4' square raised garden boxes

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Project by JeffC posted 04-06-2012 03:45 AM 3467 views 25 times favorited 18 comments Add to Favorites Watch

My old garden boxes where simple 2”x12”x4’ butt screwed at the edges. They were functional, but quickly broke down and warped, but still held the dirt in.

So I decided to make some new ones, drafted up some plans, and by using only dimensional lumber I could pick up at the local lumber yard, I was able to make them pretty cheap.

I bought 8’ 2”x6”, cut them in half and planed and jointed them to dimension, mitered the edges, and joined them with biskits. The small vertical pieces where 2”x4”s ripped in half and attached from the inside with screws. I did not want any exposed hardware.

I finished the piece with some outdoor UV resistant wood stain (forget which brand, have it in the garage somewhere) but I did not want any of the stain in contact with the soil, so I glued pond liner all along the inside of the box, which also protects the fasteners from weather (the bottom is open)

So far I have finished five, with plans for eight in total, in a 3×3 grid, with an opening in the middle for a little table and a pair of chairs.

I am happy with them after one season, with only minor cupping on one top board. In hindsight, I should have banked the top boards like 5 degrees so water ran off to the ouside of the box. Water tends to pool on the flat surfaces.

18 comments so far

View lizardhead's profile


534 posts in 1844 days

#1 posted 04-06-2012 05:51 AM

Great idea Jeff most of us might just build and not tell. Thanks for taking the time to share along with a set of plans. There are sure to be a ton of us making some form of these planters.

-- Lizardhead---Yeah but it's a dry heat--Tempe, Az

View Skiedra's profile


259 posts in 1294 days

#2 posted 04-06-2012 09:10 AM

Nice raised beds!

Do I understand correctly, that the 1/3rd of the bottom plank sinks into the gravel?

View Scott 's profile


187 posts in 1270 days

#3 posted 04-06-2012 11:34 AM

Good looking raised bed box design!

-- Scott in North Carolina

View jackthelab's profile


307 posts in 1695 days

#4 posted 04-06-2012 11:52 AM

Nice design – this is a wonderful way to garden – easy to manage.

-- Dave in Minnesota - If it ain't broke, improve it!

View nuttree's profile


279 posts in 2327 days

#5 posted 04-06-2012 11:54 AM

Very attractive and functional too. Your back will thank you for the extra height.

-- I only went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in. -John Muir

View MShort's profile


1757 posts in 2421 days

#6 posted 04-06-2012 12:05 PM

Nice garden boxes. I have been thinking of doing something like this over a traditional garden. I like the setup that you have done. Thanks.

-- Mike, Missouri --- “A positive life can not happen with a negative mind.” ---

View Eric in Florida.'s profile

Eric in Florida.

3745 posts in 2578 days

#7 posted 04-06-2012 01:40 PM

Great looking garden boxes Jeff.
Those look like they’ll last for a while, and I like your design.

And, welcome to Lumberjocks !

-- Nothing is particularly hard if you divide it into small jobs ~ Henry Ford

View doncutlip's profile


2832 posts in 2559 days

#8 posted 04-06-2012 03:16 PM

Good style, nice job

-- Don, Royersford, PA

View meikou's profile


115 posts in 2637 days

#9 posted 04-06-2012 05:57 PM

Very nice mate. I did something similar a couple of years ago but with 4×4’s. Like you I forgot to slope the top and the cabot finish is getting tatty now.

View LeroyTheLips's profile


240 posts in 1250 days

#10 posted 04-06-2012 07:29 PM

That are great. I have been wanting to make some of those forever. I have a 30’ x 60’ garden area that is weeds. I might steal your design….but I will give you credit!

View dbhost's profile


5386 posts in 2234 days

#11 posted 04-06-2012 07:44 PM

That is a great idea. I have been wondering how I can have a garden and keep the dog out of it…

-- My workshop blog can be found at

View Rickert's profile


11 posts in 1296 days

#12 posted 04-06-2012 08:42 PM

Very nice Jeff. How do you keep the deer out? Or don’t you have them in Alaska?

-- Christianity, if false, is of no importance, and if true, is of infinite importance. The only thing it cannot be is moderately important. -- C.S. Lewis

View dlayland's profile


14 posts in 1387 days

#13 posted 04-06-2012 11:07 PM

These are great. I started square foot gardening last year and my boxes already need repair. will take a try at something like this. My only question is using pond liner. What are your thoughts on it holding too much water near the bottom leading to root rot? I would be interested in your thoughts on this.

-- Dave

View BlankMan's profile


1488 posts in 2356 days

#14 posted 04-06-2012 11:25 PM

Very nice and right up my alley. I’ve gone to using raised gardens for my vegetables and blueberry bushes so I can better control the soil pH for the blueberries.

-- -Curt, Milwaukee, WI

View JeffC's profile


19 posts in 1246 days

#15 posted 04-07-2012 02:53 AM

Thanks everyone…

@skiedra: No, I kept the boxes above the gravel, well maybe an inch or so over the bottom. The pond line wraps around the bottom edge of the boards and set on gravel on top of landscape fabric, hope will keep the from sitting in water.

@Rickert: No deer where I live, but we do have moose issues. And not much you can do to keep them out, but luckily we are in a new neighborhood that used to be a hayfield, so no real trees, so no moose bait. Yet…

@dlayland: The bottoms are open to the earth, pond line only lines the inner walls, landscape fabric at the bottom and gravel to assist in drainage.

@blankman: Yep! I have to keep a couple beds lower in ph in order for my brussel sprouts to form tight balls, having many small boxes eases that.

showing 1 through 15 of 18 comments

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