Shovel – spade shovel works best
Power drill with a phillips bit
Sawzall works best for cutting pipe
Circular saw is best for cutting wood
Hammer / wire cutters
SIDES: 2×8 cedar boards – lengths as needed
SUPPORTS: 4×4 cedar posts (see text for lengths)
¾” Galvanized pipe
¾” pipe clamps – two for each piece pipe
#10 x ¾ round head phillips plated wood screws (two per clamp)
3” deck screws – fastening the sides to the posts
½” PVC pipe
ABOUT THE MATERIALS
Lumber lengths are available in two foot increments from eight feet to twenty feet depending on your supplier. To avoid extra work it is best to plan the length of your garden in the lengths of cedar lumber your supplier has available.
Common garden shapes are rectangle, ‘T’, ‘L’ and square. For longer length gardens a 4×4 post will be needed to attach two adjoining boards. If it is to be four feet wide you will need one eight foot board cut in half – one for each end.
Board width determines the height of your garden and available in 2″ increments up to 12″. For added height you will need to place boards on end on top of one another. Dimensional lumber always measures ¾” less in width. In the above materials list we chose to use 8″ wide boards (true width 7 ¼”) but they will be placed on end which equals 14 ½” height. Remember to double the quantity of boards needed for the sides if placing on end.
Galvanized pipe and PVC is generally sold in 10 foot lengths. Deck and wood screws are sold in various quantities.
1. Cut one 4×4 corner post for each corner equal to (or a little less) then the height of the sides.
2. Lay the first two posts on the ground and lay the side boards on top. Make sure the ends of the posts are flush with the ends of the boards and the posts do not extend beyond the top or bottom of the board
3. Secure side(s) to the post using deck screws. Repeat step 2 for the next two posts.
4. You should now have two sets of sides ready to attach the boards between them to complete a box.
Stand one of the completed sides on end. Note that if you flip the side over you have a choice of an inside or an outside post.
5. Attach the end boards connecting the two sides with deck screws.
Not listed in the materials list is optional hardware cloth laid on the ground inside the garden box. Have it extend up the sides 1-2″. #6 box nails are hammered ½” into the side and bent over securing the screening. This keeps critters out of the garden.
6. For added outside support a length of galvanized pipe is pounded into the ground every 4-5′ Leave the pipe flush with the top.
Cut these pieces 15″ longer than the side height. Secure it to the sides with clamps and wood screws.
7. Optional: If you prefer to have all the piping on the inside (see step #8) Cut a 4×4 12″ longer than the side height, place 12″ in the ground and secure it to the sides with deck screws.
8. You will now attach one piece of galvanized pipe at each end of the long sides and on the inside very 3-4′. Place these on the outside if you did not follow step #7. All are exactly opposite each other. Cut these the height of the sides. Attach with clamps and wood screws.
9. Cut lengths of ½” PVC pipe to extend from the inside of one galvanized pipe to the other, leaving a suitable arch for the type of covering desired such as plastic or netting. The covering may extend the growing season.