15 Inexpensive Raised Garden Bed Ideas Easy Enough to DIY

raised garden


Digging a garden can be an intimidating process, but what if we told you you could create a flower or veggie garden with hardly any digging at all? Thanks to raised gardens, all you'll need is some creativity, time, and patience. Not only can you do it yourself, but it's a fun project that's totally customizable to your needs.

Don't have a ton of space? Add a raised garden to your porch or patio—or go all out and turn your backyard into a mini-farm as you've always wanted to.

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Grab a Steel Bin

raised garden

Liz Marie Galvan

Perhaps the easiest way to create a raised garden is to use a steel bin. These are normally used as stock tubs, but blogger Liz Marie Galvan used them to create a polished, rustic look in her backyard. Plus, they're easy to weed and care for since all of the plants are well-contained.

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Make a Basic Frame

raised garden


The most popular raised garden is made of wood, and creating a simple box will do the trick. Create a wood frame in the shape of a rectangle or square, place it on the ground, and begin to fill it with soil. If you want to get fancy, you can add a mesh perimeter to keep critters out like DinexDesign did here.

To keep from using all your good soil to fill the box, use compostable items like twigs and cardboard to fill up the bulk of your raised bed.

03 of 14

Repurpose Discarded Materials

garden bed

David Burton/Getty

If you live somewhere where there used to be a railroad, chances are there are some old ties lying around that you could use. Railroad ties are durable and heavy, so they won't move around or degrade on you quickly. Ask a friend with a heavy-duty saw to help you cut them to the dimensions you'd like, and then you've got a frame for your raised bed ready to go.

04 of 14

Add Some Hinges

garden bed


If you created a barrier to keep some critters from eating your valuable veggies, consider adding a hinge to them so you can swing them down while you tend to the garden. It'll keep you from having to reach over them each time, plus it'll make getting down into the soil much easier if they aren't there.

05 of 14

Use Local Lumber

raised garden bed


You don't have to go out and buy super fancy materials to create a beautiful raised bed. This one is made of 2x4s stacked four high and secured at the corners. You can find these at your local hardware store for a pretty low price tag.

If you don't have a saw, most hardware stores will cut the wood down to size for you. Just ask.

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Opt for a Planter

raised garden bed

Arbor and Co.

Not planning to have a huge garden? There are planters you can buy that work perfectly for small veggies and herbs. Plus, you can move these indoors in the winter if need be, extending your growing season by weeks.

07 of 14

Use Stumps Instead of New Lumber

raised garden

Black and Blooms

Know someone who had to cut down a tree recently? Ask them if you can use pieces of the trunk. If you have the trunk cut into disks, you can stack them similar to how they did in the picture above to create a garden barrier. Or, if you have the manpower (i.e. a bunch of friends to help!), you could even use full tree trunks turned horizontally as your barrier.

08 of 14

Make it Micro

raised garden


Sometimes a patio or balcony is the only space you have, but those make the perfect space for raised gardens. This tiny box could be made from wood scraps, and you could either drill in some makeshift legs made from tiny offcuts, or you can attach furniture legs for some extra flair.

To keep the bottom of your wood container from rotting out, line it with a trash bag or waterproof liner.

09 of 14

Create Your Own Shapes

raised garden

Photo by Kris Wong

It's your garden, shape it how you want to! By using wide wood boards, you can create nearly any shape you'd like to as long as you can properly cut the boards. Make sure your angles line up, and you can use old door hinges to connect the joints if you don't have something like a pocket hole jig. You can also use safety brackets to keep the boards from separating.

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Repurpose Large Planters

raised garden

Jenn Pablo Studio

Tall planters don't have to be for ornamental plants only. Some plants like tomatoes benefit from a deep root system, so putting them in a large planter gives them space to grow big and strong—plus it's so much easier to pick a ripe tomato when you aren't on your hands and knees.

11 of 14

Grab a Bench

raised garden


There's nothing wrong with using pots in a raised garden. Sometimes, you don't have the space to plant in-ground, and a bench is a perfect solution to keep plants up off the concrete and closer to you while you tend to them. It's also a rather inexpensive option.

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Repurpose Shelves

raised garden


If you have a set of shelves that no longer serves you, turn it into a multi-tier raised garden. By using a jigsaw or large cutting bit on your drill, you can create holes that are similar to the circumference of your pots. Slip the pots into the holes and they'll be snug in the shelf. Plus, if your pots have drainage holes when you water the top plants, excess water will drip down and water the next level of plants.

13 of 14

Try a Bathtub

raised garden


Chances are your local restore store or maybe even a junk yard has an old bathtub. These are nearly indestructible, so they make for a great raised garden. You can fill the base with gravel for some drainage, then sticks and cardboard, and top it off with some rich soil for your plants.

14 of 14

Repurpose Pallets

raised garden

Oksana Aksenova

You might even be able to find one of these on the side of the road. Wood pallets are pretty easy to come by, and they make great planters. You can mount them on a wall or fence for a narrow raised garden for herbs, or you can place them on the ground and use the space between slats as dividers for rows of plants. The options are endless.