Issue 16pulse

DIY Garden Box

Screen Shot 2015-05-05 at 11.42.45 AMBY ALEX CANTATORE

Want to grow your own fruit, vegetables, and herbs? There’s no better way to get started than with your own raised garden box.

Why build a garden box?

The better drainage and aeration leads to improved harvests; one 4-by-4-foot box can produce 80 pounds of tomatoes. A 16×10 foot garden can feed a family of four for an entire summer.

Garden boxes are easier to manage, too. There’s less weeding needed, due to the weed-proof cloth lining the box’s base. And they’re easier to harvest; there’s no need to bend your back when harvesting an elevated box.

Plant a wide range of vegetables, perhaps tomatoes, zucchini, peppers, cabbage, green beans, lettuce, beets, carrots, chard, and radishes. Or choose from broccoli, cucumbers, spinach, parsley, or onions, which also thrive in garden boxes.

Or skip vegetables entirely, and plant an herb garden. With fresh basil, thyme, rosemary, dill, chives, mint, oregano, and sage, your home-cooked dishes will taste better than ever before.

If you aren’t an expert woodworker, you don’t need to miss out on the benefits of garden boxes. Stack garden bricks to form the box, layer by layer, or recycle an old box or metal cabinet drawer.


All you need to build is a 4-foot by 4-foot garden box is some wood, screws, weed cloth, and dirt.

    1. Cut four 16-inch tall sections of 4-by-4 post.
    2. Cut four 8-foot long 2-by-6s in half.
    3. Stack two 2-by-6 boards to form a 4-foot by 6-foot panel.
      Align post edges to each panel edge, and screw posts to panel. Note: the corner posts will be 4 inches longer than the panels. Repeat to form other side of box.
    4. Using remaining 2-by-6 boards, join the two box ends together to complete the box.
    5. Place the garden box, digging holes to bury post-ends in the ground.
    6. Line the base with weed-proof cloth.
    7. Fill with planting soil.
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