6 Inexpensive Raised Garden Bed Ideas

By Oscar Collins

Author bio: Oscar Collins is the editor-in-chief at Modded, where he writes about the outdoors.

Gardening is a great hobby, but you may not have a yard with extra soil space. Sometimes homeowners associations (HOAs) keep people from digging in their yards. Either way, you can still have the garden of your dreams with an inexpensive raised garden bed. Check out these ideas to find the right box design for your plants.

Six save costs raised garden bed ideas

1. Raised Compost and Vegetable Garden

If you’re into gardening, you’re likely also interested in composting. Composting naturally breaks down specific types of waste to add three essential nutrients to soil — nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus. Transferring your compost from a bin to your raised garden bed will take effort unless they’re combined. (Read more about the ultimate guide to composting)

Build a raised garden bed to the dimensions you need for your chosen space and divide it into multiple containers, placing compost material between each plant. They’ll have separate containers so the root systems thrive, but the compost waste will be within reach whenever you need to freshen your soil.

2. Raised Planter Trellis Box

Attaching a trellis to your plant box makes growing vine-based flowers like wisteria or honeysuckle easier. You can also make the box out of any materials you prefer. Opt for traditional wood or go big with fashionable metal trellis. You can create a raised planter trellis box of any size and material with the right tools.

Before ordering your supplies, remember that cutting softer metals at higher blade speeds is better. A bandsaw blade can get the job done quickly. Use your blade at around 300 feet per minute (fpm) or lower feed pressure for your raised garden bed. You’ll easily slice through the soft metal material of your choice and assemble your raised planter overnight.

3. Self-Watering Raised Garden Bed

Your future garden bed could water itself with the help of perforated drain pipes. Line the raised box with a fish pond liner and staple it in place. The pipes lay across the bottom of the box but fill with water easily due to their perforated edges.

The final step is adding a layer of vermiculite over the pipes. The budget-friendly moss absorbs lingering water so roots can drink from them whenever the plants dry out. You’ll have a self-regulating sponge watering your plants during the year’s hottest days.

This is an especially important option to consider if you love traveling. You can take extended vacations this summer without worrying about your plants dying. Soak the pipes with your hose before leaving home if you’ll be gone for a week — the moss will contain the moisture so your plants can withstand any weather.

4. Cedar Wall Planter

You could set up your raised garden bed in your yard, but there’s also a way to take advantage of empty wall space. Invest in a few cedar planks and build a planter with shelving that climbs your wall. It looks great on porches and along the side of homes. You could even paint or decorate your new vertical planter to match your house’s exterior colors.

Just remember, pests can still reach your plants when they’re off the ground. They’ll fly or climb into each planter box to eat away at your hard-grown garden. Monitor them closely and make proactive pest control moves like using marigolds to protect your plants since they repel insects that otherwise destroy crops.

5. Standing Strawberry Planter

You likely have enough budgetary room for a standing strawberry planter if you have a few dollars. All it requires is a few two-by-four planks with holes drilled into the sides. Fill with gravel to improve its drainage and top the rocks with soil. You can place strawberry seedlings in each hole and they’ll be ready to grow.

This planter doubles in usefulness because it catches rain. The vertical shape directly routes water to buried roots without navigating around leaves and stems. You’ll also worry less about leaf rot because the leaves won’t get between your watering can and the soil.

Since leaf rot and mold are two of the most common challenges gardeners face, it’s a simple fix that protects your future harvest. Replicate the planter with other seedling varieties and you’ll have a beautiful vertical garden that fits anywhere on your property.

6. Red Brick Raised Planter

You might think wooden planter boxes will look out of place if your home has a brick exterior. The good news is that bricks are relatively inexpensive. You’ll also need a few other tools for bricklaying, like:

  • Concrete
  • Trowel
  • Level
  • Tape measure

Concrete is only a few dollars per bag, so the supplies shouldn’t set your budget too far back. Mix it with water to create bricks in a bucket or wheelbarrow. You’ll only need to measure where you want your bricks and apply the concrete evenly between the layers to build a garden bed to your desired height.

Consider Inexpensive Raised Garden Bed Ideas

You don’t need a big budget to have a charming garden. Limitations on your living space shouldn’t stop you, either. Consider using one of these inexpensive ideas to plant the garden of your dreams this year. Match the idea you like best with the location you want to get started, and before you know it, you’ll be enjoying the fruits of your labor.

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