I’ve wanted to start a vegetable garden for three years! Each Spring something comes up and it doesn’t happen. This year is the year, I told myself. I’m going to build Raised Planter Beds that are rot-resistant (because who wants to build anything that has to be re-built after a few years. Not me!) Luckily, the spot I had in mind gets plenty of sunshine throughout the day.
I spent some time researching and pricing the materials for this project. My criteria was:
- Minimal chemicals for rot-resistancy
- Easy on my budget
- Attractive to look at
These Raised Rot-Resistant Planter Beds check off all those requirements!
The main material for the beds is fiber-cement siding aka Hardi-Plank. The material is a cement-based product meant for exterior application on houses. It is also bug-resistant which means it should hold up to an apocalypse.
The one negative about fiber-cement siding is that it is very flexible and cannot be used without a structural support. To solve that problem I decided to add a beautiful cedar trim on the outside of the siding. And internally, I created support with pressure-treated 4×4’s and an internal 2″x4″ pressure treated support. (These are the only chemical-treated lumber I used in this build. If you are concerned about leaching, you can prime your lumber before using it in your planter bed. Instead of priming, I chose to plant flowers closest to the posts and plant the vegetables further away.)
Are you ready to learn how to Build your own Rot-Resistant Raised Planter Beds?
Before we get started, let’s thank the guys at EcoScraps for sponsoring this post.
What? You haven’t heard of EcoScraps? This company is awesome! They are saving the planet one bag of garden product at a time. Seriously, Dan and Craig (the founders) were in college at an all-you-can-eat buffet and were disgusted by all the wasted food. They devised a plan to convert restaurant scraps and waste into natural and organic compost soils and plant food. In 2017, EcoScraps will keep 75 million pounds of food from landfills by turning it into compost (aka black gold for your garden.) You rock EcoScraps!
You can read more about their products when it’s time to fill that beautiful planter bed you built. Right now, let’s get building!
(I’ve included affiliate links for your convenience. I earn a small percentage from a purchase using these links. There is no additional cost to you. You can read more about affiliate links here.)
Tools & Materials:
- 1 – 4″x4″x 8′ pressure-treated post
- 3 – 8″ x 12′ hardi-plank (cement siding)
- 6 – 1″ x 1 1/2″x 12′ cedar planks (if not available, you can rip them from a 1″ x 8″x 12′ plank on a table saw)
- Box of 1 1/2″ galvanized fastener nails
- 8 – 2 1/2″ wood screws
- Miter Saw
- Table Saw
- 4- finial post caps
- Drill bits
- Finish nailer
- 1″ and 2″ finish nails
- Paint roller
- EcoScraps Tomato, Herb and Vegetable Plant Food
- 2 – 8″ x 12′ hardi-plank cement siding
- 2 – 8″ x 3′ hardi-plank cement siding
- 12 – 1″ x1 1/2″ x 5″ cedar trim
- 4 – 1″ x1 1/2″ x 38″ cedar trim
- 4 – 1″ x1 1/2″ x 12′ cedar trim
- 8 – 4″ x 4″ x 12″ pressure treated posts
- 2 – 2″ x 4″ x 3′ pressure treated lumber
Cut your lumber per the cut list above. Cut your Hardi-Plank siding to size. (Note: You may want to use an old blade or a masonry blade in your saw for cutting. The cement siding can dull your blade.)
Paint your siding the color of your choice. I used Calypso Blue by Benjamin Moore. Allow the siding to dry.
Instructions for Assembly:
Line up four 4″x4″x12″ posts on the ground. Lay your hardi-plank siding on top of the posts. Line up the siding with the bottom of the posts. Space one post at each end and the two posts in the middle. The middle posts will line up at 4′ and 8′
Nail the siding to the 4″x4″ posts. (Or enlist your little laborers to do it for you. LOL.) Be careful not to nail the nails too deep or it will crack the cement siding.
Repeat for the opposite side.
Lay out the cedar trim pieces on top of the siding.
Nail the 12′ lengths of cedar trim to the top and bottom.
Nail the 5″ pieces on the sides and at the 4′ and 8′ mark (where the posts are.) See diagram below:
You should have the two sides of your planter bed completed now.
Position the two sides 3′ apart. Line up the 3′ section of hardi-plank siding against the edges of the 4×4 corner posts.
Nail the siding to the corner posts.
Line up one of the 1″ x 38″ pieces of cedar on the bottom of the siding. Nail it into place with finish nails.
Next, nail the 1″ x 5″ cedar trim pieces over the ends of the siding and into the adjoining sides of the planter bed.
You may have a slight gap, but that’s okay. I won’t tell anyone if you don’t.
Position the remaining 1″ x 38″ piece of cedar trim at the top of the siding and secure with finish nails.
Now that the one end is secured, repeat for the opposite side.
Your bed should look like this:
Before filling the planter beds with dirt, you must secure two 2″ x 4″ x 36″ support pieces inside the planter with 2 1/2″ wood screws.
The support pieces are installed at the 4′ and 8′ location inside the planter. This prevents the sides of the planter bed from bowing out.
For a decorative touch (and for adding trellis supports later) drill a hole into the 4×4 posts of the planter bed.
Add a finial post cap to the corner posts.
Will you look at that handsome planter bed!
Tips for Planting Your Garden:
Your raised beds may be well built, but what you fill the beds with is equally important for a successful garden. I was recently introduced to EcoScraps and love that they re-use food scraps to create their own Natural and Organic plant foods, compost and soils (now available at Lowe’s and Walmart.)
Fill your planter with good quality compost. Ideally you’ll want to use EcoScraps Raised Bed Garden Mix. (Because I needed a lot of compost, I chose to buy it from our local county yard waste facility by the pick up truck full. Consequently, I had to mix in several bags of vermiculite to improve the soil quality in my beds.)
Time to feed my little baby veggies!
The EcoScraps Tomato, Herb & Vegetable plant foot can easily be spread by hand around your plants…
…or you can work it into your soil before planting.
Add your plants to the raised bed.
Water the plants and soil well. Water daily until the plants are thriving. Then keep an eye on them and water when the soil starts to dry.
Do you see those pretty sections? I’ve utilized the Square Foot Gardening method (affiliate link). If you are a Square Foot Gardener, you’ll appreciate the tutorial I wrote to create those grids that won’t rot.
In my squares, I have some sections that are started from seed and others that were purchased as plants. Plus, there are a few self-starter plants from my compost pile! Hello, pumpkins.
For more information on using EcoScraps, check out these tips for using EcoScraps and how the product is made.
You’ll also love these ideas for building and utilizing raised garden beds.
What do you have growing in your garden?
Stay tuned for another gardening tutorial! Here’s a tutorial to make vegetable trellis supports for all my climbing vegetables on a cheap budget! And don’t forget to read how to make the grids that look pretty and won’t rot.
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post for EcoScraps. I was compensated for my time and for writing about EcoScraps. I was not told what to write, all opinions are my own. As always, I am extremely particular about the brands I work with. Only my favorites make it to the pages of this blog.