Gardening season is upon us, and we all are looking at our garden beds from last year. And possibly being disappointed by their condition. Have you considered using raised garden beds this year? 

If you’re looking to put your own raised garden beds in place, here are our favorite DIY tutorials for raised bed gardening. They’re easy to put together, they’ll save you lots of knee strain, and they’re perfect if you don’t have a lot of space to work with! Check out our fave raised garden bed plans below. 

collage of DIY raised garden bed ideas

What are the Benefits of Raised Bed Gardening?

Raised beds are great for veggies and herbs, and can be the perfect solution for flower beds when the soil is poor. Or for when a gardener just needs an easier way to maintain their garden space. Easy to put together, DIY raised garden beds are nothing more than a box, without a bottom, filled with good garden soil

Plants that are grown in raised bed planter boxes are healthier, weeds are easier to control, and watering and fertilizing are concentrated right where you need it. You will still need to learn how to protect plants from frost in a raised garden bed, though. 

Plus, raised beds just keep the garden neat! If you want to try to grow an above-ground garden this year, check out these tutorials for DIY raised garden beds.

Inexpensive Raised Garden Bed Ideas

If you start shopping for pre-made garden beds online, you’ll see that some options are quite pricey. Luckily, learning how to build a raised garden bed doesn’t have to cost you a fortune – we’ve found quite a few raised garden bed designs that you can put together for cheap. Check these out! 

Cedar Raised Garden Beds

From “HGTV,” learn how to build a raised bed with the basics. Use this for a raised flower bed, vegetable bed, or even for herbs. This is a cheap garden box idea that is easy enough for beginner DIY’ers to make, and the tutorial has lots of photos and instructions. Cedar is used because it’s naturally rot-resistant and doesn’t need to be treated, making it a safe choice if you’re planning on planting edibles. 

Concrete Block Raised Garden Bed DIY

So “Laguna Dirt” has the solution for anyone who thinks they have no dirt to garden. They made their DIY raised vegetable garden on top of a concrete patio. This raised garden bed is simply stacked concrete blocks, filled with raised bed soil. Instant above-ground garden. (The pup loves it too!). 

large, somewhat curved, cinderblock garden bed on a patio

The Ultimate Cheap Garden Bed Idea

This tutorial will teach you how to build raised garden beds for less than $22 each! All you need are a few simple tools and a few hours to knock together these raised garden bed designs, and nobody will ever be able to tell how cheap they were! Get the details here at “Farmhouse on Boone.

basic, low raised garden beds with vegetables growng in them

Affordable DIY Raised Garden Beds From Fir Boards

We’ve talked about cedar, but fir is another popular wood for raised garden beds, and it’s cheap! This guide from “Handmade Farmhouse” will walk you through the steps. Make sure you scroll to the end – they have some handy tips on how to fill raised garden beds once you’ve built them. 

various sizes of raised garden beds made from fir boards

How to Build a Raised Bed Cheap With Cinder Blocks

I Save A 2 Z” created these cheap raised garden beds from cinder blocks. I like how they lined the bottom with cardboard to prevent weeds from growing up into the bed. Great gardening tip! PS- to avoid weeds down the line, too, check out our post on natural weed killer recipes.


Easy DIY Raised Garden Bed Ideas

We get it – not everyone has hours and hours to dedicate to another DIY project – sometimes you’re just looking for something simple. These DIY raised garden bed plans won’t take up your entire weekend, and you’ll be gardening before you know it! 

DIY Raised Metal Garden Beds

From Becca at “My Crazy Good Life,” these DIY raised metal garden beds are made from corrugated metal. They look a little bit industrial, a little bit farmhouse, and a lot like a good garden idea. She has lots of step-by-step photos as she shares how to make these DIY metal raised garden beds.

corrugated metal garden beds with wooden borders

An Easy Guide to Building Raised Beds

With this guide from “The Handyman’s Daughter,” it couldn’t be easier to put together raised garden beds, and each one costs less than $50 to build! These beds are made using cedar fence pickets, so you know they’re durable! 

a yard with many raised garden beds made from cedar fence pickets

How to Build a Raised Garden Bed From a Trough

Our next project is from “Gardenista.” They show us a homeowner with a brilliant idea – using water troughs as DIY raised beds! I love this because it looks like art in the garden, yet tall enough to make working the beds easy for an older gardener, or someone like me who has trouble with her knees. Love this! Photography by Marla Aufmuth.

DIY trough raised garden bed idea

DIY Raised Garden Beds and Benches from Railroad Sleepers

This is another version of a raised planter box using sleeper timbers. This tutorial is mostly a photo tutorial, but it does have a supply list and a project sketch. It also includes step-by-step photos. From “Railway Sleepers.” Remember, if you use sleeper timbers for a gardening project, make sure they are chemical-free.

combination outdoor bench and raised garden bed made with railroad sleepers

DIY Raised Garden Bed from Railroad Ties

From ‘DIY Network‘, this raised garden box is also made from sleeper timbers! The tutorial is sadly no longer up, but it’s a simple design, and the only power tool you need for this planter project is a drill.

simple raised garden bed design with brick border on ground

Simple Raised Garden Bed Plans

Just need a basic raised bed tutorial? ‘This Old House‘ shows you how to make a raised garden bed from cheap lumber. Step by step, with a supply list.

simple diy raised garden bed

The Easiest of All

The easiest way to build a raised bed? “Concrete planter wall blocks” (available usually at both Lowe’s and Home Depot). I helped my sister swap out an old, dilapidated raised bed in her yard last year. With limited time, we opted for the absolute easiest method we could think of. If you’re looking for a quick fix like us or just want to try out raised bed gardening without investing tons of time and money into a project, this is the way to go! It was such a quick, casual project, we didn’t even get a picture at the end. So it’s still a bit messy here, but you get the idea!

simple raised garden bed made with concrete planter corner blocks

Unique Raised Bed Garden Plans

Sometimes, a simple rectangular garden bed just won’t cut it. If you’re looking for something a little more interesting, these raised bed garden ideas are for you. 

Wraparound Raised Garden Bed DIY

From “Brittany Stager,” this DIY raised garden bed was designed to grow enough food for their whole household! We love the way it has a walkway through the middle to give you good gardening access. This is the perfect vegetable planter box to make your own “farm-to-table” kitchen garden!

long, u-shaped raised bed

Painted Raised Bed Garden Ideas

I love colorful gardens, and the color doesn’t have to come from the flowers and plants alone! Painting your raised garden beds is a great way to add a fun splash of color to your yard and in some cases it can also protect the wood as well – win-win! This tutorial from “The Cape Coop” can get you started, but you can get as creative or crazy as you like with the paint! 

blue painted garden beds

Upcycled Raised Garden Bed Ideas

One of the most fun and creative ideas for how to make a raised garden bed is to upcycle old materials you have lying around. This “junk” can be given a whole new lease on life when you turn it into beautiful raised beds for your garden! Not sure where to start? This guide from “Lawn Love” should help you – they have some incredible ideas from bookcases to old tires! 

up cycled raised garden beds using old tires

DIY Raised Garden Beds With an Arch Trellis

Many plants love to climb up a trellis, and this type of “vertical gardening” is a great way to increase your space. You can even create an arch trellis like this one that spans multiple beds – it’s a great decorative element to your garden as well as being functional! The guide for the trellis can be found here at “Delia Creates,” you can follow any of our other DIY raised garden bed ideas for the beds themselves. 

raised garden beds with an arch covered in a blooming vine

Into the whole vertical gardneing idea? You can also find more vertical vegetable gardening ideas and projects in our guide.

DIY Raised Garden Beds With Dividers

Like keeping your plants separated? Struggling to keep track of what’s what in a hectic garden? Learn how to build raised garden beds with dividers in this handy guide from “A Beautiful Mess.” It’s a great way to create order from garden chaos!

raised garden bed with square foot grid overlay

Raised Garden Beds vs Raised Planter Boxes

Many people use the terms “raised garden beds” and “raised planter boxes” interchangeably, but they’re actually quite different! The raised garden bed designs we’ve looked at in this article all attach to the ground – they have four walls but no base. 

On the other hand, raised planter boxes are elevated from the ground – they’re generally taller than raised beds, sometimes standing on legs like a table, and have their own base, making them fully self-contained. You might prefer one over the other for your garden, or a combination of both depending on how much space you have and what you like to grow! 

How to Decide Which is Best for You

If you have lots of space and want a large garden, raised garden beds make the most sense. Raised planter boxes are great for small space gardening, like if you’re just working with an apartment balcony, for instance.

Take into consideration you favorite plants to grow- larger plants with deep root systems will need a raised garden bed. If, however, you’re just looking for a place to grow some kitchen herbs, a planter box will be do just the trick!

DIY Raised Garden Beds

Learn How to Make Raised Garden Beds With These Tutorials

You could create a basic, ordinary garden bed… or you could make one of these unique DIY raised garden beds like the ones shown here!  I hope this gave you the encouragement you needed to take on your own raised garden bed project! Think of how much healthier you could eat, for less! If you like this post, we think you will also love our posts on How to Build a Garden Trellis and DIY Garden Paths & Walkway Ideas!

Thanks for sharing, Gardening Week, DIY IdeaCenter!

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  1. CGIFurniture September 30, 2019 at 1:49 am

    Nice post!

  2. Becky April 13, 2018 at 12:16 pm

    I placed 2×4″ garden fence over the garden soil to keep out kitties. Bulbs, etc will find their way up, and you can cover your seeds with soil as the fence underneath deters digging. I’ve tried repellents, coyote urine but they have to be reapplied frequently.

  3. Charlize Theron October 21, 2016 at 1:04 am

    Very good post. I’m facing some of these issues as well..

  4. kel February 28, 2015 at 5:39 pm

    We use either long bamboo skewers or wooden chopsticks in our garden beds to impede kittehs’ intended behaviors. Place them about 6-8 inches apart either in a symmetrical grid or a random scattering. They’re organic, in keeping with the beds’ appearance, easy and cheap to replace every season, and do not inhibit plant growth. Takes me about 10 minutes to “poink up” our two 4×8 raised beds every spring, and No More Kitteh Souvenirs, lest they want a sharp poke in their bums.

  5. Mary March 27, 2014 at 1:21 pm

    How do you keep the cats out of your garden ? I really need some help on this. Thanks for any information. you can give me.

    1. Kathy Woodard April 9, 2014 at 7:11 am

      Thats a tough one Mary, outside getting a dog! Laying down rock as a mulch can help, and some people have had luck with using coyote urine products you can find at your local home improvement store. Anyone have a good home remedy for cat invasion?

      1. madeline September 9, 2014 at 3:02 am


      2. sbc September 15, 2014 at 12:49 pm

        try placing chicken wire about 3-4 inches above the soil…they cant find a way to dig a hole and will leave

      3. kerry April 25, 2015 at 8:13 pm

        I’ve seen people bury plastic forks close together in the soil with the tines sticking up. Not very attractive, but effective!

    2. Susan van Lierop January 6, 2015 at 4:47 am

      Some cats really don’t like coffegrounds, as it sticks on their paws and tastes awefull. After making coffe don’t trow away the used grounds, but spread them in those places cats like.
      If it’s a case of 1 cat returning time and again. I’ve used a supersoaker in my holiday to lay in wait. Fun to do with the kids, and the cat doesn’t get hurt, but after a squirt or 2 (or 3 or 4… depending on how stubborn the cat is) it managed to keep the cat away for a long time! ;)
      Also, if you know the cats owner, it’s a good idea to talk to them. A lot of owners are not aware their cat is causing trouble and may even help with finding solutions. Sometimes it’s as simple as keeping the cat indoors for certain hours of the day/night. Also you can talk about sharing costs for keeping their cat out of your garden (as buying new products can get expensive).

    3. Bert Kinchen March 8, 2015 at 4:58 pm

      Motion sensor sprinkler. I love to watch them jump! And it works on all critters.

    4. Juliet Hayward March 18, 2015 at 7:57 am

      There are several things that keep cats away from a garden. There are pellets which are widely available, some I have seen are called Scoot. There is an ultrasonic appliance that omits a sound that cats hate and there is of course Lion poo which apparently works brilliantly. Good luck!

    5. darlene burch March 2, 2016 at 10:45 am

      try moth balls, the smell is offensive to dogs, cats, and other animals that have sensitive noses…

    6. Tammie March 31, 2016 at 10:02 pm

      Just plant a few plants of catmint. The cats will be so focused on it that the rest of the yard doesn’t really appeal to them.

    7. Cynthia May 1, 2020 at 8:23 pm

      I used fresh coffee grounds, no more problems.

  6. Amanda Tesch March 1, 2014 at 9:07 pm

    We have the uglest planter boxes. I’m totally going to do one of these ideas in the spring! Thanks for sharing!!


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