How to Build Economical Raised Vegetable Beds

Raised beds are a great way to grow vegetables. They are a barrier to ground based pests, offer protection to less hardy plants, enable you to control your growing environment, and really save you a lot of backache!


  1. Image titled Build Economical Raised Vegetable Beds Step 1
    Start your raised bed frame. Take one of the 2"x4" planks and offer it up to one of the 4' scaffolding planks, allowing 10cm to protrude from what will be the bottom of your frame. The finished bed frame will be 45cm deep (2x 22.5 cm width of scaff plank) - so you leave a 10cm 'foot' at the bottom to help anchor it in the ground.
  2. Image titled Build Economical Raised Vegetable Beds Step 2
    Construction. Pre-drill the holes for 2 screws, through the scaff plank and the support 2x4 from the outside. Use a drill bit smaller than the screw width. This is vital, as the screws are so long, they become impossible to tighten without pre-drilling.
    • Attach the scaff plank to the support 2x4.
    • Repeat until you have your frame completed frame.
  3. Image titled Build Economical Raised Vegetable Beds Step 3
    Prepare the location. Measure out a 6x4' area on the ground where you want your raised bed to sit and mark it using sticks and string - this will ensure your edges are straight. (Choose a sunny spot for best veg results.) Make sure you have the required 10cm depth dug at the corners for the frame feet.
    • Dig over the top layer of soil, piling the dug earth to the centre.
  4. Image titled Build Economical Raised Vegetable Beds Step 4
    Level it. With the help of a friend, flip your raised bed frame and lay it, feet first, on to the dug area of the same size. Use the spirit level to ensure the frame is sitting level.
  5. Image titled Build Economical Raised Vegetable Beds Step 5
    Add filling. Your raised bed can be filled with any type of soil. For best results, ensure that the soil is well raked.


  • Good topsoil is vital for growing vegetables, and is available cheaply from good garden supply stores. The deeper the better, but even a few inches will help.
  • Scaffold Planks are available from many suppliers nationwide, most will deliver them pre-cut to your specifications. The initial author made 2x 6x4' and 1x 4x4' raised beds for $100.


  • Some weatherproofing for wood is toxic, ensure you use non toxic weatherproofing (or none at all) on the surfaces that will form the inside of your raised bed, otherwise the toxins can leach into the soil over time. Normal Weatherproofing is fine for the outer facing surfaces. N.B. Not weatherproofing the inside of the frame will shorten its life, but it should be good for 5+ years anyway.

Things You'll Need

  • 4 x 6 feet = 182.88 centimeter Scaffold Planks
  • 4 x 4 feet = 121.92 centimeter Scaffold Planks
  • 4 x 55 centimeter = 21.653 543 307 inch 2"x4" Planks
  • 32 x 85 millimeter = 3.346 456 692 9 inch - Wood Screws
  • 1 Power Drill
  • 1 Screwdriver
  • 1 Spirit Level

Article Info

Categories: Growing Vegetables