Cedar raised beds. Simple and cheap, but effective

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Project by William Shelley posted 04-27-2015 12:03 AM 1771 views 4 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I decided to jump into gardening this year. I have some excellent housemates that were excited to grow their own produce. I’ve always liked growing things, but since I bought my house a few years ago I’ve been focusing a lot on indoor projects. On my lot there are large fir trees all over, the backyard is almost completely shaded and only part of the south side of the lot and the front yard get any decent amount of sun. This means I’m doing all my gardening in the front yard…

I built two raised beds, each is 5ft x 10ft x 16” tall. They’re made with about $75 worth of materials, each. I wanted something that was relatively inexpensive or else it would nullify the cost savings of growing my own produce vs buying it at the store.

Construction is incredibly simple. Each bed is made from six 5ft x 16in panels. The panels are three 1×6x5’ cedar fence slats nailed to 2×2 “posts” On top is a 2×4 cedar rail. There is another 2×4 that spans the middle and holds the sides together to eliminate blowout.

I assembled each panel separately in my shop, carried them outside, clamped them together on the ground and screwed the panels together. There are some 1” holes drilled in the corners where the 2×4 top rails overlap, I will be pounding some electrical conduit into the ground through these holes and drilling through the conduit and cedar from the side to secure the bed to the “stake”.

I bought 1/2-inch “IMC” type conduit which has significantly thicker walls than the more common “EMT” type. It’s galvanized and I can get four 30-inch stakes from a 10-foot length of it ($9 at home depot).

-- Woodworking from an engineer's perspective

2 comments so far

View John Lowell's profile

John Lowell

137 posts in 3317 days

#1 posted 04-28-2015 12:30 AM

They look great, and tall! I will be installing one next weekend, but using landscaping timbers. Wife wants half laps so that will slow it down a bit, but we need better drainage for a small garden. Good luck with your installation, and growing.

-- Trying, but lots to learn.....

View marksalot2005's profile


90 posts in 4617 days

#2 posted 04-28-2015 03:07 PM

Great project and looks great, a nice thing to add to those beds are Olla’s for watering your plants.. Youtube has many great videos on how to make cheap Olla. I have used them for years and they work great in raised beds.

-- Mark, Katy, Texas, Did they give Noah a hardtime about the wood boat in his driveway

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