Friday, December 3, 2010

Build Your Home Vegetable Garden Raised Bed Out of These 5 Items

Vegetable gardening with raised beds opens up a number of benefits to home vegetable gardeners. They include better soil drainage for those areas where it is normally poor and gardening on a patio or in smaller areas to name a few. But did you know that you can build your own raised bed garden out of a lot of different items? Here are 5 you can try today.


I wanted to start with wood because it is the most popular item to build raised beds out of, but I wanted to break this category down into various wood products that can be used. Sure you can go to your local home center and buy wood, but you probably have some around that you didn’t even think of. Such items include, the wood from an old door or window sitting in your garage or some wooden scaffolding planks. Do you have some railroad ties sitting around or is your neighbor throwing some wood away? If so, and you are a bit handy with tools, you have everything you need to make some quality raised beds.


Hay makes for a great barrier for your raised beds. In my area a bale of hay costs about five bucks, so building a garden bed out of it can get costly. Iif you live in a climate that gets cold, hay makes for a great means to build a cold frame. It acts as a wonderful insulator from cold winds and can keep your soil at a moderate temperature.

Bricks and Cinder Blocks

If you buy them they aren’t cheap, but if you are lucky enough to be around an area where they are building you might be able to grab enough for free that will do the trick. You can also look on the popular websites Craigslist or Freecycle for people that are giving them away because they are taking up room in their basement, backyard or garage. You would be doing them a favor.

PVC Tubing

One fellow vegetable gardener told me they used large diameter PVC tubing for their raised beds. They were able to snag some from a new construction development in their neighborhood and build some nice raised beds out of them. I went to a local home center and priced some out and they are all not too expensive if you wanted to buy them. Try getting them for free first if you can. Use the two websites I mentioned earlier.

Old Tires
I have seen tires used by stacking them up then filling them with soil and then planting potatoes in them. They work nicely as a raised bed and keep the potatoes confined to a single area.

These are just 5 of the many solutions you have available to you when it comes to building a raised bed. Try the one (or all) that works best for you and the space you have available.

About the Author
Michael C. Podlesny is the administrator for the largest Vegetable Gardening page on Facebook.


  1. If you have land to spare, you can use straw bales as a container for raised beds. They last several seasons before disintegrating, and add fiber to an adobe soil.

  2. Good article on resourcefulness, though I am not so sure about the railroad ties, treated with creosote to inhibit rot, it is not something I want in contact with my growing beds.