Building a Raised Garden Box on a Budget

If you're on a tight budget, but still want to build a raised garden bed or garden box, don't worry. It's possible to do for very little or no money and some simple brainstorming for materials you probably already have.

A raised bed garden is essentially an open topped and opened bottom box. It doesn't have to be square. It doesn't have to be made of wood, although that is the most popular, easily available and desireable material. But "wood" can mean logs, limbs, 2x4 lumber nailed and fashioned into interesting "boards" or box sides. Don't limit yourself to one material. Combine them! Use stones and wood, or bricks and wood. Consider repurposing metal drums, even an old hot water heater cut lengthwise. If cost is more important than looks, there's no shortage of items and materials you can use to create a raised garden!

Tips and Ideas for Materials

  • Logs and tree limbs
  • Stones
  • Bricks
  • Chunks of concrete from construction demolition sites
  • Empty barrels or drums
  • Bottles, either filled with earth, sand or pebbles or not filled
  • Fill large truck tires with earth for a small raised garden
  • Wooden packing crates
  • Old "skids" or pallets from grocery and retail stores
  • Old bookshelf frames (remove shelves and you have a box shape)
  • Old dresser drawers or dressers (find at flea markets, yard sales)
  • Railroad ties
  • Wheelbarrow (minus wheels)