Hello, and welcome to The Old Summers Home. I don’t know about you but I love fresh fruit and vegetables and homegrown has got to be my favourite. A few years ago we had to give up our garden area and I truly have missed it. We are a pretty busy family so when I decided to give a vegetable, fruit garden a go again I knew it had to be something simple and easy to maintain. That’s when I came up with the idea to make my very own DIY raised garden bed using pallets. By repurposing pallets this project cost $0.
Where we live nice weather is pretty short and planting outside too early can lead to freezing. Therefore I also wanted something easy enough to cover quickly. I potted a few tomatoes in pots as well, they can be easily moved indoors when it dips below zero.
Having a raised garden bed prevents lots of bending and helps keep pests out of the garden space. Now weeding is at a great height and honestly, I’ll maintain this garden a lot easier than I was able to with our large back aching garden spot we had previously. We had to give up our space because of cats overrunning our garden area and there seems to be no end to strays in our neighbourhood anytime soon.
Supplies for a DIY Raised Garden Bed
- mitre saw
- old tarp
Decide the size for your raised garden bed
I knew I wanted my garden bed to be approximately 2 by 4 feet. My longest pallet boards are just over 4 feet so that is the length of the box. You need at least 4 pallet boards of the same length, 2 for the front and 2 for the back, to make the length of the box.
Make a box
Make sure you pre-drill all your holes as you go along because pallet boards are thin and tend to split when drilling.
I simply screwed my two long pallet boards to two pieces of 2×4, which I cut to the appropriate width of the two pallets on top of each other ( around 10-inches). I did this for the front and the backside.
Then I cut four pallet boards to 2 feet for the width sides of the box. Now I screwed them to the 2×4 holding the two long pallet boards. This completed the four sides of the box which now needs a bottom.
I flipped this now framed box so that the bottom was facing upwards and cut pallets to the width of the base. I needed to add some support to attach the pallet boards so I centred a pallet 2×4 on to each long side and cut two pieces of pallet 2×4 to fit between the width sides. Then I also added one to the centre for additional strength.
Once it was framed in I screwed all the bottom pallets across the base of the box frame width-wise for strength. Once they were all attached the box was complete.
Initially, I was going to just leave it as a boxed garden if you choose to do so then jump ahead to adding the tarp steps.
Raise your garden bed
I really was making this up as I went and decided now I would add some legs to make it a good height so I would not need to do any bending while gardening. I cut the legs to a good height so that I could stand straight and garden.
Recently I had hurt my back and didn’t want to be unable to maintain this little garden bed if that injury decided to rear its ugly head again.
Simply screw the 2x4s into the base of the pallet box and the 2×4 frame inside of it. Once all four legs are attached then flip it over and screw from the top down into the legs.
Next, reinforce the legs with a couple of 2×4’s for the width of the box at the base of the box where the legs attach. This will give them extra strength and help get out wobbles.
Add lower support
Now cut a couple more 2×4’s for extra support and screw in 3 inches or so from the bottom of your legs. Eventually, I will add some more pallet boards here for a shelf as I did with my herringbone table.
Cover the legs
This step may be optional for you however I feel like it helps finish it off and add a bit more strength as well. I cut 8 pallet boards to the full height of the raised garden bed then screwed them onto the legs and box. They cover up the ugly pallet 2×4’s and add a bit of strength from top to bottom.
Add tarp to your raised garden bed
When using pallets make sure they have HT on them meaning they are heat treated and not chemically treated.
Even so, I still wanted to add a bit of protection to the wood and for the things growing inside. Lucky for me Josh was getting rid of an old tarp that has been laying around for a while now.
Simply staple it to the interior of the box and cut it once it is secure. Then repeat for the second layer of tarp and staple it really well.
Add some soil to your DIY raised garden bed
Now that it is complete move it into the spot you want it. Which for us is directly in front of our garage and where it gets lots of sunshine. It took 4 50litre bags of potting soil and 1 15Litre bag of cow manure to get it nice and full.
Plant your garden
Now it is time to fill it with your favourite fruits and vegetables. I picked some up at our local greenhouse and planted some that I had started in the house from seed. I also used a few seed packets for beans, peas and lettuce. Can’t wait to see how it does this year and we already have plans to make a second one someday.
We hope you enjoyed this overview of our latest DIY project. Our DIY Raised Garden Bed is perfect for our little family to have a chance at growing some of our own fresh veggies and fruit. What are you planting this year? Do you have a garden or will you try out this project?
Update on our DIY Raised Garden Bed! July 19th
It has been just over a month since we planted our garden and I’m so proud to share how much it has flourished! In all honesty, I over planted this garden expecting half of it not to make it. Boy was I wrong!
All the tomatoes have been moved into pots and an old rustic potter I made out of some found farmhouse wood. I have added in a couple of plant stands, nothing technical just a nice quick solution to get the pots off of the ground. The last count was on Monday which we had 140 tomatoes!!!!! There are still plenty of blooms yet.
We now have peas and have been eating the lettuce for a few weeks our beans are blooming but none that I have seen quite yet. We have the cutest little cucumbers starting. And our onions which were planted just a couple of weeks ago have completely taken off.
The only loss we have had was our musk melon which did not survive the transplanting process. Next year I will be sure to start them in individual containers so that I do not disturb the roots.
We can not wait to see what this garden will give our little family this year!
Until next time;
The Old Summers Home