Learn how to build raised garden beds with cedar fence pickets. An inexpensive raised garden bed idea with a cheaper option for wood.
These DIY garden bed plans are an affordable option to build but are long-lasting and chemical-free.
Expand Your Garden by Building a Raised Bed With Cedar Fence Pickets
A raised garden bed is a low-maintenance gardening technique that can create an attractive and functional garden.
Using cedar fence pickets to build garden beds is a great way to grow your plants organically and sustainably.
Some of the benefits of building your own raised garden beds are that they are cheaper than buying a pre-made one from a store, you can use them year-round, and they are easy to customize to the size and design of your gardening space.
Can You Use Cedar Fence Boards For Raised Beds?
Cedar fence picket is an excellent choice for a raised bed because it is durable, low maintenance, and resistant to rot and decay.
Untreated cedar fence pickets are an excellent choice for garden planters. It resists rot and insects well, but it is also a very effective way of growing food organically.
However, treated cedar lumber can release chemicals that you don’t want to have your food grown, so don’t use treated lumber.
What is a Raised Garden Bed
A raised garden bed is a framed wooden box that does not have a top or a bottom. It can be made from various wood, bricks, cinder blocks, rocks, and even metal. It is then placed in a sunny location and filled with soil before planting vegetables or flowers in it.
A raised garden bed is an easy way to add more space to your garden without digging up the ground.
Raised garden beds are easy to build and easy to maintain. Raised garden beds can be used for gardening in small spaces.
Benefits of Raised Vegetable Garden Beds
Here in Missouri, our ground can be very rocky. My last traditional garden space had quite a few rocks that I spent many hours picking up. Using raised beds allows me to add soil on top of the ground and leaves me not having to pick up the rocks.
The soil is above the ground level and warms up much quicker in the Spring. This allows me to start planting earlier in the season. The beds will also stay warmer later into the fall season. So, this allows for a longer growing season.
Having cedar raised beds helps with weed control. I spent a great deal of time pulling weeds in my traditional garden, and I know that with raised beds, I won’t have near as many to remove. The few that I do have, I will be able to quickly pull out and control the amount I have to deal with.
DIY Cedar Raised Garden Beds
Cedar raised garden beds are quick and easy to build, making them perfect for beginners. They are also affordable and can be used in a variety of places.
Best Materials for Building a Raised Garden Bed
- 5/8-in x 5-1/2-in x 6-ft Cedar Dog Ear Fence Picket
- 1-in x 2-in x 8-ft Square Unfinished Cedar Board
- Table Saw
- Wood Screws
- Weed Barrier Fabric
How to Build a Raised Garden Bed with Cedar Fence Pickets in 6 Easy Steps
Cedar gardening beds are known for their strength, durability, and beauty. To build a cedar garden bed, follow these steps:
Step 1: Cut off Tip of Cedar Picket Fence Board
I purchased twenty-four cedar picket fence boards. These boards are used to build the sides and the ends. These are fence boards, so cut the very tip off where the boards were dog-eared at the top. Leave sixteen of the long length (6 ft) boards and cut the other eight boards in half for the ends.
Step 2: Cut 1×2 Cedar Boards
To build the sides and ends together, use an unfinished cedar board cut into 11″ pieces. You could also have your local lumber yard do the cuts if you can not do this at home.
Step 3: Attach Corner Boards to Side Boards
Place the unfinished 1×2 cedar board cut at 11″ flat on the ground and predrill your holes. Then drill two screws per cedar board into your 1×2 pieces. Do this four times down the side of the boards to keep the boards sturdy and to prevent any bowing in the boards.
Step 4: Attach the Sides to the End Boards
To form the end of the cedar raised vegetable garden bed, screw the cedar boards cut in half onto the end of the long sides. Then add another unfinished 1×2 cedar board to the middle of the end boards for more durability.
Step 5: Place Weed Barrier
Set the cedar fence picket raised bed into place, and place weed barrier under the beds. This will help with weed control if any weeds try to grow up through the soil.
Step 6: Fill Cedar Garden Beds with Soil
Before planting in the cedar garden beds, the last step is to fill them with good quality soil.
How to Fill a Raised Cedar Garden Bed with Soil
Filling cedar-raised vegetable garden beds with store-bought bags of dirt can be costly. These beds are around six feet long and 3 feet wide and have a depth of 11 inches.
I found someone local who charges $25.00 for a truckload of dirt. It is made up of manure and soil that has been turned and allowed to compost for the past two years.
So, search your local for sale sites to see if you can find something like that to fill the beds.
I would recommend having the soil tested to see the PH level. This will tell you if you need to add anything to amend the soil.
How Much Does it Cost to Build a Raised Cedar Garden Bed
For this tutorial on building cheap cedar-raised vegetable garden beds, the cost was under $20.00 in 2019. With the rising cost of lumber, the more current cost (2022) to build raised cedar garden beds from cedar fence pickets is as follows:
Total Cost for 4 raised cedar garden beds $150.88
Price per Raised Bed $37.72
Cedar-raised garden beds are becoming increasingly popular as they are more sustainable and more affordable than other options. I should have between 16-20 raised garden beds made with cedar fence pickets when I am finished designing my garden space.
I love vegetable gardening and have had the traditional tilled garden in the past. It was beautiful but took a lot of my time to keep it weed-free.
With cedar raised garden beds, I am looking forward to growing more vegetables in the garden and not having as many weeds to remove.
Vegetable Gardening Inspiration
- Weatherproof Hanging Slate Vegetable Plant Markers
- Early Summer Raised Garden Bed Tour
- Creating A Beautiful Vegetable Garden
- Vegetable Gardening For Beginners
Thanks for stopping by! I hope you have enjoyed this tutorial on how to build raised cedar garden beds with cedar fence pickets.
Originally shared May 09, 2018
Updated March 18, 2022