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  • Writer's pictureSarah Boily

DIY Raised Garden Bed

I recently purchased my first house, and of course, the first thing I wanted to do was plant a garden! However, I have a nosy little pup who will trample plants to go exploring. I wanted to have raised garden beds to have better soil and to keep my dog out! I began searching and wow were they super expensive!

No way was I going to shell out almost $100 for a few pieces of wood! I decided that I would just make them myself. My whole goal is to be as self-sufficient as possible so I figured this would be the best way to go anyways!

I wanted to use scrap wood and try to make these garden beds for free. I had a pallet laying around so I decided to use that. (before using any pallet wood please ensure it has not been treated with any harmful chemicals, I’ll expand on that later).

Read on to figure out exactly how I did it!

This process worked amazingly for me and it could be done completely for free if you can find pallets to use. I ended up creating (2) 3x3 garden beds. 9 sq. ft. each was perfect for beginning my small garden!

To begin this process you’ll need to find a pallet to use. I was fortunate and had a few laying around my garage. If you need to find some I suggest asking your local hardware store, gardening center, even countrymax has them! Some of these places will just give them away for free.

The important thing to consider about using pallet wood is ensuring it hasn’t been treated with any chemicals. These chemicals can seep into your soil and make the food you grow unsafe. Any pallet stamped with the letters MB should be avoided. MB stands for methyl-bromide which is a harmful chemical used to treat the pallet. Unmarked ones are usually safe but to be certain I make sure I only use pallets stamped with either HT or KD these mean heat-treated and kiln-dried. These pallets have been treated using heat instead of chemicals making them safe for use. The Pallet symbol should look similar to the image below!

Here is another little chart for you to use to check if your pallet is safe!


After you have found a safe pallet for you to use, you will have to disassemble it. This was the longest part of the process for me. Find a decent crowbar, pry bar, or even better a pallet/skid buster. I used a pry bar and mallet and was able to disassemble it in about 45 minutes. It would take a lot less time if you had a skid buster. Be careful not to snap any pieces while you are pulling them up! Go slow and steady to ensure no breakage.

After disassembling your pallet you should have about 12 pieces of wood. This worked perfectly to have 3 pieces of wood for each side. Grab some scrap wood (or use the braces from the pallet) to set up your corner posts. You can then reuse the nails from the pallet (or new ones if you bent too many from the pallet) and begin nailing your wood to the corner braces to create your box and it’s that simple!

Check out the finished product!


This whole process only takes about half a day and can be done for free! You can’t beat that compared to spending upwards of $100 at a store for the same thing!

This is a great DIY project if you want to start a raised garden bed as cheaply as possible, using recycled materials!

I also used pallets to build a compost bin to create great soil for these raised beds! Check it out here.

Check out this Instructables Post for even more help with this project!

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