If you’re looking for simple instructions on how to build rectangular raised garden beds you’ve come to the right place!
This year we’re doubling our garden space by adding an additional six rectangular raised garden beds to the six raised beds we built last year. It’s a good thing because the original beds are already filled with strawberries and all of my spring crops!
I’m keeping my fingers crossed that I don’t run out of space before I’ve planted all the starts I’ve been growing indoors!
Pin It For Later!
This post may contain affiliate links, which means I make a small commission at no extra cost to you. Read my full disclosure here.
Benefits of Raised Garden Beds
I love raised garden beds and have been using them for almost twenty years! Here are some of the reasons I prefer raised garden beds:
- More control over the soil composition
- Less weeds
- Easier to use the square-foot gardening method
- Can grow a garden almost anywhere (such as in a rocky area)
Watch: Rectangular Raised Garden Beds
Cost to Build a Raised Garden Bed
Here is the breakdown for the cost of one raised garden bed:
- (6) cedar fence planks at $3.51/each = $21.06
- (6) wood grade stakes at $0.48/each = $2.89
- (1) box of 1 1/4″ exterior screws = $14.08
Total price for one garden bed = $38.03
We were able to build six garden beds for $170 because it’s less expensive buying the stakes and screws in “bulk”. This means each raised bed only cost us $28 to build. For example, I only needed to buy two boxes of screws to build six raised bed. Also, the stakes come in packs of 12 so if you’re just making one raised bed then you will end up with unused stakes.
If building a raised garden bed doesn’t fit your plans right now, you can purchase a cedar 3×6 raised bed garden kit that can be assembled easily. But keep in mind that what you save in time you pay for in cost!
Questions About Raised Garden Beds
Why build garden beds using cedar?
Cedar is a naturally rot-resistant lumber. It will deteriorate much slower than other types of wood, which means it doesn’t have to be treated with chemicals which can leach into your soil and contaminate plants.
However, cedar isn’t always available in certain areas, and it may cost more than other naturally rot-resistant lumber. Some other options that are also suitable for raised garden beds include cypress and pine. Source
How long do they take to build?
One box will take approximately 30 minutes. After making our cuts, the actual building process for 6 boxes took two hours.
Why do you attach stakes to the garden beds?
The purpose of the stakes is two-fold. First, they help add stability to the construction of the boxes. If you weren’t going to use stakes then you would still need to screw the cedar fence planks to strips of wood. Second, they allow you to stake the garden bed into the ground which helps them to stay in place. If you will be placing your garden bed over concrete, then you should swap the stakes out for similar sized strips of wood.
Supplies & Tools for Rectangular Raised Garden Beds
To build one garden bed you will need:
- (6) Six-foot long flat-top cedar fence planks (not dog-eared)
- Six wood grade stakes (1″x 2″x 18″)
- 1 box of 1 1/4 inch exterior screws
- Electric drill or screwdriver
- Saw (or have hardware store make cuts for you)
Steps to Build a Rectangular Raised Garden Bed
Make your cuts
First, cut two of the cedar fence planks in half (or ask the hardware store to cut them for you). These will be the ends of your boxes.
As an optional step, you can cut several inches off the top of each stake so you don’t have to insert it as deep into the ground.
Build the sides
Now, lay two six-foot fence planks next to each other on a flat surface, like a driveway or garage floor. Make sure you have the planks snug against each other, so there isn’t a gap between them, and that the ends are flush.
Then, place a stake at each end and one in the center. You will place the stakes under the two fence planks so that when you drive the screw through the boards and stake, the screw head will be on the outside of the box and the stakes will be on the inside.
Pre-drill holes where you want your screws to go. We placed two screws vertically at each area where a board intersects with a stake (see picture below) for a total of 12 screws per side. Follow up by drilling the screws into your holes.
Repeat these steps to build the other side.
Attach the ends
Once your sides are complete, stand them up and attach the 3-foot boards onto the ends. You will predrill holes and drill in screws the same as you did for the sides. Place two screws vertically at each area where a board intersects with a stake for a total of 8 screws on each end.
Place the raised bed in your garden
Prepare the ground
Prepare the ground where you will be placing your raised garden beds. Remove any grass, weeds, or large rocks. Use a landscape rake to level the ground.
Measure and mark
I like our garden beds to be lined up nicely in rows. I think it looks so nice, almost like an English garden! We placed our garden beds 3 feet apart on all sides. Use a tape measure to measure 3 feet between each bed and place large rocks or some other marker where the beds will go.
Dig and insert the stakes
If you have a sandy area, it will be pretty easy to push the stakes down into the ground. We have a lot of rocks, so I had to dig a hole for each stake. It took a bit of trial and error to get each box level. After all the stakes are in the ground, measure between the boxes again because they move around a bit during installation.