Weekend #DIY Project - Raised Garden Beds

Grow Food, Not Grass! My husband and I spent the entire weekend building raised garden beds. Here is the panoramic BEFORE picture of the backyard (with my five new fruit trees we recently planted).
Here is the panoramic AFTER picture of the backyard. We still need to bring in soil and plant the garden, but that is another day's job. The photo below gives the illusion of curved boxes, but they are all straight as in the photos following this one.
This was a huge project! Each raised garden bed is an individually constructed box. Before construction, I measured out the entire backyard so I could figure out the layout of the boxes. I sketched out the yard, making sure to include the location of the fruit trees we planted. Then I searched online and found a free garden planner program that would give me an overhead view. After putting in our yard measurements and the trees, I played around with box placement until I decided on ten boxes in two rows of five.
Since we recently replaced the fences on both sides of the backyard, I decided I wanted the garden beds made of the same wood. Each box is four pickets high, making them 16 inches tall. The corners and vertical side pieces are 2x4s. My husband made a list of the materials we needed and we picked everything up on Saturday morning.
The pickets are 6 foot long, but we cut all the "dog ears" off, making each board 71" long. The short sides are 35.5" long, so each trimmed picket was cut in half. Each box required 12 pickets, or a total of 120 pickets. I love the rustic look of the picket wood.
The corners are made from 2x4s cut to 16" each. We screwed two of them together perpendicularly to make each corner. Once we had four corners made, we used a nail gun to attach the pickets to the corners, then added an extra 2x4 to the middle of the longer sides to help prevent bowing of the wood.
We constructed each box in the garage so that we had a hard, flat surface to work upon. Then we carried each box around to the backyard and set each in its place. We managed to build five on Saturday and then completed the other five on Sunday.
I am very pleased with the way the garden boxes turned out. I love the way they look in the backyard and we left plenty of room to walk around both sides of each row. Bringing in the soil is going to be a very labor-intensive project, but our truck bed will only hold enough soil for one garden box at a time, so it will be a gradual process.
Since the yard is mostly flat, the boxes lined up fairly even next to each other. We'll be moving the onion patch garden box and the garlic garden box (currently against the house in the photo below), but it rained last night so they're really heavy right now. They will go closer to the concrete block wall against the back of the yard.

Update! We planted our garden in April, then in May of 2015, Austin experienced rain nearly every day that month. Several cities had serious floods. Unfortunately, most of my newly-planted garden, including my pear tree, did not survive the deluge of rain, but we replanted the garden again in spring 2016. The pictures below were taken in May 2016.


  1. I love your yard. The boxes look wonderful to plant in and i look forward to see what your going to do with them. It makes me want to try it too.

    1. Thank you so much Laurie! We had so much rain in May here in Texas, that I lost the veggies in three of them, but I've replanted and am still hoping! I'll update soon.

  2. I love this. I hope to have a nice size yard one day with enough privacy so that we can start our garden. In the mean time I hope to at least start container gardening.

  3. I really like the simplicity of these boxes, can you tell me what kind of wood you used? Did you buy it from a local lumberyard? What are the length of the pickets? Thanks so much.

  4. opps saw the lengths, but not the kind of wood.

    1. They are untreated cedar pickets. Thanks for asking!


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