How to Build a Raised Garden Bed With Legs
A raised garden bed with legs makes it easier and more comfortable to tend to your garden. You’ll be able to grow flowers, herbs, and even small vegetables at waist-level in this 3-foot by 2-foot raised garden bed that provides ample room for rich garden soil. Plus, with a base of wire mesh and landscape fabric, perfect drainage is built into the design.
What a Raised Garden Bed With Legs Is
A raised garden bed with legs is a table-like structure made of durable materials that raises the gardening surface above ground level.
For most residential gardeners, the raised garden bed should remain fairly small, around 3 to 6 feet long. Larger raised garden beds with legs are possible, but they are more difficult to move.
A favorite durable material for raised garden beds is cedar. Cedar is attractive, inexpensive, easy to cut and drill, and it weathers naturally on its own.
The height of the raised garden bed with legs depends on the gardener’s needs. For many people, it’s best if the top rail of the garden bed is around waist-level. For this project, the rail is 30 inches high.
What You'll Need
Equipment / Tools
- Cordless drill
- Staple gun
- Tin snips
- Indelible marker
- Latex gloves
- Cotton rags
- 2 one-by-six cedar boards, 8 foot long
- 2 one-by-four cedar boards, 8 foot long
- 2 four-by-fours, pressure-treated
- Bagged garden soil
- Landscape cloth
- Galvanized steel hardware cloth (1/4-hole), 4 feet wide
- Liquid copper preservative
Cut the Wood
- One-by-six cedar boards, 4 sections at 36 inches long each
- One-by-six cedar boards, 4 sections at 24 inches long each
- One-by-four cedar boards, 6 sections at 24 inches long each
- Four-by-fours, 4 sections at 30 inches each
Preserve the Legs
Wearing latex gloves and using the rags, dab the cut ends of the four-by-fours with the copper preservative. Let dry for one hour. If you purchased cedar (not pressure-treated) four-by-fours, they do not need to be preserved in this manner.
Attach the Legs
You'll be creating the bed in an upside-down position. Lay out four of the one-by-six cedar boards (two long, two short) on-edge, on a flat surface to form a rectangle. The short pieces should be at the ends. On the board faces, screw the boards into the four-by-fours, with the four-by-fours on-end (not flat on the ground).
Do this for all four legs so that the legs are on the inside of the side boards. Once you've finished this step, the four legs are attached to the inside of the rectangle made of side boards and currently are up in the air.
Attach the Rest of the Bed Sides
Keep the bed upside-down. Similar to the earlier rectangle, build a second rectangle of one-by-six cedar boards (long and short) on top of the first rectangle.
Place a long board on top of a lower long board and screw it into place against the four-by-fours. Repeat for the opposite side. Then, place a short board on top of a lower short board and screw it into place against the four-by-fours. Repeat for the opposite side.
Measure the Hardware Cloth
Roll out the hardware cloth on a flat surface. Face it so that it does not curl up. With the help of an assistant, place the garden bed (still upside-down) on the cloth. Leave about 2 inches on all sides and mark off the cloth with the indelible marker, using a straight edge.
Add the Bottom Slats
While the bed is still upside-down, add the six slats of one-by-four boards to the bottom of the bed. For each slat, use two screws per end. Each slat rests directly against the bottom edges of the one-by-six side boards.
Cut the Hardware Cloth
Remove the garden bed and turn it upright. Use the tin snips to cut on the lines you marked on the hardware cloth.
Add the Hardware Cloth
Place the hardware cloth at the bottom of the tray. Press it upward on all sides. Make a 1- to 2-inch cut with the snips into all corners of the hardware cloth to help each corner form the 90-degree angles. Staple into place.
Roll Out and Cut the Landscape Fabric
With the bed upright, roll the landscape fabric lengthwise into the raised garden bed tray. Make sure that an extra foot or two are at each end. Center the fabric. Cut the fabric off from the roll with the scissors.
Staple and Trim Excess Landscape Fabric
Press the landscape fabric down and up the sides of the tray. It’s helpful to have an assistant hold the cloth in place. Staple it in place along the top. Trim any excess fabric that extends past the top of the bed's sides.
Add Soil to the Garden Bed
Cut the bags of garden soil and slowly add them to the garden bed tray. Do not add soil suddenly from the side, as this may tip the bed. Spread out each bag before proceeding to the next bag.
Tips For Building Raised Garden Beds With Legs
- To make the project go even faster, some lumberyards and home centers will cut the lumber to size for a small extra cost per cut.
- For long raised garden beds, build a series of smaller beds rather than one long bed.
- For a different look, stain and clear-coat or paint the garden bed. Do this only on the outside. Do not paint the inside of the tray as it will be lined with landscape fabric.
- Water drains from the bottom of this raised garden bed. If the bed is not outdoors, make sure there is a mat underneath to catch the drainage.