DIY Raised Garden Bed Design: Part 1

Today is the start of a 3 part series. So, you’ll need to return for all the details on building the hoop fencing and setting up a similar watering system.

These beds began as a general idea; they became an evolving project.

For our designs, we knew we needed pest control to keep out rabbits, and the occasional curious dog. We also had some general considerations. Did we need shade cover, what type of watering system would be best, how much space did we really need?

A month after beginning this project, we have our answers. Below you will find everything you need to build this sunken bed and you can return next Tuesday for all the fencing details.

Garden Bed Plans


  • 6- 4’ 10” beams
  • 6- 10’ 10” beams
  • 3’ x 25’ feet chicken wire ($19.77)
  1. Measure your beams. We repurposed beams we found in the yard and worked with 4’ and 10’ beams that were 4 inches thick.
  2. Dig your bed. Based on beam measurements, dig a hole to fit your structure. I dug a 11 x 5 foot hole that was 8 inches deep.
  3. Lay the beams. Lay the beams beginning with one of the longer sides. Lay the beams so they interlock in each corner.

  1. Line the beds. To prevent rodents from breaking into the beds, line the interior of the beds with chicken wire. Be sure your chicken wire covers the seam between beams.
  2. Secure the wire. Using a staple gun, secure the chicken wire in place.
  3. Prevent external growth. Line the bed up through the sides with recycled cardboard. We used a classy collection of PBR cardboard and banana boxes.
  4. Fill the beds. Given our soil composition, we chose to buy materials and mix our own soil (I did not include this in the pricing of our beds).
  5. Gravel around beds. Lay weed block and gravel around each bed to prevent weeds from growing into the beds. Secure the weed block to the beds with staples.

In total, this bed cost $19.77 for all materials. Had we needed to buy wood, our expense would have been considerably higher; however, taking the time to pull apart bolted beams can save you a bundle! This bed was so fantastic we built two more just like it.

Want to know more about how to build this bed? Look here: DIY Raised Garden Bed Design: Part 2, how to build the hoop frame and install fencing and for watering details in two weeks.

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