How to build a Veggie Garden

How to build a veggie garden

Hopefully you have had a chance to read my post about why you should have a veggie patch, or you have already decided that you need one, you just need some simple instructions on how to do it yourself. This DIY Veggie Patch is made from up-cycled materials, is very quick and easy, and is the best and most popular way to grow your own produce in a raised garden bed.

READ MORE > Veggie Patch: Why you should have your own Veggie Patch and how to do it

I am definitely not a carpenter or really very handy with the tools, so you can be guaranteed that this is an easy, uncomplicated, nothing tricky way to build your own raised garden bed.

How to build a Veggie Garden

Materials to Build your Veggie Patch

As I mentioned before we decided on corrugated tin and an untreated wood frame both sourced from our local recycled goods business. Keep in mind that your measurements will vary based on what size you will be making your garden, and what size materials you can source. This is just a guide so you can see how we put ours together, it is roughly 2 metres long and 1 metre wide.

  • 2 x 2 metre sections of tin
  • 2 x 80cm sections of tin
    *Note that tin comes in different widths so try and get them all to match. Ours are all 57cm wide which will form the height of our garden.
  • 4 x 2metre lengths of untreated hardwood as top and bottom of side frames
  • 4 x 1m lengths of untreated hardwood as top and bottom of end frames
  • 6 x 54cm lengths of 4×2 untreated hardwood > these will be your supporting posts down the long side
  • 4 x lengths of 4×2 untreated hardwood for end frame supports
  • Button Head Self Drilling Metal Screws
  • Outdoor Decking Screws

Tools Needed

  • Tin Snips is all you need to cut the tin sheets to size (you could use an angle grinder if you have one but you should know how to use it as they will throw a lot of sparks and keep in mind that this will create a new cut edge which may encourage rust)
  • Saw (hand or electric) to cut wood to size
  • Electric Drill
  • Square – so you can get nice straight lines with your joins
  • 2 people – though not entirely necessary, it makes it a whole lot easier

Method

Veggie Patch How ToSafety First! Avoid trips to the ER by being very careful with the sharp edges of the tin, if you slice your wrist open with this you will need a tetanus shot and possibly stitches, worse than that it hurts like hell and turns your 1 day project into 2. Wear safety glasses when cutting your wood so you don’t get pesky little tiny specks of sawdust in your eyes. Use well-fitted gloves when handling the wood to avoid splinters. OK, ready to go.

Cut all of your tin and wood to size before you begin. Measure twice, cut once.

Make the 2 long side frames first.

Lay down 3 of your support posts equally spaced and place 2 of your 2m lengths of wood across the top and bottom of this. Use your square to make sure they are nice and straight. If you are using proper old hard wood be sure to pre-drill your screw holes, otherwise you will split your wood or kill your drill! Screw in 2 wood screws at the top and bottom of each wood join. Repeat for the second side.

Lay your large metal sheet on top of your frame allowing about 2-3cm of wood to overhang the top edge to remove any danger of cutting yourself on the sharp edge when leaning over into your garden. You may want to cover this edge with a strip of old hose that you split down the middle if you are still worried. Screw in your metal screws, about 4 evenly spaced across the top and 4 across the bottom. Repeat on your second side.

Stand the two sides upright (ensuring the top is at the top) and attach the 1m lengths of wood to the top and bottom of both ends using 2 wood screws in each corner.

Slide your end pieces of tin inside your frame and into place. You may need to give this a bit of a kick to get it into place as it is a tight fit, but that is what you want. Remember to leave a gap on the top edge. Use 2 metal screws on each side to attach.

Use your 4 shortest pieces of wood to fill the gap on the ends. These should be able to be jammed into place.

That is your frame completed.

Layer the base of your Veggie Patch with old cardboard boxes. These will help kill off any weeds and grass from underneath and will decompose over time. We saved a few boxes from moving house but you could easily collect a few from your supermarket or behind your local hardware store.

Fill your garden bed layer by layer with soil and a type of straw (we used sugar cane mulch). Don’t use potting mix. Use a soil mix ready for veggie growing goodness. Check out what your local landscaping supplies business has and ask their advice. We went with a big steamy trailer load full of mushroom compost and organic soil. We had a 6×4 trailer that we borrowed for the day to pick up all of our materials (you could get everything delivered for an extra fee if you wanted). As a side note, it helps if you know how to reverse one of these things or have someone on hand that can, because let me tell you hilarity ensued when we had to manouvre this thing over the curb into our front yard! Anyway, this size trailer fit 1 cubic metre in it. Cancel your gym membership for the week and shovel this yourself.

Use a good layer of Sugar Cane Mulch over the top to hold in the moisture and stop the weeds from sprouting.

Now to fill it with amazing herbs, veggies and fruit!

READ MORE > You can read more about what we planted in ours and advice on how to choose your plants in my post Fill your Veggie Patch.

The total cost of this backyard project, including all materials, screws and filling it with compost was less than $250.

Please feel free to ask any questions on how to build a veggie garden, I will answer as best I can.

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