When I got up the other day, it was spring! As I was out doing a little yard cleanup, I realized I really want a bigger garden this year. I’ve been making do with a little bed here and a few pots there. It was a great way to get started gardening but I am ready for a serious garden and hopefully I will get enough produce to do some canning at the end of summer!
I’ve been looking at different types of raised garden beds and I decided to give it a try, my yard is a semi swamp land which can be a real mess and I like how neat and tidy raised beds look. My problem is, I’m kind of short on cash, so I decided to look in my messy garage and see what I could find to offset the cost. Among all the random boards and such, I hit the jackpot!
I put up a vinyl fence a few years ago and ended up with several partial sections of fence as well as a 4×4 post…it got me thinking, hmmm, how can I make this work?
This is what I came up with…
Vinyl raised garden bed with trellis. You can make this either with or without the trellis, but I also wanted to try some vertical gardening so I made that too. We will feature the trellis in a later blog. These beds are super easy to make, you first need to decide how deep you want your beds to be. After a trip to my sister’s, to help her make her own beds, I realized her fence sections are narrower than mine. So I have adjusted the directions, so the bed can be made to whatever height you would like. Here is another thing, raised beds can be made in a ton of different ways, so don’t be afraid to experiment with different ideas! What I have found out through my many years of making do with what I have is this, if it holds dirt, you can plant something in it!
I will admit when I was finished with this project, I realized I could have made it one board high, since my panels are 4 inches tall … I think it would have been fine… and required less soil. Oh well lesson learned! So before you start, measure the width of each slat and decide how tall you would like your garden bed to be,my fence had 4 inch slats, using 2 per side, equaled a height of 8 inches.
1 4×4 post cut into 4 – 8 inch lengths (2 slats high)
8 Sections (slats) of a vinyl fence
2” screws or nails
10 bags of soil or enough soil to fill bed
Start by removing the cross braces from the fence section, so you have individual sections or slats, two for each side, eight all together.
- Cut the 4×4 post into 4- 8” lengths, you will not use the whole post. Remember to think about how deep you want this bed to be, then measure the width of your fence panels to give you the proper length to cut the posts.
- Lay 2 of your 8” blocks on their sides and lay the first slat across them, line the slat up with the outer edge of the block and with the bottom edge, leave room for another slat above this one, which will finish covering the block. Attach each slat using 2 screws per slat.
- Do the same with your other 2 blocks and panels. This will give you your first 2 sides of the garden bed.
- Finish up your square by adding the last panels to the opposite sides. Start by lining a panel up with the bottom of the block and the outside edge of the side panels. Then add the one above it to form the third side of the square. Now repeat this on the fourth side to complete your square raised garden bed.
- Place the bed wherever you want it in your yard and fill with the bags of soil. Since I didn’t want to dig up the grass before putting the Raised bed in, I covered the grass with old cardboard. It will break up within a few weeks and become part of your soil.
TIP: I dragged the side pieces where I wanted them in my yard before adding the opposite sides, It is waaaay easier to move in smaller sections, than in a huge awkward square!
Note: You can also make narrow beds by cutting 2 slats in half and leaving the opposite sides longer, however this will entail cutting the fence section.
This is a fun weekend project that has a low skill level… I mean, I did it and managed to not cut off any fingers or toes in the process. I did borrow a miter saw to cut the blocks, but I did this by myself, a one woman show. Feel free to modify this any way that pleases you and fits your yard. I had so much fun making it, I made 3 more! I can’t wait to start planting my veggies, or better yet, eating them!
I would love to hear your input on this project; I hope you give it a try!