How to Make a Garden Box

The Best Garden Box Design

My wife asked me this year to build her a garden box. She wanted to grow a garden and teach our kids about how things grow. I remember having a rather large garden as a kid. I always hated having to weed it and I personally have a disdain toward garden boxes. I don't think I have ever seen a garden box that I liked. They all seem to weather and look bad over time. This gave me the opportunity to challenge my attitude and perspective on garden boxes.

Challenge Accepted

Building the best garden box isn't that difficult. It all starts with selecting the correct lumber and materials. 

How to Make a Garden Box Video

Here is a video showing how I built the garden box. If you haven't already please subscribe to my YouTube Channel, I post additional information about the projects I am working on there.

Materials for a Cedar Garden Box

  • Two 1x10x8 Cedar Boards
  • Two 1x10x4 Cedar Boards
  • One 4x4x6 Pressure Treated Lumber
  • One box of outdoor hex screws
  • One Roll of Weed Cover Fabric

Tools to Build a Garden Box

The tools that I used to build the garden box can be found on my tool page. Click here to view my tools.

Cedar boards, screws, weed fabric

Cedar boards, screws, weed fabric

I did some prep work before I assembled my garden box.  I first had to scout a location in my back yard that got the right amount of sun. Next, I prepped my materials before I assembled them. I pre-cut the corner posts and stained the ceder boards.

Prepped materials for installation of the cedar garden box

Prepped materials for installation of the cedar garden box

Next came assembly, this was rather easy because all I needed to do was screw the boards into the four posts. However this later became a challenge because I had forgotten to compensate for the ground and its uneven touraine.

Leveling the cedar garden box

Leveling the cedar garden box

I compensated for my uneven ground by using leftover cedar boards to jack up and level the garden box.

Post for a Cedar Garden Box

Next, I added the garden fabric to keep the weeds from growing because I didn't want to have to relive my childhood of weeding the garden.

Cedar garden box with the weed control fabric

Cedar garden box with the weed control fabric

When building a garden box I would recommend adding a lip or and edge to the box. This is important because it will help keep the dirt in the box as well as provide your box with a nice added detail.

Adding the Cedar Edge to the Garden Box

Adding the Cedar Edge to the Garden Box

Take a look at the bottom left corner of the garden box in the picture below. You can see that I added some additional boards to compensate for the uneven ground. This is important because it solves two problems. The first is that it gives your box a completed built-in feel. Second, it prevents the dirt from seeping out the bottom. I also stained the cedar with one more coat of stain. I would recommend apply an outdoor polyurethane, this will protect your stain and wood from sun and water damage. I consider the outdoor polyurethane as my secret sauce, this will prevent the box from weathering and looking bad.

Completed cedar garden box

Completed cedar garden box

Finally when the box is complete you simply need to fill the box with good quality dirt and plant your seeds.

Cedar Garden Box

Cedar Garden Box

I ended up building two boxes. The second one is a bit bigger.

Two Cedar Garden Boxes
My little assistant helping me fill the garden box with dirt

My little assistant helping me fill the garden box with dirt