A raised garden bed helps control the soil and keeps your garden tidy. When we decided to create a vegetable garden in our backyard we looked at the prices of store bought raised garden beds and then decided to build our own. Phoenix, Arizona summers can be pretty unforgiving so I was concerned how well they would hold up.
How to Make an Inexpensive Cedar DIY Raised Garden Beds
We built four raised garden beds that were 4-foot by 2-foot. To create them we purchased 24 cedar fence panels at our local home improvement store. The edges are dog-eared, so we just trimmed the panels so they had a straight edge.
To reinforce the sides and corners we cut a 1×1 board and attached the pieces to each corner and to the sides.
The cedar raised beds were placed on a dirt area of our yard. We filled our bed with 50% garden soil and 50% compost. During the growing season our plants thrived with a fish emulsion fertilizer. Our inexpensive raised beds served us well for five years.
How To Transform a Trough to a DIY Raised Garden Bed
I had spinal surgery, so I was looking to create a taller raised garden to limit bending. To do this we decided to purchase a trough from our local feed store. We purchased an oval galvanized stock tank. Stock tanks are great for raised beds because you can purchase so many different sizes to fit your needs and space.
The stock tank is silver and you could keep it that color if that is look you are going for. We decided to change the color, so in preparation of painting we etched the metal beforehand. We mixed equal parts vinegar to water and scrubbed the stock tank with this solution. Then we rinsed it off and allowed the metal to dry.
We attached four wheels to the bottom of the tank because I plan on moving this particular garden bed. You can use inexpensive pavers as a foundation for the stock tank. The stock tank comes with a drainage hole on the back. However, you may want to drill a few small holes in the bottom to help with drainage.
We applied a universal bonding primer spray followed by a hammered copper color spray paint. I loved how it turned out.
If you would rather purchase a raised garden bed there are a lot of systems to choose from. We are partial to raised beds made out of cedar and galvanized steel because they seem to hold up well in Phoenix.