So my mum and I have been wanting to build a raised garden bed for our back yards (and my back patio). I decided to stay home a few extra days these last few weeks and build one for my mom’s Mother’s Day gift. There are really tons of ways to customize a raised garden bed (check pinterest), but below are the materials I used and the basic process that worked for me. 

Materials List

18 Gal. Plastic Storage Bin (Walmart about $5.00 – I used 4 bins)

Empty 2LT pop (soda) bottles (need 4 bottles per plastic bin, so I used 16 bottles)

Pea Pebbles/Gravel (I bought the cheapest bag at Walmart, maybe around $3.50, and used 1 bag per plastic bin, 4 total bags)

Potting soil (will vary depending on the plants you pick- We got the larger bag at Walmart, maybe around $7.00, and used 1 bag of soil per plastic bin, 4 bags total)

Bricks (optional, may vary depending on your space- I wanted to raise the plastic bins off the ground a couple inches to help them drain

4x8ft Lattice (Home Depot/Lowes around $13.00 – they gave me a hard time about cutting the lattice down, so I ended up cutting it myself with my jigsaw)

1x4x8 Treated Wood Boards (Home Depot/Lowes around $5-6.00 each- I needed 8 boards for this garden bed)

Wood Screws/Nails – whatever hardware works for you- I used 1in wood screws for everything

Basic Work Flow

  1. Drilled holes into the bottom of the bins for drainage
  2. Placed the bricks and the plastic bins in place while they were empty and easy to move
  3. Put 4 pop (soda) bottles in each of the bins
  4. Empty 1 bag of gravel in each bin (if using the Walmart bag) or at least enough gravel to cover all of the bottles
  5. Empty 1 bag of soil in each bin (if using the large bag from Walmart) or at least enough to fill the bin almost to the top – leave about an inch or so for the plant roots/dirt 
  6. I built the top framework first (gotta work with gravity) – if using 4 bins, an 8ft board worked perfectly across the 4 bins and did not need cut down. I screwed 20in boards perpendicular to the long boards to create a framing around each bin and to hide the bins as best as I could
  7. I cut the lattice down and doubled it (because my mom liked the look) and added another 8ft board to the top and bottom, then screwed that into the top frame
  8. The short sides are just the 1×4 boards cut to 22 in and screwed to a smaller board on the back. It gave the structure more support to have a solid non-lattice side, but if you like the lattice look you could continue the lattice on the short sides
  9. I cut 11in board to hide the front center seam and the front edges, and screwed the side panels into those boards

** once everything is screwed together, I was able to tip mine forward and have access to the bins if needed