Kathryn Stedman

About Kathryn Stedman

Wife, nurse, mother and maker of things. On a journey to self sufficiency. Family and the edible garden. Hopefully keeping it real. Also creator and writer of http://thehomegrowncountrylife.com . Check out @thehomegrowncountrylife on Instagram for daily homesteading inspiration.

Home Grown Country Life: Simple DIY garden beds

Approx Reading Time-10Making your own raised garden bed is ludicrously easy, well within the abilities of  most black-thumbed lawn destroyers.



To make your own garden bed is really, really easy. If you can use a drill, you can do this.

There are several types of timber you can use. Hardwood is the best. When I say the best, I mean it lasts a really long time and it is untreated. The downside to hardwood is it is just so darn hard, heavy and generally more difficult do work with. Not an impossible task at all if you have muscles or additional helpers. When using hardwood, you will need to pre-drill any holes and use a power drill (not cordless). An easier and cheaper option is pine.

In Australia, treated pine sleepers are readily available, but what you want to look for are the either ones free of arsenic or the eco-sleepers that are safe for use in vegetable gardens. This is what I like to use.


What you need to make a simple raised garden bed:

  • Two veggie garden sleepers (2400 x 200 x 50mm)
  • 8 screws
  • Drill and drill bit

Yep. That’s it.

Get them cut to size at the hardware store. It’s usually free and means you will be able to fit them in your car easily, and all you have to do when you get home is screw them together.

You can get them cut in half, which will make a 1.2m square garden bed, or if you want a rectangular bed, get 80cm cut off each 2.4m length, which will give you a bed that is 80cm x 1.6m. To make a bed this size it will cost approximately $30 AUD. Bargain.

Examples of Bed Layouts

Now you have your timber cut, get it home and lay it where you want it to be (needs to be relatively flat). Line the corners up (be as accurate as possible) and put a minimum of two screws into each corner join. There is no need to pre-drill pine. It is quite soft and it won’t split.

Screw at Least Two Screws Per Corner

That’s the easy bit done! The hard bit is filling it with soil. If you have your new bed over grass, make sure you lay a thick layer of newspaper over the bottom to remove the grass.

Fill it up with soil, don’t forget to mix some compost in as you go. When you are done, water it all in and pat it down. As all the air pockets fill in, it will settle and you may be required top it up to make sure it is level once more.

The only thing left to do, is plant!

Once you get the general idea of how to screw the timber together you can make bigger beds – i.e., you may use three sleepers keeping two full length and get the third cut in half so you end up with a garden bed 2.4 x 1.2m.

What you fill it with is up to your imagination.


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