How to Build a DIY Garden Box
If you want to fill your backyard with flowers and fresh veggies but don’t have a garden-friendly space available, creating a DIY garden box may be your solution. Garden boxes create ideal spaces for many types of plants to grow on a bed of soil that’s elevated from the ground. They can also help by making your space look tidy, keeping pets and critters away from your plants and saving you from constantly bending down to the ground, which often causes back pain. Instead of hoping that your backyard soil will be sufficient for your gardening needs, you can fill your boxes with dirt that is probably better than what your yard has to offer. Follow these easy steps to make a 4-by-8-foot bed and you’ll get to gardening in no time.
You will need:
Two 2-inch-by-12-inch-by-8-foot wooden planks
Two 2-inch-by-12-inch-by-4-foot wooden planks
12 pieces of steel rebar
Soil (choose the best quality soil for the plants you plan to grow)
Note: Your end product will be lined with steel rebar poles, so you might want to beautify your garden box by painting the wood planks before you assemble them. Try consulting this Pinterest page for design ideas.
How to assemble:
- Find a level section of your yard that receives sufficient sunlight and position all four wooden planks so that an inner corner of each plank is touching. All four planks should create a rectangle.
- Take one of the longer 8-foot boards and prop it up on its side. Take two pieces of rebar and stick one end into the ground approximately one foot away from either end of the longer board. The rebar should hold the plank upright so that it is perpendicular to the ground. Hammer each piece of rebar into the ground so that they support the propped plank. When hammering, make sure you don’t hammer each steel rebar too deep into the ground until all the sides are placed in case you need to readjust your box.
- Support the other 8-foot plank with two additional pieces of rebar, repeating the process above.
- Prop up the shorter pieces with one piece of rebar in the middle for temporary support (don’t hammer it into the ground). Then place two pieces of rebar one foot from each corner and hammer them into the ground. Remove the temporary middle support.
- Add two more pieces to your longer sides closer to the middle of the planks. You should end with 12 pieces around your box (four on the long sides and two on the short sides).
- Fill your box with an initial layer of organic materials, such as grass, leaves, straw and wood chips. This layer will break down into compost over time. If you want to avoid the hassle of creating compost yourself, it might be smart to invest in a garden composter.
- Cover this layer with a piece of cardboard, and wet it thoroughly. Then place your soil into the box on top of the cardboard layer, leaving a few inches between the top of the soil and the top of the planks.
Now you’re ready to start planting. When it’s time to start putting your garden box to use, remember that you want to maximize productivity without overfilling the space. If your plants are too close to each other, they will be competing for root space, water and nutrients and will be unable to fully grow.
Once you’ve created your box and planted your seeds, step outside of your own garden and take advantage of the summer months by spending quality time outdoors. You don’t have to do anything over the top to appreciate nature and get in some exercise — something as simple as walking outside can change your life.