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DIY Garden Box Tutorial and Pictures

DIY: Build Your Own Garden Box

This weekend, I decided to expand my vegetable garden space by building another garden box. If you know how to operate a power drill, you can build this box, too. Here are some tips to make it easier: If you're a first-time builder, go to a small hardware or lumber store with a friendly clerk who can help you work out the details. Also, have the hardware store folks cut all of your lumber to the correct lengths; this will save you loads of time and headaches. Finally, remember: This is going to get filled with soil, so it doesn't have to look perfect! Tune in tomorrow, when I tell you how to securely place, fill, and plant your box.

Here's What You Need

  • 4 longer pieces of redwood, cut to specified length (I used 8 ft lengths)
  • 4 shorter pieces of wood for the ends, cut to specified length (I used 3 ft lengths)
  • 4 4-x-4-inch square pieces of redwood cut to match the height of 2 boards (in my case it was 12 inches). You can also opt to cut your 4-x-4s to a slightly longer length (such as 2 inches longer). This way, you can use the longer length of the 4-x-4s to anchor your box when you have to dig it into the ground.
  • Galvanized 4 inch-long screws (galvanized screws will resist rust)
  • Power drill (preferably with other battery pack charged)
  • Flat, large surface for working, such as a patio, deck, or garage
  • A willing helper, who can hold ends of lumber and fetch tools as needed

To find out how to build this garden box, just


  • Take two of your 4-x-4s and place them beneath each end of your long pieces of lumber. Line them up so the ends are flush.

  • Drill 2 screws into each end of the board, keeping the screw straight and screwing smoothly through both the longer piece of lumber and the 4-x-4 piece of lumber. As you can see from this photo, I had my 4-x-4s cut to a slightly longer length, which will help to anchor your garden box in the ground. However, if you do this, make sure to keep the longer ends of the 4-x-4s on the same side!

  • Repeat the prior step with the other 2 long boards.

  • Now, take your 2 long sides with the 4-x-4s screwed into them. Have your helper take one end, and you take the other. Now, turn each side on end, as if it was the wall of the garden box. If you have had your 4-x-4s cut so they are an inch or two longer than your other boards, have the longer end of the 4-x-4s sticking up in the air

  • With your helper, space the long ends so that they're about the same width as your short boards.

  • Have your helper lightly hold up the bottom corner of the boards, with the end of the short board and the long board flush in her or his palm. Screw the short board into the 4-x-4. Make sure to alternate your placement of the screw, so the screws won't overlap with the ones in your long board.

  • Repeat this process on the other corner. Then, stack your second short board on top of the first one use your power drill to screw it in. This is what it should look like.

  • Secure the other short boards on the opposite end.
  • You're done! Check in tomorrow when I tell you how to anchor, level, and plant your new container box.
Join The Conversation
Elka-Karl Elka-Karl 5 years
 @Anonymous Hi! Some gardeners put chicken wire on the bottom of the garden box. 
Elka-Karl Elka-Karl 5 years
 @Ladd Dooley Hi Ladd, you want to ideally have some drainage. Is breaking up the concrete a possibility? If not, try to fill the bottom layer of the box with gravel.
Ladd-Dooley Ladd-Dooley 5 years
I want to put up several garden boxes.  The best place is a large concrete slab where sun is constant. If the boxes are deep, will they be ok over the concrete?
Jessica2708586 Jessica2708586 5 years
To find the Check in tomorrow part of this DIY .. here is the link:   :)
Rucy Rucy 5 years
Great article though after having built these at this height and also at waist height I've learned a few things that are worth sharing: * I'd put another support mid-span on the longest side because, once the box is full and the soil wet, that area tends to bow * my next boxes I'll build out of a wood composite decking material (like Trex) because it doesn't rot the way wood does and it's not prone to carpenter ants.  I'd line the box with a material that would keep the soil away from the box material since wood composite decking is made from recycled wood, recycled plastic, and a binding agent.  The reason why I'd choose a wood composite decking material is because, once you've built and filled these it's a royal paint, and a real shame, to have to rebuild them in future (which is, 6 years later, what I'm having to do now and we used redwood for ours initially). * if you need to cover your boxes, to keep out birds & cats & the like, we made covers for ours using 2'x4's and rabbit wire - we made four covers for a box the size of the one above - a simple frame, with the shorter lengths mounted lower than the longer lengths, means they set on top and hook securely right over the edge of the box.
brd700 brd700 5 years
great article
kinaskitchen kinaskitchen 5 years
Thanks for the great tips. My hubby is a lineman and brings home old Australian hardwood arms off the top of the power poles, so I guess they will be great for making my garden box (plus I like the rustic look), just need something to secure them in place as they would be incredibly hard to drill through. Hard enough sawing them up for firewood and they burn incredibly hot, we always have to mix the wood up so it doesn't burn our firebox out. Happy gardening everyone ;)
bluesarahlou bluesarahlou 9 years
My parents created their garden with kiddie pools cause the regular dirt wasn't that great. Just dug enough to sink the pools in, filled them with potting soil. Was pretty neat looking!
wren1 wren1 9 years
I made 3 of these at my last house. They worked out so great!!
adelka adelka 9 years
Thank you, Casa! I will definatly be back tomorrow for the rest of your tips. I dug up where a pool used to be in my boyfriend's garden last year and we had a 4'x8' garden... We are expanding it this year and I think your tips will help get us going :)
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