Raised garden beds can cost a pretty penny, but these cheap raised garden bed ideas will help keep the green in your wallet and in your garden.
You know it's summer as soon as you pop one of those early season strawberries into your mouth. And there's no competing with the taste of a garden-grown tomato, ripe from long days of sunshine. The sweet snap of fresh peas tastes like a cool summer breeze, and cucumbers bring life to any dinner salad.
The best part is that you can enjoy these no matter where you live. All you need is some sunlight, a little patience, and some cheap raised garden bed ideas.
That's right. You don't have to live on a farm, and you don't need a double lot. In fact, you don't have to have a yard at all. That's the beauty of a raised garden bed. The downside is that it's easy to spend a couple hundred dollars on a pre-made raised bed—and that doesn't count the soil or plants!
Because you can't always buy them cheap, raised garden bed ideas for the DIY crowd are all over the Internet. Some are practical; some are only for the die-hard home project aficionado. Others claim to be inexpensive to build—until you buy the tools you need to build them. And then there are those fanciful creations that should probably be in an art museum rather than a backyard somewhere. But why would you want a raised garden bed?
What's so great about a raised garden bed
There are a number of reasons you may choose to plant a garden in a raised garden bed. You don't have to worry about soil quality; they are usually more efficient in water and nutrient usage; they limit weeds, slugs, and other garden pests; and best of all, they are easier on your back since you don't have to bend as much to tend to your garden.
One additional bonus is that you can put a raised bed pretty much anywhere—even on a concrete patio. So city dwellers, you too can have fresh vegetables right outside your back door.
Raised garden beds come in any size and shape you can imagine. They could be as small as a one square foot herb garden or large enough to plant tomatoes, potatoes, and anything in between. It's all about what you want to put into it and what you want to get from it.
7 cheap raised garden bed ideas anyone can make
We've wrangled together several cheap raised garden bed ideas that anyone with some basic tools can put together. Ideally, you can use recycled materials for these, but even if you have to buy the materials, they usually aren't terribly expensive.
1. The basic box
This is as simple as it gets and works great as an herb garden or for smaller vegetables like peppers. Nail four sections of three-foot planks together in a square, screw in corner supports, fill the box with fresh soil, and you're ready to plant. You can gussy this up by painting your wood a nice, bright color just to add a touch of cheer to your garden.
2. The old spare tire
Old tires might not make the prettiest raised garden, but they get the job done. Find a few old tractor tires, fill them with soil, and you're ready to roll (yes, the pun is totally intended.)
3. The orange crate
You can probably get an orange crate at your local grocery store. Line it with landscape fabric, make sure there are a few holes in the bottom for drainage, and you have a perfect patio garden container.
4. The cinderblock garden
Here's another case of making use of the materials you have on hand. If you do have to buy them, they run around $2.00 each, which still makes this a bargain project. You can get pretty fancy with these if you want by adding levels.
5. The wine box
This is similar to the orange crate, only these crates tend to be sturdier. You will have to drill a few holes in the bottom of the crate for drainage.
7. Kiddie pool
Don't throw that kiddie pool away just yet! It's a ready-made raised garden bed! Poke some holes in the bottom for drainage, add soil, and you have a colorful garden bed just waiting for a crop of cucumbers.
Turning those cheap raised garden bed ideas into works of beauty
Sometimes your raised garden bed needs a little personality or some protection from the local wildlife. Try some of these tricks to make your garden glow!
1. Use tubing to make a frame and attach bird netting. You can add plastic in cool weather to keep your plants safe from a freeze.
2. Get fancy with a removable garden cover. There are instructions for a nice three-season cover on this Apartment Therapy blog.
3. Use corrugated metal instead of wood. The metal gives you a unique look, and it's longer lasting than wood, so you can continue to use it for years.
Whether your garden is on an apartment patio or behind the house you plan to live in forever, your home is your castle. Make sure you have homeowners or renters insurance to cover you in the event of an emergency. Get in touch with your local Pekin Insurance agent today.
Do you have any cheap raised garden bed ideas to share with the community? Join the conversation in the comments section.