You haven’t tasted a potato until you’ve unearthed it from its mound and baked it in the oven! Although it may take extra effort to create a garden at your home, the benefits certainly outweigh the hassle, and if you think you don’t have enough space, you better think again with this solution!
After getting married and moving into my own home, one thing I greatly missed (besides my loving family and all the animals <3 <3 ) was being able to go outside and pick fresh herbs and vegetables from the garden to use for supper. That little piece of basil really kicked spaghetti sauce up a notch, and don’t even get me started on the wonderful taste of home-grown carrots. I was missing the farm-to-table goodness and needed it back!
Luckily, my dad was kind enough to build me a few garden boxes of my own for my back yard, and I wanted to share with you the materials and process of making it. Unfortunately, I do not have photos of the actual build process because my dad did this on his own time and did not consent to having his photos on my blog. (He is almost ALWAYS shirtless. HAHA!)
BUT… I was able to get a list of all materials we used and close-up shots and instructions to help along the way. I am so thankful for my dad for doing this for me, and if I ever move, these boxes are coming with me!!!
My house sits on a corner lot, so I am fortunate in that my backyard is a little larger than most in the neighborhood, but like anyone who lives in the city, you are probably concerned about how much space this will take up. Before deciding how big to build the boxes, I sketched out a basic design layout. I wanted different sized boxes to accommodate different herbs and plants, including climbers, but also wanted it to look aesthetically pleasing and inviting, and not like a space that was “off-limits” when guests came over. My solution (which will be in more detail in Part II) was to incorporate stepping-stones in between the boxes so it was easier to maneuver around and looked nice.
Also, I eventually want to place a seating area near it so it is even more homey feeling. Keep your long-term plans in mind when sizing and placing your boxes in the backyard. It will help you achieve the look you’re going for.
Back to building… I have a total of four boxes that are lined with landscaping fabric to keep the weeds out and rimmed so excess grass and debris don’t fly in it when weed eating. (My dad came up with this genius idea!) The sizes are two 3 ft X 3 ft boxes and two 6 ft X 3ft boxes, one of which will soon have a trellis added o the side for climbing plants.
The wood can of course come in different lengths to suit your own backyard size, too. Assembly instructions will be the same, just change out the lengths!
Here is what you will need to make these boxes on your own.
Materials listed below are for two 3ft X 3ft boxes and two 6ft X 3ft boxes.
- 1 50ft Roll of Landscaping Fabric
- Staple Gun
- Drill & Drill Bit
- 2″X 8″ Treated Lumber – For the Sides
- 12 3ft pieces
- 4 6ft pieces
- 2″X4″ Treated Lumber – For the Tops
- 12 3ft pieces
- 4 6ft pieces
- 3″ X #9 Star-tip Wood Screws
- Used 24 on tops and sides for the 3ft X 3ft box (48 Total)
- Used 28 on tops and sides for the 6ft X 3t box (56 Total)
First, you will need to assemble the basic frame of your boxes by placing two pieces together and drilling in a screw on the top and bottom corners. Then, rotate and add another board, adding the screws to complete the square. Add screws on both sides of the corners, not just one side, for added stability. Example: You should use 16 screws on the base frame to complete the 3ft X 3ft square.
Then, place the 2″X4″ pieces of lumber on top to create an edge for the boxes. Screw one nail on the corner of each board that is aligned with the bottom board. Each corner should have 2 screws.
For the 6ft pieces, you will need to place screws down the length to secure everything, not only the corners. The long side should have a total of 4 screws on the top.
Give yourself a pat on the back because the hardest part is now done! 🙂
You may want to grab a friend for this part… Flip the boxes upside down and lay your roll of landscaping fabric down the length of it. We propped our box on the tailgate of a truck to make it a little easier.
Fold over the fabric to the inside about a one inch piece of fabric and staple the fabric to the top. I put double staples in the corners.
Staple all the way down the length of your board about every 6 inches. If any of your staples are popping up, give them a few whacks with a hammer!
Cut the bottom of the fabric with the scissors where it connects to the roll about an inch longer than the box and fold this inch up like you did the top. Staple the bottom down.
Flip your box right-side up and TA-DA! No weeds will be growing in your new garden beds! 🙂 Also, my dad says the raised garden beds do a better job of absorbing water so there is less chance of having a muddy hole in your backyard.
Finally, kick back, relax and smile because your boxes are built and are (almost) ready for planting.
Now I just need to find the perfect spot in the backyard and fill them with dirt… More on this during Part II. 🙂
Do you have any garden box tips, or do you have another way to garden in the city? Please share them! I’d love to hear!
Happy planting to all you green thumbs out there! 🙂
All building materials were purchased from Guadalupe Lumber Co. Thank you for helping me make my garden come to life!