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Cheap DIY Raised Garden Beds Ideas

Would you like to learn How to Build Cheap DIY Raised Garden Beds and other inexpensive gardening alternatives? I’m also sharing some inexpensive raised garden bed alternatives.

These are some helpful tips for when you aren’t sure of your gardening skills because there are many options.

You seriously need to consider your skill level before investing.

These are some ideas to help you make your own inexpensive raised garden beds that we used.

Building raised garden beds can be expensive. I’m a wanna-be gardener, and just the cost of buying plants can be risky for me. However, I’m determined to give it a try.

an old galvanized tub filled with petunias.

Options for Raised Garden Beds Ideas

  • Build your own beds
  • Purchased containers or raise bed kits
  • Creative Raised Beds from vintage finds
  • Use recycled materials
  • Don’t have a lot of space, plant your vegetables around your landscape plant.

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Consider the Cost and Your Skill Level

After building our DIY Greenhouse, I didn’t automatically turn into a master gardener.

Actually, it was seriously the opposite.

My gardening skills are more like hit-and-miss.

We built two inexpensive rustic raised beds from materials left over from another project.

Although I did gather some produce from those beds, we lost money when I factor in the cost of the soil and the plants themselves.

Inexpensive Raised Garden Beds Ideas using recycled wood.

Early spring view before we started the new beds. You can see how we built the greenhouse here.

So fast forward to this year, and I’m not a quitter!

I suggested to my husband that we needed more raised beds.

Yes, I got the raised eyebrow look. LOL. “How many do you want,” he asked. “Two, at least,” was my reply.

I’d love to have some like my master gardener friend, Stacy Ling at Brick N Blooms, installed this year. They are exactly what I wanted.

After some calculations, we (my husband) decided that the cost might not be worth it.

You have to consider my limited skills in this area, or so he said. LOL

Should You Build a Raised Garden Bed?

Raised Garden Beds are gaining popularity because you can create one regardless of where you live.

Gathering ingredients for a meal from your own vegetable garden or herb garden is very appealing.

A Cut Flower Garden is another way to have the house filled with fresh flowers for a fraction of the normal cost.

In addition, these gardens can be created in a small patch of yard, around your landscape, and even on your patio or porch. So don’t dismiss the idea of planting a garden based on lack of space.

First, determine where you would like your garden and then use these ideas to determine which raised bed style would work best for you.

The size and location will determine whether your area is more suited for vegetables, herbs, or flowers.

Consider your skill level before investing. To test your skills, you can begin by intermingling your vegetables with your existing landscape.

Build Your Own

Since my skill level was in question, here’s what we did.

Building your own is one of the most inexpensive ways to create a raised garden bed.

There are a few different options that only require a little construction skills.

These methods are best for a fairly level spot in your yard, and you can plan for a vegetable or flower garden.

It’s easy to purchase your lumber and have it cut to the length at most home improvement stores.

Then all you need is to attach the boards to make a box. You can use screws or nails to connect the boards.

It’s a relatively simple process for my husband to do. LOL

DIY Raised Garden Beds

Brad quickly assembled the frames using 4- 8′ x 8″ lumber and attached 4- 3′ x 8″ ends using nails.

Just so you know, I certainly don’t profess to be an expert in this area, and I’m just sharing my experience. If you have concerns about materials and safety, please don’t hesitate to consult a professional before beginning construction.

However, here are a few tips that have worked for me.

  • First, you can make the beds as long as your desire; however, you want the width to be manageable. If you make the bed wide, you must step into the soil to reach your plants. I recommend approx—3 feet wide maximum.
  • In addition, you want your bed to be at least 12 inches deep. Up to 18 inches if you are planting root-based vegetables such as carrots, beets, sweet potatoes, etc.
  • If you are working in an area with grass, you should put down a barrier to prevent the grass and weeds from growing in your bed. You can use newspapers, cardboard or purchase weed control fabric.
  • When planning a deep-raised garden bed, fill the bottom with less expensive soil and then use richer garden soil on the top.

Note: Due to the cost of lumber, we only added one additional bed using this method.

I was in charge of making sure the bed was level, and Brad filled the beds with garden soil. This deep bed required a second trip to the garden store for more soil, much to Brad’s dismay!

Creative Vintage Ideas

I had started some flowers from seed and wanted a fun place for them to grow.

Flower seedlings for a cutting garden

I had been watching an old iron bed frame rust away for several years and decided to ask if I could rescue it.

The bed was free and several old bricks were used to create a raised bed. All I needed was some dirt and my husband’s help getting the frames to stand up for my Raised Garden Bed.

You can get creative by using vintage rustic finds such as old wheelbarrows, truck beds, bed frames, old bicycle baskets, rusted out chairs or other garden seats, cast iron pots, etc.

Almost anything goes when creating a creative raised garden bed, and they are charming with an abundance of flowers or herbs spilling from their frames. Such a cute and inexpensive raised garden bed idea.

Vintage bike with baskets of flowers in spring cottage garden
Photo Credit: Shiplap and Shells

After filling it with garden soil and adding some plants, we added a row of field rocks to the top of the old bricks.

Vintage Bed Frame makes a cute Raised garden Beds Idea

I’m slowly adding flowers to the DIY Flower Bed.

Plant flowers in raised garden beds using an old rusty iron bed frame that is painted white.

By summer’s end, I had several flowers for cutting.

Recycle Materials for Inexpensive Raised Garden Beds Ideas

Another cost-effective way to create raised garden beds is to use recycled materials.

Using old pallets is one easy way to create a shallow bed.

All that is necessary is to seal off the edge of each pallet to form a box.

Fill with garden soil, and the top slats work as plant dividers. These work well for smaller, low-growing plants like cucumbers, peppers, and herbs.

The Most Perfect Raised Garden Beds Made out of Pallets Pallet Planters & Compost Bins
Photo Credit: Foxy Folksy
Photo credit Morning Chores

Also, a great recycling idea is using old plastic crates or storage bins.

Old crates may need additional materials to prevent the dirt from seeping out, and storage bins would require some weep holes in the bottom.

However, they are both cost-effective options for creating inexpensive raised garden bed ideas.

You may also enjoy How To Split A Lilac Bush to help increase your garden on a budget.

I hope to have this whole area filled with flowers and vegetables this summer.

I’d love to have a flower garden like my friend Kim at Shiplap and Shells one day.

It’s not there yet, but a work in progress. I appreciate you for letting me share the process.

DIY Inexpensive Raised Garden Beds Ideas with old bed frame and DIY Wooden Boxes

Although it wasn’t a perfect garden, it did look pretty.

Know What You Are Good At

Here is a little update from last year’s experience.

I am finding by trial and error what does well in my garden and what I shouldn’t waste my time and money on.

I recommend keeping a journal and recording your planting dates, what grew well, and what didn’t.

I’ve scaled my planting back to just a few vegetables that produced well and saved us money last year.

The same is true of my flowers. I now know what will flourish and what doesn’t. I’ll continue to try new things, but if something is a flop two years in a row, I mark it off my list.

Keep a record, and you’ll save time and money over the long-haul.

Additional Gardening Ideas

Thanks for stopping by and best of luck!

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DIY Raised Garden Bed Ideas using an old bed frame and field rock.


Friday 5th of May 2023

Thank you for acknowledging that not everyone can afford to spend $400 x 4 for raised beds! The simple wood raised beds you and your husband made are perfect and get the job done. Good luck on your gardening adventure this year. Sheila


Sunday 7th of May 2023

Oh thank you for stopping by. I'm always budget minded. Glad you approve.

Anne from Simply2Moms

Thursday 4th of May 2023

This might be the prettiest raise garden I’ve ever seen! I love how you used a bed frame! I’m adding this to our weekly roundup on Sunday. ♥️


Friday 5th of May 2023

Anne, You are so sweet and I appreciate you so much.


Thursday 4th of May 2023

Hi Rachel, It looks very pretty and welcoming ! Great ideas...thanks for sharing. Now must go out and try some of your ideas! Take care, Joan...


Friday 5th of May 2023

Joan, I appreciate this and I'm glad you found it helpful


Thursday 4th of May 2023

LOL!! We always lose money on gardening…but keep doing it!!


Friday 5th of May 2023

Jennifer, It's not for the faint of heart. LOL


Wednesday 11th of May 2022

This is such a great post filled with information.

I love tge bed frame. So pretty in your garden.