Have you been wondering how to grow your own food or how to build vegetable beds? I have been there, especially with the recent outrageous groceries inflation and continued inflation forecast. Growing your own food is excellent forward thinking for long-term food storage or food preservation.
DIY raised beds or container garden beds for a affordable price is a must when growing plants, herbs, and vegetables especially if you are short of space, but eager to grow fresh food in your own backyard. Raised garden beds also give you the ease of handling and caring for the plants in a limited area.
Most people assume that building raised garden beds can be quite expensive to set up; however, you can make a raised bed garden with a bit of creativity at an affordable price. There is diversification in size, style, and design of beds that you can make per your lifestyle, budget and convenience. So, whether you love concrete or wooden raised beds, here you will get simple Budget Friendly DIY Raised and Container Garden Bed Ideas for $30 or close to it. Let’s get started!
DIY Raised Bed Ideas Materials
Raised garden beds add a stylish look to your space and give you more room for plant growth. This idea of gardening is also best for you if the soil of your lawn is primarily clay, woody with tree branches, sandy or rocky. You can dedicate a corner for your raised bed garden and enjoy healthy and chemical-free food.
There are three main approaches you can use in a DIY raised bed garden project. It may be wooden planks, concrete blocks, or containers that you can use. I even love to use pot in pot technique for container gardening. It’s the most flexible gardening style ever, especially annuals!
If you have any containers of about 5 inches minimum in height, you can also make a raised garden in it. You can probably find free containers which would be even better inexpensive garden bed ideas.
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Start Your Garden in 3 Days
If you’re wanting to get started in 48 hours or less. Order this 100 gallon above ground container from Amazon Prime. You’ll receive in 2 days. All you’ll need to do prior to then is to get your soil ready. Find the container below here. Also, for a free trial of Amazon Prime, click here.
No Tools, Just Muscle Concrete Raised Garden Bed
Concrete blocks are small containers made of concrete that are ready to use in making a raised bed garden. You can get these blocks from any home improvement store for just a few dollars.
The number of blocks depends on the size of the bed, available space, or your preference. One block is about one foot. So, if you want a 4×4 bed, measure the space and calculate blocks. Lowe’s has 8-in x 2-in x 16-in Cap Concrete Blocks for .90 cents each. 12 of these total layered against a fence and two bags of soil would be less than $30.
Starting The Bed
To make the bed, remove any debris on the ground and make sure that the ground is even. Next, arrange the blocks making sure that they are straight in line. Once blocks are set, place cardboard or newspaper on top of the ground before adding the soil. This will help prevent weeds later. Add garden soil in the available space and the holes of planters. Your concrete garden bed is ready for less than $30 and you are free to grow just about any plant you love. Be sure to plant starter plants and seeds based on your gardens grow zone versus when they are available in the store.
DIY Flower Garden Beds
If you currently have a small bed, you can add a large bed to your raised bed garden or create a variety of different sized beds. You can have it in the corner of the yard or arrange two to three beds in a lane and grow contrasting colored flowers. This beautiful addition of a bed of flowers would create a magic ambiance and possibly attract butterflies or humming birds. If you prefer organically grown fresh food, you can grow salad plants like cucumber, lettuce, tomatoes, or herbs to fulfill your culinary desires.
Ready Made Raised Garden Box
Similar to the above photo, you can have this Lakeside Collection Raised Garden Bed Set for Vegetable and Flower Gardening fast via Amazon Prime for less than $30.98, not under our $30 budget, but very close and the price includes shipping. It is made of Polypropylene and includes 8 side panels measuring 21-1/4″W x 3/4″D x 5-1/2″H, each. – 8 Stakes: 5/8″ dia. x 9-3/4″L, each. – 45-3/8″ sq. x 5-5/8″H, overall as square.
Container Garden Bags and Other Inexpensive Containers
This is the easiest DIY raised bed idea that may cost from a few dollars to nothing. If you have any extra container, old or new, you can use it as a raised bed and grow a lively flower to make the center of attraction of your garden. You just have to fill it with garden soil and grow the plant. It will not only be unique, but also budget-friendly. Recyclable shopping totes make great container gardens.
You can also buy gardening grow bags on Amazon. I’ve grown potatoes and sweet potatoes in these. Walmart has large containers on clearance for less than $2 in their garden center every year which I’ve use for tomatoes and cucumbers. If you’re using seeds, just be sure to look for seeds that are excellent for containers, such as Burpees tomatoes. These containers are also portable, just in case of “unusual frost or weather.”
For potatoes, I opt in for 10 gallon reusable container bags. The photo below is sweet potato plants in container bags I found on Amazon. These come in a set of 4 for $9.99. They have velcro openings near bottom to easily harvest root vegetables. I started the sweet potatoes indoors and once a few inches tall, I moved to the bags shown in photo below. Potato Grow bags can grow quite a few potatoes. If there was ever a severe shortage in our lifetime, potatoes are a healthy source, which is easy to grow, filling and full of nutrients. You can store potatoes long term for a year frozen and even longer when dehydrated and placed in mylar bags as a long-term food storage option.
Another option are fabric containers. The fabric is a thick plastic and has drainage at the bottom. This fabric container below is 35 gallon capacity and only $12.99 or get two for $24.99. For all Fabric containers at all budgets, check them out here.
Concrete Mixers are another option. You can purchase about 4 16.8 x 12.1 x 7.6 inches containers for around $25 on Amazon and also at Home Depot for about $7/each. The Southern Agrarian has an entire bountiful garden using several of these concrete mixers. These make perfect salad gardens. All you’ll need to do is create some drainage holes at the bottom of each container, by dilling small holes or poking several holes in bottom 4 inches apart with a sharp knife.
No Tools DIY Wood Plank and Planter Block Garden
Wood or cedar planks are one of the best materials that you can use to make boxes for a raised garden that lasts for ages. If you want to make the bed more attractive, you can paint with non-toxic latex paint that will also save it from the weather.
If you plan to follow this DIY idea, you need planks or boards of your required size. It is good to make multiple beds of small size rather than making one big bed as you have to manage the plants without entering the bed. So, a total of 4 2 in by 6 in x 4 ft whitewood or pinewood board is ideal. Take 4′ x 4’s and connect them using screws or you could purchase 4 “Planter Wall Retaining Wall Blocks” I used 4 from Lowe’s for $2.98 each. Be sure to get the Planter Wall Retaining Blocks fit for your size boards. This option is pretty cool since the plank blocks and retaining wall blocks are both stackable as shown in the photo below. Scroll down for video on building DIY Planter Block Garden Beds.
Connect your planks and wall blocks in an area where it would have sufficient water and sun. Prior to adding soil, determine if a weed barrier is necessary. You can also use cardboard, plastic, or a tarp as a weed barrier. The goal is to cover ground completely below the new soil. Click here to check out weed barrier options for under $25.
Here in Texas, weed barrier is always necessary since our native grass (St. Augustine) in all her glory, is indeed a weed! I’ve also used cardboard as a weed barrier and it works well too for a season here! I’m not judging those who use toxic Weed Killers, but it kills off nature that is good for your plants such as bees, toads and geckos. It also gets into the irrigation systems. There are actually human related healthcare lawsuits on the trickbag damages Weed and Pesticides controllers have caused. Your life is worth more so paying a few dollars more for organic control is priceless!
Easy Breezy Wall Barriers and Planks Garden Bed
The above photo is my own bed using wall barriers and planks along with weed barrier. I am transferring the overgrown mint plants from the other garden bed to this bed because Mint is a aggressive plant and needs its own space or it will take over where ever you place it. Never buy mint, lemongrass or lemon balm if you know someone growing it. They’d happily give you some and it will grow and rarely sabotaged even by the brown thumb of all brown thumbs. Just cover the root with dirt in the sun, water it, and watch it spread…Literally.
After adding weed barrier, add your soil. I used vegetable garden soil. However, container soil type is fine too. A few weeks later, my mint has taken root and taking over this space already.
Watch Video on this Multi-Level DIY Planter Block Garden Bed
Pet or Animal Garden Solutions
These pet or animal options may cost above your $30 budget, unless you happen to have them laying around; however, still recommending just in case this becomes a issue.
If you have pets, they may contaminate the garden with urine which is quite frustrating. The best solution is to fence the bed with chicken wire. It will prevent rodents or pets from spoiling your veggies. Once your plants are established, you can also cover with mulch. Cat’s don’t like mulch. I’ve even using Coyote urine to repel cats and other rodents from my garden. Feral cats could care less about coyote urine. This may trick domestic cats and some squirrels in my hood, but good luck with true feral cats! A real feral cat has no fears. I recommend chicken wire and lava rocks to annoy feral cats. Anything that would slow them down would keep them away. Anything safe and humane that is….karma if you don’t!
Rodent Sheriff spray works great too if you don’t want to use mulch or chicken wire. You’ll need sharp snip tool or wire cutters for cutting chicken wire. Get help and wear gloves if you can.
Alternative Pesticide or Insect Control
Wanna control the bugaboo insects reaping off the benefits of your harvest? Build a Toad Aboad. Have a Open House to let all Toads know they are welcome. They probably won’t come to your home because of pesticides or your tenacious cats. Build it in a corner. Add a water dish, shade and a place to hide from anything that’s a threat. More importantly, no pesticides, fertilizers or grass killer. It disrupts the circle of life and not healthy for any human…research!!
Elevated Wood Planter Box
The second option is, you make beds of the same size and nail to make a box of a 1-4 feet in height. From there, just fill it with soil and water it. Before growing any plant, the soil must be well watered, with good drainage and not soggy.
An important thing to consider before making a raised bed is its location. Select a place that gets about 6 – 8 hours of sunlight. Secondly, the soil must be organically rich. If you want ideal raised bed garden soil, mix about 2 bags of topsoil with 1 gallon of peat moss. Compost or manure is the best organic supplements to feed soil microbes with oxygen and water. Mix all materials and add a 2-inch layer of shredded leaves. This garden soil recipe is ideal for a 4×4 raised bed and you can multiply it according to your size and space.
I found the wood container below on Facebook Marketplace for $30. Of course, making it yourself would be less.
How To Save Money And Preserve Water With Your Own Easy Setup DIY Rain Barrel
An automatic sprinkler system isn’t affordable for everyone, or maybe you just don’t want to pay so much for water (like me). With all my newfound love for gardening, I figured I could save money by setting up a DIY rain barrel near my gardens. It’s very easy to set up and will definitely help lessen the water bill. You can set up multiple rain barrels using the down spouts along your home.
I set up just one 50lb rain barrel, which came with a filter that prevents debris from entering the rain barrel and a spout. I needed to purchase a hacksaw, cinder blocks/concrete blocks and a flex-a-spout. It’s optional to add a water hose to your down spout. Check out my short DIY Rain barrel videos below to see how easy it is to set up, so you can get started today. If I can do this project by myself, so can you!
I did find my rain barrel for $50. You can find them sold online and also on Facebook Marketplace. It’s placed in my private backyard. Just for the record, I have heard of “rain water harvesting” being illegal in some states even on your own private property. That’s all I have to say about that.
That is all yall! You should have lots of information to build a garden using the tips here. I hope you’ve been inspired to start a above ground container garden for it’s aesthetics or to grow your own food. Either way is rewarding.
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