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$10 Cedar Raised Garden Beds by Ana

January 29, 2012

About Project

Cedar raised bed make gardening easier, more accessible, more economical, and more efficient. But often a cedar raised bed can cost hundreds of dollars. With this plan, I figured out how to create raised cedar beds – deep ones – for about $10 each.

Materials and Tools

Shopping List:

6 Cedar Fence Pickets
1″ Screws
2″ Screws
Wood Glue
Finishing Supplies

measuring tape
safety glasses
hearing protection
circular saw
table saw

Cut List

Cut List:

4 – 1×6 Fence Pickets @ 72″ (Side Panels, you can trim the dog ear off and work with a 71″ Fence post)
8 – 1×2 Fence Pickets @ 11″ (Corner Posts)
4 – 1×6 Fence Pickets @ 17 3/4″ (End Panels)
2 – 1×2 Fence Pickets @ 72″ (Top Trim, I used the non-dogeared ones from the center of the cuts)
2 – 1×2 Fence Pickets @ 19″ (Top Trim, Ends)

General Instructions

Work on a clean level surface and check for square after each step. Predrill and countersink your screw holes. Be safe, especially with the table saw, and have fun.

Step 1

$10 Cedar Raised Garden Beds

Rip your Corner Posts
In 160 Plan Posts, I’ve never asked you to rip anything. And I’m dreading asking you to rip this fence post. But I’ve done the math, and by ripping one fence post into 4 – 1 1/4″ wide strips, you are saving quite a bit of money (well, that is, if you intend to build a garden full of planters). So set your tablesaw to 1 1/4″ and rip one of the fence posts to 1 1/4″ wide, as shown above. If you don’t have a table saw, you can use 1×2 cedar boards, but you will need to add 1/2″ to the final top trim boards on the ends. And you are going to have to shell out an extra few bucks.

Step 2

$10 Cedar Raised Garden Beds

Side Panels
Use your 1″ screws and glue to put together your side panels as shown above. The post will overextend the sides by 5/8″ as shown above. I also used my Kreg Jig™ to join the boards together in the center, and you can do this too. But I feel like my planters are too “flat” and had I not joined the boards in the center, the planter would be more rustic.

Step 3

$10 Cedar Raised Garden Beds

End Panels
Build your end panels exactly like your side panels.

Step 4

$10 Cedar Raised Garden Beds

Assembling the Panels
The panels should fit together like a puzzle. Fasten with 2″ screws and glue. Check for square.

Step 5

$10 Cedar Raised Garden Beds

End Top Edges
Finish the end top edges just like you did the sides. If you used 1x2s measuring 1 1/2″ wide, you will need to measure and cut this board to the planters dimensions.

UPDATE: Here’s those cedar beds I built for $10 bucks each. I can’t rave enough about these beds, my garden was amazing and super low maintenance.  BUILD THESE.  It’s a must build.

While shopping, I happened to smell some cedar. And I love the smell of cedar.  So I followed my nose to a pile of dogeared 1x6s on special for $1.59 each.  Cedar.

$1.50 Each for a 1×6, 6′ Long.  That’s 1/3 the cost of pine 1x6s.  And granted, these were fence pickets and the corners were tapered off, but that’s only the top inch.

And yes, the were 5/8″ thick instead of 6/8″ (or 3/4″), but I was okay with not paying 10 times as much to get my corners back and an 1/8″ of thickness back.  Besides, I had a specific use in mind for these fence pickets.

image from Kiwicreativeinc
image from Better Homes and Gardens

Better Homes and Gardens has a complete slideshow of the benefits of a raised garden here.

I especially loved these long and thin raised beds because they make sense to me – no reaching for weeds and each plant gets full sun.  I can line them up in rows, label each bed, and my grandkids can have their very own row.

So I bought six boards for a grand total of $9.54, and went home and somehow found 20 minutes to build this

Not bad for $10. And naturally weather resistant cedar too!  For a planter, you want to use natural wood because treated lumber releases odors and chemical that you don’t want mixed in with your food.  And cedar naturally resists rot and insects, so a great choice for planters.

This planter also resists rot and insets, is just under $10.  But I think you are going to be okay with a little elbow grease (and a lot of burned calories) to get this:

I haven’t found the time to finish the planter (and may choose to leave them natural) but I wanted to share this project with you right away because I’m not sure how long these boards will be marked down.  And I’m not sure how long these boards will be on the shelf – I just called in an order for 150 boards.

Of course, you can build a different size, lower sides, or even planters with enclosed bottoms.

  1. Nice sale price. Just follow your nose.

  2. Joshin permalink

    Thanks for the easy directions! I found cedar fence planks without the dog-ears and used some scrap pine 1×2’s I had for the corner braces and top edges. I’d promised my mom a pretty raised vegetable bed in her backyard for Mother’s Day, and this fit the bill perfectly. Built the beds and planted tomatoes, peppers and beans the same day!

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Building Raised Beds « thehomevegetablegardener
  2. Building Raised Beds « The Home Vegetable Gardener Blog

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