I used pine wood for the beds, which in total cost me around 150USD. This is slightly less than some better quality material, or finished beds, but it worked pretty fine. I then stained and sealed it, which cost around 30 USD, and will hopefully last at least 5 years. You can then put the raised beds together with some planter blocks. Overall, buying pre-made beds is around 600-800 USD, so you do the math 🙂 

  2. Level the ground under the raised beds

    Let’s get to work now. First, you have to rake up all the leaves and sticks, and then try to level the areas where you are putting the beds. It is important to have approximately the same level everywhere so that each bed will have equal draining and also because it looks nicer.

  3. Shim the sides of the raised beds

    The next step is shimming the sides of the raised beds. You can get in there with just your hands, or use a shovel to move the dirt. Make sure that the corners line up. There will be some space on the bottom between the dirt and the raised beds, but don’t worry. Indeed, when we will put the dirt in the beds, that soil will get packed. You can also use some wood scraps to shim the bottom.

  4. Lay down the landscape fabric

    Let’s get to laying down the landscape fabric. I paid around 15 USD at home depot for a three-by-fifty foot landscaping fabric. Make sure you leave several inches of fabric on all sides so that you can staple the gun into the bottom sides of the wood. In order to do this, you can use stakes or a staple gun.

  5. Fill the bottom of the beds

    Now it’s time to fill the bottom of the beds with some leaves and sticks that you can find around the yard. These are going to help with the drainage of the soil, as well as they will provide more nutrients for your plants when they will eventually break down.

    Other alternatives can be grass clippings, wood chips, or straws. Basically, any organic material that you can thickly line at the bottom of your beds. Fill them until there is about a foot at their top.

  6. Cover the beds with potting soil

    Now it’s time to cover the beds with potting soil. If you don’t have it, you can use some rocks, sand, perlite, or any other aeration materials. Alternatively, add some organic material like cow manure or worm castings.

    In any case, you can’t go wrong with adding some more of these materials, even if you have already used the soil. The price for aeration is 17 USD per 2 cubic feet, while cow manure is about 5.50USD per cubic foot. 

  7. Plant the veggies

    Last, it is time to plant your veggies, following the package instructions. 

    I get a lot of my seeds from Seed Club Pro where you can order unique NON-GMO seeds for your area and grow an organic garden all year round. I absolutely love this seed service. First, because it is pretty affordable (5USD per month). Then, they will send you seeds every month, according to which plants are good to grow in that month in your area.

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Enjoy this process with your family, including your kids as well! It is so satisfying when you know that you are growing healthy food for your family!

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