This step by step woodworking project is about free elevated garden bed plans. I have designed this elevated garden bed so you can grow vegetables on you patio or balcony. This project requires weather-resistant lumber, such as redwood or cedar, as the components will be exposed to the elements. You can easily adjust the size of the garden bed to suit your needs. Make sure you check out my top projects, for a healthy dose of building inspiration.
We recommend you to invest in the best materials you could afford. Therefore, you should buy quality lumber, such as pine, cedar or redwood. Always take accurate measurements before adjusting the size of the components at the proper size. Drill pilot holes trough the components before inserting the wood screws, to prevent the wood from splitting.
Made from this plan
- A – 6 pieces of 2×4 lumber – 30″ long LEGS
- B – 6 pieces of 2×4 lumber – 18″ long SUPPORTS
- C – 4 piece of 2×4 lumber – 23 1/4″ long, 2 pieces – 28 3/4″ long STRETCHERS
- D – 3 pieces of 2×4 lumber – 23 1/4″ long, 2 pieces – 26 3/4″ long SUPPORTS
- E – 4 pieces of 2×8 lumber – 72″ long SIDES
- F – 4 pieces of 2×8 lumber – 21 3/4″ long SIDES
- G – 3 pieces of 2×8 lumber – 70 1/2″ long BOTTOM
- 6 pieces of 2×4 lumber – 8′
- 7 pieces of 1×8 lumber – 6′
- 1 piece of 1×8 lumber – 8′
- 100 pieces of 1 1/4″ pocket screws
- 200 pieces of 2 1/2″ screws
- wood glue
- stain, spar varnish
- wood filler
- Safety gloves, glasses
- Miter saw, jigsaw
- Chalk line, tape measure, spirit level, carpentry pencil
- Drill machinery and drill bits
- One Weekend
Elevated Garden Bed Plans
The first step of the project is to build the frame of the garden bed. Cut the 1×8 beams at the right size. Drill pocket holes, as shown in the plans, and insert 1 1/4″ screws to lock everything together tightly. Leave no gaps between the components and align the edges with attention.
In addition, check if the corners are square before inserting the screws. Don’t forget to use weather resistant lumber, such as redwood or cedar.
Next, you need to build the bottom for the planter and secure it to the frame of the garden bed. Cut the 1×8 beams at 70 1/2″ and drill the pocket holes, as shown in the plans. Use 1 1/4″ screws to lock the beams together.
As you can notice in the diagram, you should also secure the bottom slats to the frame of the planter, by using 1 1/4″ screws. Before inserting the screws, I recommend you to align the edges and to make sure they are flush with the frame.
After building the planter, you need to make the stand for it. Taking into account the size of the planter, the stand will have to support a significant weight, so it must be properly engineered. I designed the stand, so that you have to only use 2×4 lumber.
Start with the supports for the stand. Mark the cut lines on the 2×4 slats and get the job done with a saw. The easiest way to make the notches is to cut lots of parallel cuts and the remove the excess material with a chisel. Smooth the surface with sandpaper, making sure the corners are square.
Build the legs from 2×4 lumber, as well. Drill pilot holes through the supports and insert 2 1/2″ screws into the legs. Add glue to the joints and make sure the edges are aligned. Cut the top of the legs at 45 degrees using a saw.
You need to make four pieces of the legs in the left and two of the legs in the right.
After building the legs for the stand, you need to start assembling the frame. First, build the sides for the stand by attaching the 2×4 supports to the legs, as shown in the diagram. Drill pilot holes through the supports and insert 2 1/2″ screws into the legs. Add glue to the joints and make sure the corners are square.
Next, assemble the middle supports for the elevated garden bed. Drill pilot holes through the supports and secure them into place with 2 1/2″ screws.
The next step is to assemble the stand for the garden bed, by fitting the stretchers into place. Cut the components from 2×4 lumber and drill pocket holes at both ends. Fit the stretchers to the frames and lock them into place with 2 1/2″ screws. Make sure the corners are square and use a spirit level to check if the legs are perfectly vertical.
Center the stand to the raised garden bed, as shown in the free building plans. Drill pilot holes through the supports and insert 2 1/2″ screws into the bottom of the planter. In addition, you could drill pilot holes through the legs and insert 2 1/2″ screws into the raised bed. Make sure you leave no gaps between the components and insert 2 1/2″ screws to lock them to the planter.
I don not recommend you to apply any products over the planter, as the substances could mix with the soil. If you use weather resistant lumber, such as cedar or redwood, the planter will last for many, many years in a row, without applying any sealer.
However, if you want to keep the costs down, you could build the stand from pine and then apply a few coats of stain and spar varnish. In this manner you will protect the stand from decay and save money.
Fill the holes and dents with wood putty. Smooth the surface with 120-220 grit sandpaper, including the edges and the wood putty. Choose a proper location for the elevated garden bed so it gets at least 8 hours of direct sun every day. Fill the planter with soil and start growing vegetables.
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