DIY Raised Garden Bed with Irregation

Last week, I shared our plans to build raised garden bed in large empty space directly off our patio. The space we planned on using for our garden bed is is 8ft wide x 24ft long. We considered building two raised garden beds, but decided one 4x8 raised bed would look nicer. We bought our lumber and screws, came home made some cuts to the 2 of the boards and decided to work on the project later in the week. My dad stopped by one evening last week, he was in town (he lives about 2+ hrs away) and I showed him our progress of cleaning out the area plus our a little of our building progress. My Dad glanced over and without even asking what type of wood we bought knew instantly, we bought he wrong wood and if we went ahead with our plans, the wood would eventually rot. 

I was so bummed, I knew we went a little cheaper on the wood but didn't think it would be that big of an issue. My Dads a contractor and civil engineer so I trust his judgement, and with defeat decided we'd return the wood and go with Redwood or Cedar like we should have in the first place. While I was talking with my Dad he also suggested we consider going with a 4x12 garden bed instead of a 4x8 to balance the area out nicely. On Saturday morning we loaded up the truck and returned the wood and bought redwood. Now that I shared our mishap lets talk building our raised garden bed. 

Garden Bed 

On Sunday we built a 4ft wide by 12ft long raised garden bed using Redwood lumber, I'll share our shopping list below. As a reminder we used the raised garden bed plans I found on Sunset magazine, its a really simple plan that can easily be modified for your space. 

Shopping List 4X12 Raised Garden Bed 

1 - 6 foot 4x4 fence post (use cedar or pressure treated posts) cut into 16 inch pieces 
2 - 8 foot long 2x6 redwood boards
4 - 12 foot long 2 x 6 redwood boards
20 galvanized 16 inch screws 

We did the 4 feet sides first attaching them to our 16 inch cut pressure treat posts. Since Hasani was drilling long screws into the boards and posts, he opted to pre-drill the holes and then screw them in. 

In retrospect since the wood was o long, I would do the long side first then the four feet sizes. Next we attached the 12 foot long boards to each 4ft end. Once all four sides of the garden bed were attached we opted to add two more middle posts to the middle of the garden bed for added support. 

Next we placed the raised garden bed in place, decided on the where we wanted it placed in our area and then using spray paint marked the areas that need to be dug out for the posts to sit into. Digging holes went fast and smooth, we had the frame of the raised garden bed leaning our fence. What was not easy, moving that heavy sucker into place! 

Once the our newly built raised garden bed was in place, Hasani checked to confirm it was level. To me it looked crooked it, but the level confirmed it was perfectly level on all four sides! 


We have have irrigation along the perimeter of our fence, and decided to tap into the PVC pipe that had been capped and extend the PVC pipe to our garden bed. Hasani dug a small trench from the existing line to our garden bed, as you can see in the picture below the area this part of our side garden bed near our lawn area was left untouched until we decided what to do with the area.  To connect the existing PVC pipe with the new PVC pipe with used a connector piece and Christy's PVC Pipe Cement

My Dad taught me how to do irrigation and its honestly really simple once you determine the layout and what pieces you need. So for this portion of the project I took over and finished the irrigation, while Hasani assisted me. Its kind of fun we both got to be each others assistants on this project. I want to plant flowers on either side of the raised garden bed so I both sides of the garden bed I ran a small section of PVC pipe off the main line. On the top of my PVC pipe is a one port irrigation manifold, which I might upgrade to a 2 port manifold down the line depending on the number of plants we plant in the areas. Soon I'll run a piece of tubing off the connection port and place a emitter on it to water the area. I'll share updated pictures once this area is complete. .  

As you can see in the photo below. the PVC pipe sits in a shallow mini tench that goes under the raised garden bed. I used another T PVC pipe to install a 6 port manifold to run three 360 degree emitters into the garden bed once the garden bed has been filled with dirt. 

Here's our finished DIY Garden bed with Irrigation. 

Even thought the area is still in rough shape it looks a lot better than it did a few weeks ago, progress is always a good feeling, 

The Sunset magazine plans we used for our garden bed, suggest adding a bird cover for the garden bed. We decided to skip the one they suggest, because I'm mildly obsessed with building a screen A frame for ours. I love how the one below looks! 

Next up we'll be filling our garden bed up with soil, we'll buy a yard of gardening soil from a local company and wait. We planned to plant our veggies this weekend, but after talking with a local garden Blogger Bill from www.sacaramentogardening, about the pros and cons of planting early, we've decided to wait until the end of April when the rainy season in Sacramento starts to pass us by. It's so hard to wait to plant, but it does give us more time to keep tweaking our garden list and decide what we really want to plant etc. 

Plus this also gives more time to plant flowers and small shrubs around our raised garden bed and decided on patio furniture. I'm itching to start dining outside in the evenings. As you all know, one of my 'big goals,' is to really use our outdoor space as an extension on our indoor space and really use every square inch of it with purpose.  

Even though we had a few hiccups along the way, I loved that was a learning experience. For me that's what DIY is all about learning and growing your skill set and pushing your self out of your comfort zone. 

What are one of your Spring goals for your home?