Jul 24, 2019
Growing your own vegetables in garden beds have become a very popular, fun and easy DIY trend amongst homeowners.
Follow this guide on how to make your very own raised, 'U' shaped garden bed, and how to maintain it using a solar drip irrigation system. Click here to see Recommended Drip Irrigation System. Plus, an easy to follow video at the end of the article.
How do you make a raised garden bed?
You will need
- Sheet ply
- Underlay plastic sheeting
- Chipboard screws
- Cordless drill
- Sliding square
- Measuring tape
- Sand paper
- Staple gun
- Flowers/ vegetables
Step 1: Location
Determine where you want to place your DIY raised garden bed. Start digging out holes where the corners of the box will be placed. The posts can be placed on top of the soil or they can be rooted in the ground.
Bear in mind that the maximum distance from a water source to the Irrigation system is 20m, and the water source to the last dripper is 60m.
Step 2: Measure
Once you have decided on the right place for your garden bed, use a tape measure to determine how much wood you will need.
Our measurements are (l x w x h):
Box 1: (left side) 120cm x 30cm x 100cm
Box 2: (top) 160cm x 30cm x 100cm
Box 3: (right side) 100cm x 30cm x 100cm
Step 3: Cut waterproof sheet ply
Use a marker, ruler, tape measure and jigsaw to cut the waterproof sheet ply according to your measurements, for the base of the garden bed. Our measurements are (l x w): 1.2 x 0.3m; 1.6 x 0.3m and 1 x 0.3m.
Step 4: Cut posts
Use a pencil and sliding square to measure and mark 9 x 1m pieces of wood for the posts of the garden bed. Use a jigsaw to cut on the line you have marked.
Measure, mark and cut each post separately. We advice cutting and drilling as you go, to avoid uneven lengths.
Step 5: Drill blocks to posts
Measure, mark and cut at the desired point on your posts to attach wooden blocks for the sheet ply to be placed on. Our line is marked 30cm from the top of the post. Make pilot holes, to prevent the wood from splitting, and drill the blocks onto the posts.
Step 6: Drill sheet ply on top of posts
Place the sheet ply on top of the wooden blocks of the posts and pre-drill holes into the sheet ply and wooden posts. Then, drill them together.
Step 7: Cut wood for a stronger base
To ensure a strong and steady base, measure and cut 8 pieces of wood according to the measurements of each side of the garden bed, and drill them 20cm from the bottom of the posts.
Step 8: Create sides of the grow box
To create the sides of the garden bed, measure, cut and drill 4 pieces of wood for each side, according to your measurements, placed directly on top of each other.
Step 9: Layer inside with plastic sheeting
Now that your garden bed is complete, measure and cut the plastic sheeting to cover the entire inside of the box to protect the wood and prevent pests. Use a staple gun.
Step 10: Drainage holes
Add a few drainage holes through the plastic sheeting and sheet ply.
Step 11: Waterproof paint
Use waterproof paint to protect your garden bed. For the first coat, dilute 50% paint with 50% water. Thereafter, 3 or 4 coats are recommended.
Step 11: Fill up with soil and plants
Fill up your grow box with soil, plants, vegetables and flowers of your choice.
Step 11: Connect drip irrigation system to grow box
- Place the drip irrigation system in a sunny spot no longer than 20 meters away from your water source, and no longer than 60 meters away from the last dripper
- Place the inlet filter into the water source
- Cut the tubes according to the lengths that you want, and place the stakes where the tubes will connect.
- Use a tee to attach the main tubes together, and to attach the specific tubes that will water each plant.
- Place the drippers at the end of each tube
- Use hot water to ensure the drippers connect tightly to the tubes
- Once the system is connected, switch on and leave
The Solar Automatic Watering & Irrigation System
Smart irrigation with weather responsive solar powered weather detectors that deliver the precise amount of water that is needed. The drip irrigation system will automatically water your plants every three hours, with no complex programming.
It is perfect for small to medium gardens and can be used for pots, raised beds, hanging baskets and greenhouses.
It uses as little as 200 litres in 3 weeks by only watering a small amount, but often, saving you up to 90% of water.
The drip irrigation system is easy to install, eco-efficient and comes in various sizes to suit your watering needs.
- Collection of Solar Irrigation products recommended by EcoDepot
- IRRIGATIA SOL-C12 Solar Automatic Watering & Irrigation System